Science and Technology

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.

Brain Food: Growing Human Skin

Dec 5, 2013
Bonnie Stevens/KNAU

Step into Robert Kellar's physiology and anatomy class at NAU and you'll learn how the human body works. But, step into his lab an you'll learn how to grow human skin. Dr. Kellar can teach plants how to manufacture human protein.

Bonnie Stevens/KNAU

It's estimated that by the new year, more than 60 million Americans will be using iPads. NAU geologist Lisa Skinner is already using them in the field with her students as a geologist time machine of sorts.

Brain Food: The One Gene Difference

Nov 14, 2013

Some scientists predict the Southwest will continue on its warming trend. NAU biology professor Tom Whitham says the rise in temperatures is happening so fast - 3 degrees in the last 60 years - that many plants are not able to adapt and survive.

Brain Food: It's A Microbial World Afterall

Nov 7, 2013
Monica Saaty / IDEA Lab

Bacteria make up most of life on Earth. It's life we can't see. Some bacteria thrive in such extreme environments as the boiling water of the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, or in the driest place on Earth - the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. But, according to Greg Caporaso in the Center of Microbial Genetics and Genomics at NAU, the most extreme environment for life is inside the human body.

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