Science and Innovation

We all react differently to seeing someone in distress. Some feel empathy. Some don’t. Some feel the pain so strongly they take it on as their own. Flagstaff social neuroscientist Chad Woodruff is trying to measure compassion and empathy by recording the activity of “mirror” or “social neurons” in the brain. 

Melissa Sevigny

Summers on the Navajo Nation can be scorching, and many homes there don’t have air conditioners or swamp coolers. But a group of eighth grade students at The STAR School, near the edge of the Navajo Nation, has come up with a solution: a low-cost evaporative cooler they plan to give away to elders. As KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the project won a statewide science and technology prize.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A total lunar eclipse will be visible tomorrow (Jan. 31) before dawn. It’s taking place during an unusual time in the lunar cycle, giving it the name of a “super blue blood moon”. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Melissa Sevigny

The City of Flagstaff will seek public input this year on a plan to take action on climate change. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Brendan Borrell/

Scientists are studying the DNA of a deadly tropical fungus to learn how it is able to adapt in a foreign environment. Cryptococcus gattii is believed to have originated in the jungles of Brazil, but has been making people sick in the Pacific Northwest of the United States for about 20 years. David Engelthaler, the director of TGen in Flagstaff, wants to know how strains of the fungus are evolving and spreading disease.