The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death is devastating oak forests along the coast, killing trees that are key to the ecology of the coastal hills. Researchers have found a way to inoculate individual trees from the disease, but are struggling in their search to find a more sweeping answer to the threat.

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Reporter's Notes: Sudden Oak Death

Reporter's Notes: Sudden Oak Death

There is no proven cure for Sudden Oak Death. But that doesn't mean you can't find people selling cures. In fact, the Internet is full of theories – and their related products – that explain how to treat Sudden Oak Death. The problem with them, says UC Berkeley researcher Matteo Garbelotto, is that they don't work. And in fact, he adds, they could actually harm people's backyard oak trees.

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Shooting the Moon

Shooting the Moon

Launching a spacecraft bound for the Moon with the deliberate intention of striking the Moon in a spectacular impact! Sounds like something out of a Jules Verne novel…

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Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

When it comes to renewable power, California has had one main message: bring on the solar power, bring on the wind turbines! California and the country are heading fast towards a clean energy future. But renewables aren't perfect.

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Exploring Muir Woods National Monument

Exploring Muir Woods National Monument

You may not think of salmon when visiting the redwoods in Muir Woods, but it's home to a population of Coho Salmon. Redwood forests provide ideal salmon habitat, providing woody debris to protect young salmon in the creeks and keeping them shaded and cool. But the Coho in Muir Woods' Redwood Creek are endangered, and local biologists and volunteers are working to protect the salmon and restore their habitat.

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Go Go Geo! USGS Open House, May 16 and 17

Go Go Geo! USGS Open House, May 16 and 17

Have you hugged your local geoscientist lately? Science events blogger Kishore Hari gives you his top picks for the 9th Triennial Open House at the USGS, 10 am – 4 PM on May 16th and 17th.

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What's the Scoop on Kitty Poop?

What's the Scoop on Kitty Poop?

I am a cat owner who cares about the environment. What to do about their poop presents quite a conundrum.

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Breaking News on the Drakes Bay Oyster Controversy

Breaking News on the Drakes Bay Oyster Controversy

Today, the National Research Council issued its long-awaited report on the Drakes Bay Oyster Company… is their operation harming the environment or not?

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KQED's Health Dialogues launches discussion on health care reform

KQED's Health Dialogues launches discussion on health care reform

In his 100th day press briefing a few days ago, President Obama reiterated his desire to enact health care reform by the end of 2009 and called on all Americans to submit our ideas. So, Health Dialogues decided to let Washington know what Californians think.

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Swine Flu and You

Swine Flu and You

Why are health officials so worried about swine flu? A major reason is that against it, we are almost defenseless. Apart from the drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, which must be taken in the first 48 hours, swine flu is untreatable. The swine flu scare is only the latest chapter in an ongoing arms race between humans and viruses. But some scientists believe the end may be in sight.

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Turning Lemons Into Energy Efficient Homes

Turning Lemons Into Energy Efficient Homes

While new housing is stalled in the United States, there is lots of funding-in the billions of dollars-on the way for weatherization, residential energy efficiency, and renewable energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Reporter's Notes: Swine Flu and You

Reporter's Notes: Swine Flu and You

As this story is being produced, the reports on swine flu are changing hourly. Cases are popping up closer and closer to home, and the CDC is updating several times a day on the spread of the virus, and plans to fight it. The $64,000 question is how worried we should be.

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Swine Flu – A Virus or a Bacteria?

Swine Flu – A Virus or a Bacteria?

Swine Flu has been blanketing the news as of late. On April 29th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first US fatality occurring in Texas. The CDC has determined that this swine influenza A(H1N1) virus is contagious and spreading from human to human. Yet at this time, they do not know how easily the virus spreads between people. At our museum, we have taken this very seriously and staff has been asked to stay home if symptoms arise.

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Apply now for the QUEST Science Education Institute

Apply now for the QUEST Science Education Institute

Applications are due May 15 for the 2009-2010 QUEST Science Education Institute.

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Superconductivity: an Arsenic-Laced Future?

Superconductivity: an Arsenic-Laced Future?

In February of last year scientists discovered a new champion in their quest for a better superconductor, a material based on iron and, curiously enough, arsenic.

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Tracking Genetics in Popular Culture

Tracking Genetics in Popular Culture

In the last couple of weeks, on another blog of mine there has been a surge in our answers about genetic chimeras. Usually this means that somewhere in the world, a certain episode of CSI is being shown.

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Let's Weatherize

Let's Weatherize

It's easy to get excited about installing solar panels on our houses, but most of us could significantly cut our energy bills for less with a simple trip to Home Depot. Thanks to the new federal stimulus package, $411 million is coming to California to help the state's buildings become more energy efficient.

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Reporter's Notes: Let's Weatherize!

Reporter's Notes: Let's Weatherize!

Since people seem to nod off a bit when I say I'm working on a story about energy efficiency, I've had to re-tool my pitch. "It's a story about how installing solar panels or a wind turbine is the last thing you should do to green your house," I say, perhaps a little over-dramatically.

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Web Extra: Weatherization Slideshow

Web Extra: Weatherization Slideshow

Thanks to the new federal stimulus package, $411 million is coming to California to help the state's buildings become more energy efficient. One program, which helps low-income families weatherize their homes, is seeing its budget triple. Check out images from our radio story as one home is weatherized.

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Springtime on Mars

Springtime on Mars

It's spring again, that time of year when my thoughts return to… blasts of carbon dioxide gas jetting up from beneath the frigid layer of dry ice below

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