The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Why We Will Never See Another Einstein

Why We Will Never See Another Einstein

Getting my DNA tested has got me to thinking about, well, my DNA. And your DNA. And everyone else's DNA too.

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The Economics of Household Recycling

The Economics of Household Recycling

Once they leave your driveway, your discarded bottles, newspapers, and other recyclables become part of a multi-billion dollar global commodities market. Last month's phone bill, for example, might be sent to China to be reincarnated as next month's iPhone packaging.

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Reporter's Notes: The Economics of Household Recycling

Reporter's Notes: The Economics of Household Recycling

Part of the problem of recycling programs is that the rules change depending on where you live, the result of a schizophrenic system wherein local municipalities contract with private companies or non-profits to design their own, local recycling programs.

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Jupiter "Nuked" By Comet? (again)

Jupiter "Nuked" By Comet? (again)

An Earth-sized hole on Jupiter! What happened?

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Science Event Pick: Are We Scientifically Illiterate?

Science Event Pick: Are We Scientifically Illiterate?

See author Chris Mooney discuss his new book "Unscientific America" Monday evening, August 3rd in Santa Clara.

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Cool Critters: The Golden Eagle

Cool Critters: The Golden Eagle

Although not as famous as its bald cousin, Golden Eagles are much easier to find in Northern California – one of the largest breeding populations for Golden Eagles is right here in the Mount Diablo valley. Meet one of the largest birds of prey as QUEST visits the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA.

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Scary Tsunamis

Scary Tsunamis

In 2004, a massive tsunami struck the Indian Ocean. More than 225,000 people were killed. Bay Area researchers raced to the scene to learn everything they could about these deadly forces of nature.

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Producer's Notes: Scary Tsunamis

Producer's Notes: Scary Tsunamis

On January 26, 1700, at about 9:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time one of the largest earthquakes ever to strike the Pacific Northwest rumbled across the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This massive earthquake sent a giant 33 foot high tsunami crashing onto shore, inundating the quiet coastline.

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Producer's Notes: Cool Critters – Golden Eagle

Producer's Notes: Cool Critters – Golden Eagle

Between their enormous size, stunning eyes, and gorgeous plumage, we could see the power and grace that are so iconic to American Eagles.

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Producer's Notes – Born Too Soon: Pre-term Births on the Rise

Producer's Notes – Born Too Soon: Pre-term Births on the Rise

As a result of the QUEST story, my pregnancy became more of a public event than I expected it to be. Naturally, after the boys were born, there were several inquiries as to our well-being. Here’s what happened:

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Journey to the Farallones

Journey to the Farallones

They've been called "California's Galapagos." Nearly 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge lie the Farallon Islands. This year marks their 100th anniversary as a national wildlife refuge. While the islands are off limits to tourists, reporter Lauren Sommer caught a ride with marine researchers to learn about how changes are affecting life there.

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Web Extra: Farallon Islands History Timeline

Web Extra: Farallon Islands History Timeline

The Farallon Islands, precariously perched just a few miles from the edge of the North American continental shelf, are home to an incredible array of wildlife, from tiny Auklets to Great White Sharks, The islands have played a surprising role in the cultural, economic, and technological development of the city of San Francisco. This timeline outlines the landmark events between Sir Francis Drake's landing in 1579 and the present day.

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Reporter's Notes: Journey to the Farallones

Reporter's Notes: Journey to the Farallones

Our trip to the Farallon Islands was certainly eventful: seasickness (me), bug bites (me) and immersion in one of the most unique wildlife habitats in the world (luckily). This chain of windblown rocks, about 27 miles from San Francisco, is teeming with 300,000 seabirds in the spring and summer.

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Web Extra: Visit to the Farallon Islands – Audio Slideshow

Web Extra: Visit to the Farallon Islands – Audio Slideshow

Get a behind-the-scenes look of QUEST's trip to the Farallones and find out what's it's like to live on these rocky, remote islands – for both the birds and the scientists who study them.

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Weatherization Gets Down to Business

Weatherization Gets Down to Business

Home energy blogger Jim Gunshinan sends in his post from the 2009 National Weatherization Training Conference, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Exploring the Farallon Islands

Exploring the Farallon Islands

Established as a national wildlife refuge 100 years ago, the Farallon Islands are centered in one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. While off limits to the public, a handful of scientists study this unique habitat, a breeding ground for marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of birds. Explore the sights and history of the largest island for yourself with this interactive map.

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Postpone that Home Depot trip, Household appliances are getting a makeover

Postpone that Home Depot trip, Household appliances are getting a makeover

This is old news to many of the folks at California Energy Commission , who have pushed for such changes for decades. But the real news is that these aren't just recommendations anymore. They're policy, or soon will be.

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Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

A bed bug infestation in my apartment led to some careful internet research.

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Decoding Synthetic Biology

Decoding Synthetic Biology

Imagine living cells acting as memory devices; biofuels brewing from yeast, or a light receptor taken from algae that makes photographs on a plate of bacteria. With the new science of synthetic biology, the goal is to make biology easier to engineer so that new functions can be derived from living systems.

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Your Photos on QUEST: Harold Davis

Your Photos on QUEST: Harold Davis

East Bay photographer Harold Davis combines his loves of the natural world with modern digital photography to create images that show the ordinary in an extra-ordinary way. After many years as a commercial photographer, he decided to move back the Bay Area and change his focus.

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