California is hungry for renewable energy. Solar and wind power have taken off thanks to the state's ambitious clean energy goals. But there's another way to generate electricity — by using organic material like agricultural and tree waste. It's known as biomass power, but as Lauren Sommer reports, some say it's not as green as it seems.
Japan's nuclear power crisis is renewing debate over the topic of safety at nuclear power plants. Andrea Kissack talks with two men with very different opinions on the issue: Bill Magavern, head of the Sierra Club California and Ed Morse, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at University of California, Berkeley.
In California, a state agency called CalFire is charged with fighting fire in rural areas. But over the years, the line between rural and urban has become much less clear. Governor Jerry Brown proposed to scale back CalFire and help trim the state's budget, but that proposal may go down in flames.
It's been a harsh winter across the US. Snow has blanketed the Sierra Nevada, where the snowpack is well above normal. Lots of snow means good skiing, but it also means an increased danger of avalanches. Lauren Sommer travels to Lake Tahoe where researchers are trying to understand the inner workings of snow a little bit better.
40 years ago, Stanford psychology professor Phillip Zimbardo's notorious Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrated how good people can do evil things. Now, his "Heroic Imagination Project" takes those lessons to an Oakland high school to see if heroes can also be made.
After a series of high-profile recalls, the FDA says it's reconsidering rules that allow cheese makers to use unpasteurized milk in their products. That could mean big changes in Northern California, which has become a hub of artisanal cheese making.
Solar power is booming in California. Last year, state officials approved an unprecedented amount of new solar energy. But large solar farms and small home rooftop installations have run into challenges. As Lauren Sommer reports, that's why a new sector of solar is emerging — one that benefits from being in the middle.
It probably goes without saying: the dentist's chair isn't the most popular place to visit. But going the dentist may soon be a very different experience. As Lauren Sommer reports, researchers at the University of California San Francisco are developing new technology that may make dentists' drills less common.
After a century of logging, California's old growth redwood forests are only a fraction of what they once were. Today, they remain a narrow coastal band that extends from Monterey Bay to the Oregon border. But redwoods are facing a new threat. As Lauren Sommer reports, scientists are trying to understand how these trees are responding to a changing climate.
If you plan to take any long plane trips this holiday season, here are a few things to keep in mind: jet lag, scientists say, often hits women harder than men. The direction you're flying matters, too. Jet lag is worse when traveling from west to east. In fact, studies suggests that jet lag can do a lot more than just wear us out
California fishermen once hauled in groundfish as if there were an unlimited supply, but now fish stocks have plummeted. Beginning in January, fishermen in California, Oregon and Washington will try something new. They'll become owners of the fishery, much like shareholders in a company. But as Lauren Sommer reports, not everyone is happy about it.
At UC Berkeley, scientists studying how to feed our growing need for energy have turned to a surprising source. As Lauren Sommer reports, researchers there are trying to produce the next generation of green power by mimicking something every weekend gardener works to clean up.
In the wake of mid-term elections, most pundits agree that a national climate change policy is farther from reach. Several science museums and aquariums are currently showing exhibits on climate change in an effort to educate the public on this complicated topic. But as Marjorie Sun reports, these institutions have to walk a fine line through a thicket of sensitive issues.
As soldiers continue to return from Iraq and Afghanistan, doctors who treat them find themselves at the forefront of scientific research. That's the case at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, where scientists have made a surprising discovery. Amy Standen reports.
Air pollution may seem like an urban problem, but it's becoming an increasing concern in California's national parks. In Yosemite National Park, researchers are trying to gauge that impact using an unexpected tool: a fungus called lichen. Lauren Sommer has the story.
QUEST Radio looks at a controversial casino project in Richmond that would allow construction of a $1.2 billion resort with 4,000 slot machines. Supporters of Measure U say it will bring jobs and tax revenue to a neglected former industrial site. Opponents say a Vegas-style operation would destroy habitat along the Richmond shore. Also on the ballot: several local measures on urban growth boundaries. Amy Standen and Lauren Sommer report.