The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Designer Babies

Designer Babies

A storm of protest broke out a month or so ago when a fertility clinic in Los Angeles announced it would start helping women choose what their babies might look like. The ruckus was loud enough that the clinic has since backed off on this service.

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Producer's Notes: World's Most Powerful Microscope

Producer's Notes: World's Most Powerful Microscope

Today QUEST takes you behind the scenes to see the most powerful microscope in the world, which happens to be in our very own backyard in Berkeley.

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High Tech in the Vineyards

High Tech in the Vineyards

When it comes to water conservation, you might want to toast some of the state's vintners. Grape growers are among the best at curbing water use and many are increasingly relying on an array of high-tech gadgetry to help them do it.

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Reporter's Notes: High Tech in the Vineyards

Reporter's Notes: High Tech in the Vineyards

Wine making is indeed an art form, but it is increasingly becoming more scientific. I knew growing wine grapes requires a lot of attention to detail — there is the terroir, pests and diseases and all those microclimates. But who would have known, driving down Hwy 29, the main thoroughfare through the Napa Valley, that many of those vineyards are totally wired.

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Web Extra: High Tech in the Vineyards Slideshow

Web Extra: High Tech in the Vineyards Slideshow

California vintners are increasingly relying on an array of high-tech gadgetry to help their grapes. Check out some of the technology they're using.

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Make a Macro Difference with a Microdonation

Make a Macro Difference with a Microdonation

Becoming a KQED member is not for everyone. Perhaps you're not from around here. Maybe you're just not a joiner. Or you really just want to support have a specific program– like QUEST– that matters to you. We hear that. So we're trying something new. Enter the QUEST *microdonation* pilot program.

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Asteroid Apophis–Hit or Miss?

Asteroid Apophis–Hit or Miss?

Friday the 13th, April, 2029: If you're superstitious, this might not be a good day to schedule a near-Earth asteroid encounter.

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Web Extra: Nudging with Nukes

Web Extra: Nudging with Nukes

Most scientists agree that using nuclear explosives to deflect an incoming asteroid is a bad idea. But Astrophysicist David Dearborn from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been heating up the debate with his theories about how nuclear explosives could be used effectively to nudge an asteroid into a new orbit that causes it to miss the Earth entirely.

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QUEST Lab: Five-Cent Battery

QUEST Lab: Five-Cent Battery

How much electrical power will a nickel buy you? This week the Exploratorium shows us how to make an LED flashlight battery for only five cents.

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Asteroid Hunters

Asteroid Hunters

Everyone knows that eight planets orbit the Sun. But thousands of other objects, including icy comets and football field-sized asteroids, are also zooming around our solar system. And some of them could be on a collision course with Earth. QUEST explores how these Near Earth Objects are being tracked and what scientists are saying should be done to prevent a deadly impact.

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Producer's Notes for Quest Lab: The Five-cent Battery

Producer's Notes for Quest Lab: The Five-cent Battery

…I just want to say for the record that we did not force anyone to deface currency of the United States. In fact, if pushed came to shove I will say that we discouraged the practice…

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Medicine from the Ocean Floor

Medicine from the Ocean Floor

Ever thought about using medicine from the ocean floor? Well, scientists are using robots to sort through millions of marine chemicals in hopes of finding a cure to all kinds of diseases from cholera to breast cancer. Amy Standen has more.

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Producer's Notes: Asteroid Hunters

Producer's Notes: Asteroid Hunters

On March 3rd, 2009 at 1:40PM GMT, just a mere month after we’d finished the Asteroid Hunters segment, an asteroid of up to 165 feet in diameter snuck up on us, coming within approximately 37,000 miles from a direct impact with Earth.

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Web Extra: Citizen Science – Mud Snails

Web Extra: Citizen Science – Mud Snails

They spend hours in the mud in search of a tiny snail. Meet the volunteers working with the Bay Institute to eradicate an invasive Japanese mud snail on the shores of San Francisco Bay.

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Web Extra: Medicine from the Ocean Floor Slideshow

Web Extra: Medicine from the Ocean Floor Slideshow

Scientists at UC Santa Cruz are using robots to sort through thousands of marine chemicals in search of cures for diseases like cholera, breast cancer, and malaria. Check out images from this story.

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Reporter's Notes: Medicine from the Ocean Floor

Reporter's Notes: Medicine from the Ocean Floor

Scientists gather samples on the ocean floor. Credit: Roger Linington.There's nothing new about looking to nature to cure disease – we've been doing it for thousands of years, with good results. (Two recent examples: The active ingredient in aspirin was first identified in the bark of the willow tree. And we have the Pacific yew […]

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Medicine from the Ocean Floor – Blog Video

Medicine from the Ocean Floor – Blog Video

Scientists at UC Santa Cruz are using robots to sort through thousands of marine chemicals in search of cures for diseases like cholera, breast cancer, and malaria.

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Don't be a "Wasteful Wendy"

Don't be a "Wasteful Wendy"

Cool the Earth is an organization that reaches into elementary school classrooms and Girl Scout troops all over the country, and they're working to make saving energy and being good stewards of our natural resources fun.

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Producer's Notes: Zeppelins Resurrected

Producer's Notes: Zeppelins Resurrected

I think most people who have been stuck in traffic, grinding away on their daily commute up Highway 101 in Mountain View, have casually glanced towards Moffett Field and wondered, "What the heck are those things?"

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Animal Chefs

Animal Chefs

Ever wonder how to make krill shakes, squid tacos or fishy sausages to tempt the taste buds of a 400-pound mola mola? The chefs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium prepare such meals daily to feed thousands of species, from otters to octopi to sharks. Find out what it takes to come up with nutritious and tasty meals for diners with wild appetites.

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