The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Reporter's Notes: Catching the Drift

Reporter's Notes: Catching the Drift

In this week's Quest radio piece, I talk to two pregnant organic onion workers who got sick after an apple farmer sprayed pesticides on a nearby orchard. Following a nearly three month investigation, the Kern County Ag Commissioner issued citations finding both the apple grower and the organic company at fault.

Continue Reading

Solar Decathlon 2009

Solar Decathlon 2009

I'm used to seeing some unusual things on the Mall in Washington, DC—our nations backyard—but was quite impressed by the 20 solar powered homes arrayed there last Saturday.

Continue Reading

Science Event Pick: Experimenting with Yourself

Science Event Pick: Experimenting with Yourself

David experimenting with EEGLoyal KQED blog followers have been reading of Dr. Barry Starr’s experience getting his genes tested by 23andMe. He has tested his native American ancestry and evaluated his risk for diabetes. What if Barry took even more tests, from blood toxins to more genetic tests – would that result in a clearer […]

Continue Reading

The Farallon Islands – "California's Galapagos"

The Farallon Islands – "California's Galapagos"

Lying 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the Farallon Islands sit amid one of the most productive marine food webs on the planet and host the largest seabird breeding colony in the continental United States. QUEST ventures out for a rare visit to learn what life is like on the islands and meet the scientists who call this incredibly wild place home.

Continue Reading

Maya Skies

Maya Skies

Armed with laser technology, Bay Area engineers are helping create detailed virtual records of the world's great monuments. Their realistic recreation of the Mexican ruins of Chichén Itzá is the basis for "Tales of Maya Skies," a new half-hour film about Maya astronomy designed especially for a planetarium. The film opens at Oakland's Chabot Space & Science Center on November 21. QUEST takes you behind the scenes.

Continue Reading

Your Photos on QUEST: Doug Nomura

Your Photos on QUEST: Doug Nomura

San José photographer Doug Nomura has learned just how to track his subjects to create arresting photos of birds in flight. He focuses his work on the Bay Trail, a 300-mile trail around the Bay. QUEST joins Nomura on the bayfront in Sunnyvale as he works to photograph the many bird species that call the South Bay's mudflats home, or stop here as part of their migration.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: The Farallon Islands—"California's Galapagos"

Producer's Notes: The Farallon Islands—"California's Galapagos"

Lying 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the jagged silhouette of the Farallon Islands disrupts the clean line of the horizon. This foreboding knot of rocks sits amid one of the most
productive marine food webs on the planet and hosts the largest seabird breeding colony in the continental United States. QUEST ventures out for a rare visit to learn what life is like on the islands and meet the scientists who call this incredibly wild place home.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Your Photos on QUEST—Doug Nomura

Producer's Notes: Your Photos on QUEST—Doug Nomura

San José photographer Doug Nomura has learned just how to track his subjects to create arresting photos of birds in flight. He focuses his work on the Bay Trail, a 300-mile trail around the Bay. QUEST joins Nomura on the bayfront in Sunnyvale as he works to photograph the many bird species that call the South Bay’s mudflats home, or stop here as part of their migration.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Maya Skies

Producer's Notes: Maya Skies

Go behind the scenes of Tales of Maya Skies, the new film produced by Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center. The half-hour film about Maya astronomy opens at the center's planetarium on November 21.

Continue Reading

Do These Genes Make Me Look Diabetic?

Do These Genes Make Me Look Diabetic?

A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Right when I am in the middle of talking about genetic testing!

Continue Reading

Predicting the Next Big One

Predicting the Next Big One

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?

Continue Reading

Equinox on Saturn Reveals Ring Ripples

Equinox on Saturn Reveals Ring Ripples

Equinox on Saturn reveals ring ripples.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Predicting the Next Big One

Reporter's Notes: Predicting the Next Big One

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?

Continue Reading

Film Premiere: Saving the Bay

Film Premiere: Saving the Bay

The first two episodes of "Saving the Bay" premiere on KQED Channel 9 on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8pm. Click here to find additional air times/dates and to find out what else "Saving the Bay" has to offer.

Continue Reading

Why I Do Science: Drew Endy

Why I Do Science: Drew Endy

Stanford University's Drew Endy is a synthetic biologist, or as he puts it, someone who makes biology easier to engineer. He's one of the leading lights of this relatively new scientific field which builds on disciplines like computer science, electrical engineering and genetics. Find out why Endy is passionate about the cutting edge of biology.

Continue Reading

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

There's a hidden danger in San Francisco bay: mercury. A potent neurotoxin that can cause serious illness, mercury has been flowing into the bay since the mining days of the Gold Rush Era. It has settled in the bay's mud and made its way up the food chain, endangering wildlife and making many fish unsafe to eat. Now a multi-billion-dollar plan aims to clean it up. But will it work?

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Because there wasn't time in the QUEST TV segment on mercury in the bay to include information on safe fish eating practices, below are the guidelines, along with web links, to help you get plenty of Omega 3s and still keep your mercury levels low.

Continue Reading

How to Identify a Bullet

How to Identify a Bullet

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.

Continue Reading

Toward Greener Biofuels and Greener Cars

Toward Greener Biofuels and Greener Cars

For all the excitement, selling the American public on biofuels feels a little like feeding methadone to a heroin addict.

Continue Reading

Reconnecting Science, Religion and Health Care

Reconnecting Science, Religion and Health Care

I think that science is fundamentally about information and religion is fundamentally about relationship. The word religion comes from the Latin "to reconnect."

Continue Reading