The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Scientist Superheroes: The US Government's Crisis Science Team

Scientist Superheroes: The US Government's Crisis Science Team

If your town were suddenly struck by an earthquake or hurricane, you could count on the arrival of police, firefighters, and medical technicians to aid in the emergency response. As of this past January, the US government has added a new team of responders to this list—scientists.

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Next Meal: Engineering Food

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Are the benefits of genetically engineered foods worth the risks? This half-hour QUEST Northern California special explores the pros and cons of genetically engineered crops, and what the future holds for research and regulations.

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Exploring Caves in California:  An Otherworldly Experience

Exploring Caves in California: An Otherworldly Experience

While most people are out enjoying the warmer weather spring offers, there are some who cannot wait to make their way underground. With the rainy season behind us, California Caverns are opening up for those who aren't afraid of the dark.

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Scrounging for Research Dollars

Scrounging for Research Dollars

If you’re a scientist these days, getting the money to do your research is a lot like getting into Stanford or Yale. Assuming you aren’t rich or connected, being incredibly skilled, hardworking and accomplished isn’t enough. You need to get lucky too.

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In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

Now that scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another, a key question will be whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome.

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The Human Microbiome: A Rogue's Gallery

The Human Microbiome: A Rogue's Gallery

Get to know some of the microbes that may be in your gut.

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Solar plane takes off on historic cross-country trip

Solar plane takes off on historic cross-country trip

Lighter than an SUV and covered with more than 12,000 solar cells, Solar Impulse, the world's first solar plane that can fly day and night without recharging, launched from Moffet Field this morning in a cross country voyage.

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The State of the Universe: Matter and Age Up, Dark Energy Down

The State of the Universe: Matter and Age Up, Dark Energy Down

The European Space Agency's Planck mission has generated a map of the infant universe that refines our understanding of what it's all made of and has upped its age by 100 million years.

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Geological Side Trips from Interstate 80: Through Folsom to Loomis

Geological Side Trips from Interstate 80: Through Folsom to Loomis

An hour of crowded freeway or a jaunt through granite, greenery and history? The choice is yours.

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Top Cats: How Pumas and Other Apex Predators' Populations Affect The Big Biodiversity Picture

Top Cats: How Pumas and Other Apex Predators' Populations Affect The Big Biodiversity Picture

Apex predators exert far-reaching effects on ecosystems that surface just decades after their disappearance. Santa Cruz researchers hope to understand how human activities and development affect how pumas use the landscape to help mitigate conflicts and plan for the species' long-term survival.

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Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home

Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home

Californians spend over 45 billion dollars each year on health impacts due to indoor air pollution. Scientists at Berkeley Lab have identified the indoor air pollutants with the greatest health consequences, and they are now looking for ways to improve indoor air quality.

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Another Try For California's Second National Conservation Area

Another Try For California's Second National Conservation Area

Just north of the Bay Area is a vast and varied expanse of land and water that could be in line for new federal protections. The proposed Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Conservation Area would link wilderness zones and other lands in five counties. But it’s been a tough sell in some parts.

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Grappling with Rising Tides

Grappling with Rising Tides

Climate change and rising tides are predicted to take a toll on our shoreline areas in the Bay Area. Find out more about last winter's King Tides and what actions are underway to help plan for future sea level rise.

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Landslide at the Calaveras Reservoir

Landslide at the Calaveras Reservoir

The long-running dam replacement project must pause to deal with a sleeping monster.

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Do Now #74: Earth Day

Do Now #74: Earth Day

Calling all students on this Earth Day: Do you make it a regular practice to care for the environment? If so, what do you do? If not, why?

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Fund Basic Research, It’s For Your Own Good

Fund Basic Research, It’s For Your Own Good

The budget proposal by the Obama administration is a mixed bag in terms of funding for science.

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Two Local Kids Are Semi-Finalists in a National Wildlife Art Contest

Two Local Kids Are Semi-Finalists in a National Wildlife Art Contest

A pair of local young artists have won a big environmental prize.

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Brain Mapping: From the Basics to Science Fiction

Brain Mapping: From the Basics to Science Fiction

Obama's BRAIN Initiative directs $100 million in public money toward basic brain research. But what's the goal?

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Antiques Roadshow of the Solar System

Antiques Roadshow of the Solar System

As a space-faring culture, we have now left our marks across the solar system, on planets, moons, asteroids, and in the empty space between them. Some of these “marks” are yet-functioning robotic spacecraft. Some are litter, scattered about the place like so many discarded soda cans, plastic grocery bags, depleted batteries, and defunct electronic devices. Are we trashing our solar system?

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Gallegos Winery and the Hayward Fault

Gallegos Winery and the Hayward Fault

The new BART extension will bring riders to one of the best exposures of the Hayward fault.

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