Science and Technology

Brain Food: Bagging an Asteroid

Feb 27, 2014
Courtesy photo

NASA wants to catch an asteroid, place it into orbit around the Earth, and send astronauts to retrieve pieces of it for scientific study. The agency just needs the right asteroid. NASA has asked Northern Arizona University astronomer David Trilling, one of the world’s foremost asteroid experts, to find it — a task much easier said than done.

Photo courtesy of David Winslow Van Ness

Suppose you need a wrench, or a knee replacement, or a hamburger. David Winslow Van Ness says, not a problem. In the not-too-distant future, just print one out.

Brain Food: Valentine's Day In The Natural World

Feb 13, 2014
Trees For Life

As we get ready to celebrate Valentine's Day, Northern Arizona University ecology professor Nancy Collins Johnson reminds us that we can learn a lot about relationships from nature. Collins is a soils expert who studies mycorrhizal symbiosis - or, healthy relationships between fungi and the roots of plants.

Brain Food: The Discovery Channel Telescope

Jan 23, 2014
Len Bright/Lowell Observatory

The highly sensitive camera of Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope is painting a brighter picture of faint objects in the universe.

Brain Food: Spring-Loaded Muscles

Jan 16, 2014
Danielle Borth, NAU Office of Public Affairs

A Northern Arizona University regents’ biology professor is studying how the speed with which frogs catch insects can improve the mechanics of artificial limbs for humans. Kiisa Nishikawa has discovered the connection is a protein called titin. It essentially enables muscles to “think,” reacting in milliseconds, rather than waiting for a signal from the brain.

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