The Science of Sustainability

Biology

Different Deltas: Q&A with Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District

Different Deltas: Q&A with Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District

QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Jason Peltier, Deputy General Manager of Westlands Water District, a 600,000 acre agricultural district on the west side of the San Joaquin valley.

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Different Deltas: Q&A with Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Different Deltas: Q&A with Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council

QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council about the pressures on the Delta ecosystem and the competing plans to manage them.

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What is California’s Delta?

What is California’s Delta?

If you’re like most Californians, you’ve probably never heard of the Delta or why it’s important to the state’s economy and wildlife. In three minutes, we’ll explain how the Delta is a key part of California’s water supply and why it’s been the focus of a decades-long water battle.

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Classification Challenge: Documenting Microbes, Biodiversity’s Hidden Treasure

Classification Challenge: Documenting Microbes, Biodiversity’s Hidden Treasure

Figuring out how many species inhabit Earth remains one of science’s most enduring, and elusive, challenges.

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Can Ancient Fish Art Inform Modern Fish Science?

Can Ancient Fish Art Inform Modern Fish Science?

Groupers are enormous fish. Some species grow over two meters long and weigh hundreds of kilograms. Fortunately for groupers and for the scientists studying them, these fish are aesthetically appealing as well as huge and tasty.

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Desperately Seeking Autism Genes

Desperately Seeking Autism Genes

Autism is incredibly frustrating from a genetic point of view. Every study clearly shows that genetics plays an important role in this disease. But when these studies try to find a cause, they keep coming up short.

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Salmon Runs, Grizzly Bear Dreams

Salmon Runs, Grizzly Bear Dreams

Using grizzly bears in the Pacific Northwest as a proxy for the benefits salmon deliver to ecological communities, a new study argues that letting more salmon migrate into coastal streams will lead to downstream improvements for the ecosystem and eventually the offshore salmon catch.

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Science on the SPOT: New Hope for Heart Repair

Science on the SPOT: New Hope for Heart Repair

Scientists in San Francisco have coaxed mouse hearts to repair themselves from within.The breakthrough could lead to treatments for 5 million people in the United States whose hearts were damaged after they survived heart attacks.

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Stanford Marine Biologists Share Their Artistic Side

Stanford Marine Biologists Share Their Artistic Side

The third annual Hopkins Marine Station Amateur Art Show was held this past weekend in Monterey, California.

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Divining Human History with DNA

Divining Human History with DNA

Everyone knows about how genetics is changing how we look at and treat human disease. But what may be less appreciated is what it can tell us about human history.

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Wildflowers are Waking Up in the Bay Area

Wildflowers are Waking Up in the Bay Area

Around San Francisco Bay this time of year, the open hills and valleys are a rich green velvet. Lengthening days and spring rains are coaxing the grasses and wildflowers to life.

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Cinematic Science from The Farm to France

Cinematic Science from The Farm to France

Monday was the 182nd birthday of Eadward Muybridge, the moving picture pioneer who first answered the question: Do all four feet of a galloping horse leave the ground at once? Muybridge's remarkable contributions to film often overshadow his instrumental role in kickstarting the science of biomechanics . . .

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What Makes It So Easy To Be Green (in Nature)?

What Makes It So Easy To Be Green (in Nature)?

At a fundamental level, green objects look green because they reflect green wavelengths of light back to our eyes, while absorbing red and yellow. But organisms have evolved to be green for a wide variety of reasons.

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Science on the SPOT: Monarch Meetup

Science on the SPOT: Monarch Meetup

Monarch butterflies migrate from all over the western United States to overwinter along the California coast. Conservation Biologist Stu Weiss uses specialized photographic equipment to study what makes good monarch overwintering habitat.

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Fair Game? On Lions, Hunters and Wildlife Policy

Fair Game? On Lions, Hunters and Wildlife Policy

Trophy hunting mountain lions is legal in every Western state except California. When the head of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission, a life member of the NRA, killed a young lion in Idaho, state legislators and environmental and animal welfare groups called for his resignation. What should Californians expect of state officials in charge of setting wildlife policy?

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Geneticists Solve Van Gogh's Mutant Sunflowers After 125 Years

Geneticists Solve Van Gogh's Mutant Sunflowers After 125 Years

Most admirers of Vincent van Gogh's iconic "Sunflower" paintings gaze upon the golden inflorescences without any awareness of the scientific conundrum they pose. But researchers from the University of Georgia have finally cracked the case with a paper published in PLoS Genetics.

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Prop 71: Stem Cell Funding Was Overhyped But Worth It

Prop 71: Stem Cell Funding Was Overhyped But Worth It

Remember back in 2004 that big debate about whether California voters should fund embryonic stem (ES) cell research? Well it passed and now 8 years later, people are starting to ask what we have to show for it.

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Life Aquatic and Terrestrial: California Newts

Life Aquatic and Terrestrial: California Newts

Over the last couple of weeks I've visited the seasonal ponds in the East Bay at Sibley Volcanic Preserve and small creeks at Briones Regional Park and found California newts engaging in their spring rituals of courtship and mating.

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The Circus of Evolution

The Circus of Evolution

I was super-excited to see Totem because A) a friend who saw it in San Francisco raved about it, and B) it's about evolution! How cool is that? Cirque du Soleil says of their latest touring show, "TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly."

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The Salmon are Back! (But Why?)

The Salmon are Back! (But Why?)

Biologists say more than 800,000 Sacramento Chinook are off the coast right now. It’s the biggest number they've seen since 2005.

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