Brain Food

Hungry for more stories on science, culture and technology?

Check out Brain Food: Insights and Discoveries from Northern Arizona. From ground breaking scientific research to global music projects, Brain Food profiles some of the unique projects happening in the region and the interesting people behind them.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:45 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Brain Food: Did The Earth Just Move?

A map of Arizona's seismic hot spots
Credit Arizona Earthquake Information Center

This region is not a place known for powerful earthquakes, but over the last year or so, there have been some memorable ones: the kind that wake you from a sound sleep and set your heart racing. Are they leading up to something bigger? Geologist Paul Umhoefer doesn't think so.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:45 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Brain Food: Arizona's First Infrastructure Report Card

AZ highway system
Credit sundt.com

Arizona's infrastructure report card is in, and the news is...average. The American Society of Civil Engineers has - for the first time - graded the state's dams, bridges, railways, airports, roadways and water systems.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:02 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Brain Food: Flagstaff Geneticist Suspects Anthrax 'Lazarus Effect'

Microscopic Anthrax spores
Credit Nature Publishing Group

Military officials regularly run safety tests for on-base Anthrax detectors. Normally, they use "dead" samples of the dangerous bacteria - deactivated by massive doses of radiation, but recently it was discovered there were some live spores within batches of Anthrax shipped by the Pentagon. Flagstaff geneticist Paul Keim suspects the microorganisms might be able to bring themselves back from the dead.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:19 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Brain Food: The Octocopter Helps Monitor Forest Health

NAU Remote Sensing Ecologist Teki Sankey with the Octocopter
Credit KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

An 8-armed drone that looks like a robotic black spider will soon be hovering over northern Arizona's ponderosa pine forests.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:16 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Brain Food: The Unlikely Harmony of The Saxophone And The Clarinet

Musicians and NAU professors John Masserini (L) and Jonathan Bergeron
Credit KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

In the world of chamber music, not many pieces have been written for the clarinet-saxophone duo. That's because they haven't been around nearly as long as the violin or piano, the darlings of chamber music. So when clarinetist John Masserini and saxophonist Jonathan Bergeron decided to produce a CD, they put out the call to composers to create new music for the single reed instruments.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:17 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Brain Food: How The Slide Fire Changed Community Preparedness

Robert Rowley, director of the Coconino County Department of Emergency Management, points to the area in Oak Creek Canyon where thousands of firefighters battled the blaze
Credit KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

KNAU's Slide Fire series continues with a special installment of Brain Food. In early May of 2014, Coconino County emergency responders practiced a community disaster exercise. At the time, none of the participants knew just how soon they'd have to use it in "real time".

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:54 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Brain Food: Artifacts Offer Insight Into Lives Of Slaves

NAU anthropologist/archaeologist Sharon Moses and a volunteer excavate materials found underneath slave cabins on South Carolina's Cat Island
Credit Sharon Moses

Beneath piles of bricks that were once chimneys for slave quarters, anthropologist and archaeologist Sharon Moses is unearthing what she believes are spiritual artifacts on South Carolina's Cat Island. Nails, shells, buttons and pottery bundled together, she says, were likely part of Hoodoo magic intended to protect the inhabitants.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:29 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Brain Food: Preparing For Fire Season On The Coconino

Wildland fire crews prepare for fire season on the Coconino National Forest
Credit KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

More than 100 season firefighters, including 3 Hot Shot crews, 10 tower lookouts and 1 air tanker, are poised and ready for fire season on the Coconino National Forest.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:04 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Brain Food: NAU Forester Looks For 'Survival Gene' In SW White Pine Trees

NAU forester Kristen Waring collects cones and seeds from a SW White Pine.
Credit NAU

The Southwestern White Pine is under attack from a parasite. Almost all the trees infected by the "Blister Rust" fungus die. That's why forester Kristen Waring is searching for the rare genes in the species that can combat the deadly spores.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:37 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Brain Food: Flagstaff Researcher Conducts Largest-Ever Study Of Arid Landscape Springs

Hydrogeologist Abe Springer at Griffith's Spring near Flagstaff
Credit KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Springs might be small in size, but they support an abundance of plants and animals. Now, a new study conducted by the Springs Stewardship Institute in Flagstaff reveals just how significant springs are to ecosystems.

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