The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

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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Have the Energy Munchies? Curb your "Snackwell Effect"

Have the Energy Munchies? Curb your "Snackwell Effect"

Stanley Jevons first described this conundrum in 1865, when he observed that new efficient steam engines decreased coal consumption, which led to a drop in coal prices. But the lower prices meant that more people could afford to use coal, and so coal consumption increased.

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Goodbye to the Bevatron

Goodbye to the Bevatron

For the last 18 years, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has had the physics equivalent of a rusty pickup truck parked in its front yard. Now, the 1950s era Bevatron is being demolished, and a chapter in the Bay Area's history of high level physics research comes to a close.

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Goodbye to the Bevatron

Goodbye to the Bevatron

For the last 18 years, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has had the physics equivalent of a rusty pickup truck parked in its front yard. Now, the 1950s era Bevatron is being demolished, and a chapter in the Bay Area's history of high level physics research comes to a close.

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Web Extra: At the Core of Climate Change

Web Extra: At the Core of Climate Change

How do we know that the climate is changing? In this video, provided by scientist Kendrick Taylor, learn how 8-foot long ice core samples extracted from deep in the ice layer of Antarctica hold key evidence of rapidly changing climactic conditions.

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Climate Watch: California at the Tipping Point

Climate Watch: California at the Tipping Point

The world's climate is changing and California is now being affected in both dramatic and subtle ways. Get an in-depth look at the science behind climate change as we explore the environmental changes taking place throughout the state.

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Reporter's Notes: Goodbye to the Bevatron

Reporter's Notes: Goodbye to the Bevatron

Much as I tried to get Stewart Loken to wax poetic about the demise of the Bevatron, the truth is that he – and, I'll bet, a lot of scientists – just don't think that way.

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