Thanks to stem cells and other cutting-edge technologies, doctors hope they may one day be able to restore sight to people who were born without it, or lost it, later in life. But a rare case here in the Bay Area suggests that curing blindness may be more than meets the eye.
Art Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down from his post with the California Energy Commission. The 83-year-old nuclear physicist pushed California to enact some of the toughest energy efficiency standards in the world. QUEST talks with Rosenfeld about his passion for saving kilowatts. Andrea Kissack reports.
The recent rain storms have drenched Northern California, dumping in some places almost twice as much rain as we'd expect to see at this time of year. That's great news for a state that's suffered three years of drought. But are we finally in the clear? Amy Standen went in search of answers.
Coho salmon conservationists in Marin County are losing hope they'll see large numbers of the fish return to spawn this year, even after our recent rains. Marine biologists say the future looks grim after a series of drought years, and they're looking for ways to stop the fish from being sucked into what they call "the vortex of extinction." Dan Brekke reports.
This month, truckers at the Port of Oakland face new rules on diesel rigs.The rules call for expensive filters that cut down the amount of soot the trucks spew out. Many truckers say they can't afford the new gear, especially amid a recession. But treating the health effects of diesel pollution may be much more expensive.
Americans throw away a staggering 31 million tons of food each year. As those scraps decompose they create methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – that could be harnessed to light our homes one day. As Tara Siler reports, a wastewater treatment plant in the Bay Area is leading the way.
Human beings have used maps to describe the world for thousands of years. Blind people have used Braille for about 150. But there's never been a way for the blind to have easy access to maps of everyday places. Until now. Amy Standen reports.
Solar panels are a hot commodity these days and not just for residents and business owners who want to go green. It turns out that thieves are also embracing clean technology: Solar panel thefts are on the rise. And among the most popular targets are California wineries.
For many Bay Area residents, 'tis the season for egg nog, evenings by the fireplace, andâ€¦phone books! The new Yellow and White pages will land on hundreds of thousands of doorsteps this month. But if two California lawmakers get their way, this holiday tradition may soon change. Amy Standen reports.
It's an El Niño year, which raises hopes for significant rainfall this winter. But after years of drought, some local homeowners aren't counting on it. They're conserving water by reviving the ancient practice of rainwater harvesting. But how much can they really save? Katharine Mieszkowski reports.
This month marks an anniversary no one will celebrate: two years ago, the economic downturn many call "The Great Recession" began. Here in Northern California, like just about everywhere else, housing prices have tumbled. But for some, there's a silver lining to the real estate bust, as Amy Standen reports.
People with pseudobulbar affect — a neurological condition common in patients with Lou Gehrig's disease — have overwhelming emotions at inappropriate times: They laugh uncontrollably at funerals, cry even when they aren't sad. Scientists at UC San Francisco believe that by putting these people into MRI scans, they can learn more about how emotions are created and controlled in the human brain — and what happens when those systems break down.
Photosynthesis seems like a simple process, but scientists are still trying to understand how it works. They've discovered that plants may be using quantum physics. As Lauren Sommer found out, the best way to understand it is through foosball.
Last year a majority of California voters approved a multi-billion-dollar high-speed rail project. Now comes the hard part: squeezing a 220-mph train system into California's densely populated cities. Some communities that voted in favor of the train now say they don't want it rolling through their neighborhoods. QUEST looks at the stretch between San Francisco and San Jose and how the train might change the local landscape.
If you have solar panels on your house, you can count on reducing your electricity bill. Maybe you'll pay nothing at all. But what if you produce more than you use? Well, until recently in California, you could consider it a gift to the local utility. But now, thanks to a new law, that will soon change. Amy Standen reports.
It may seem that California's parks dodged a bullet recently when the Governor announced that all of the state's financially strapped parks will remain open, but state parks still have to cut $14 million in spending this year. This may lead to rolling closures, maintenance cuts and layoffs. Hoping to solve a chronic funding problem, environmentalists are considering a ballot proposal that would place a fee on car registrations to help fund parks.
Conflicts over pesticide use have increased as new suburbs push up against farming areas in California. In the second part of our series, Sasha Khokha looks at how community residents are looking to document the impact of pesticides on their own health when those chemicals drift off the farm.
Every year California farmers spray more than 150 million pounds of pesticides to keep insects from ravaging crops like almonds, oranges, and grapes. But when those toxins drift onto nearby farmworkers and communities, they sicken hundreds of people each year. California legislators tried to fix the problem five years ago, but new laws don't appear to have made much of a difference.
It's been twenty years since the Loma Prieta Earthquake ravaged downtown Santa Cruz and damaged San Francisco's Marina District and the Bay Bridge. QUEST looks at the dramatic improvements in earthquake prediction technology since 1989. But what can be done with ten seconds of warning?
Last month, the FBI released a report showing violent crime has dropped for the second year in a row… down nearly two percent in 2008, from a year earlier. Still, many homicide cases go unsolved. A new technology called "bullet microstamping" aims to help change that. But will it work? Amy Standen reports.