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
6:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Brain Food: Rethinking Energy Storage and Design with Smart Materials

Credit fraunhofer.de

In the near future, so-called smart materials may eliminate the need for batteries in hybrid cars and in solar panels. Cornell Ciocanel is a mechanical engineer at Northern Arizona University. He’s developing a new smart material that’s strong enough to be used in the body of a car and also stores electricity like a battery.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:58 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Brain Food: Mysterious Skunks of the High Country

Credit macworld.com

Mild winters make skunks more active. Instead of resting and preserving their energy, they venture out of their dens and hunt for food. Tad Theimer is a vertebrate biologist and associate professor at Northern Arizona University.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:13 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Brain Food: Three Minute Research Presentations

Ramona Mellott, Dean of NAU's Graduate College
Credit Bonnie Stevens/KNAU

Fans of the TV show Shark Tank know the premise is that contestants have just a few minutes to persuade investors to fund their business idea. A similar contest is playing out among graduate students at Northern Arizona University. Three Minute Research Presentations is a program that teaches students to quickly and effectively "pitch" complicated research projects to potential funders.

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:39 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Brain Food: The Cultural Impacts Of Climate Change On American Indian Tribes

Ann Marie Chischilly, executive director of NAU's Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals
Credit Bonnie Stevens/KNAU

American Indian tribes are among those most impacted by climate change. That's according to Ann Marie Chischilly, executive director of the Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals, or ITEP, at Northern Arizona University.

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KNAU and Arizona News
10:39 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Brain Food: Business Students Learning the Ropes in the Real World

Chris Scherpereel works with students in NAU's BizBlock program.
Credit Courtes photo

Whether it’s tracking cattle with GPS or ordering popcorn from your iPhone at a football game, Professor Chris Scherpereel wants his business students to understand the whole business process. . . moving a product from concept to consumer.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:32 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Brain Food: Ice Age Art

Ekkehart Malotki with the Ice Age petroglyphs in Utah.
Credit Courtesy of Ekkehart Malotki

A Northern Arizona University professor emeritus says he’s never seen anything like a recent find in the Utah desert. This, despite 25 years spent studying rock art at thousands of sites. Retired ethnolinguist Ekkehart Malotki is researching what could be the oldest known realistic engravings of Columbian mammoths in the Western Hemisphere: petroglyphs from the Ice Age near the San Juan River.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Brain Food: Bagging an Asteroid

NAU astronomy and physics professor David Trilling is helping NASA find an asteroid to bring back home.
Credit 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.

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:19 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Brain Food: The Future is Here in the Form of 3D Printing

A 3D printer-created sculpture by David Winslow Van Ness
Credit 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.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:15 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Brain Food: Valentine's Day In The Natural World

Credit 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.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:49 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Brain Food: The Rapidly Shifting World of Forest Restoration

The Schultz Fire, June 2010
Credit Coconino National Forest

The West is experiencing one of the driest winter stretches on record, and that’s got forest ecologists concerned about what these drought conditions will mean for fire season. Dr. Wally Covington is the executive director of the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University.

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