The Science of Sustainability

Biology

Small Rewards: Tiny Frogs and Chameleons Find and Fill a Niche

Small Rewards: Tiny Frogs and Chameleons Find and Fill a Niche

Recent discoveries of a Lilliputian lizard and elfin amphibian, fascinating in their own right, highlight one of the most enduring questions in biology: what controls the evolution of body size? They also provide a rare bright spot amid the relentless reports of endangered and disappearing amphibian and reptile species around the world.

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Round Up Rebels: The Rise of the Superweed

Round Up Rebels: The Rise of the Superweed

As any biologist would have predicted, weeds are becoming resistant to the herbicide Round Up. But they aren't resistant because they took up a gene that had been added to the GM crops. They are resistant because that is what happens when you overuse an herbicide.

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Feds Pay For Out-of-the-Box Energy Ideas

Feds Pay For Out-of-the-Box Energy Ideas

Did you know the federal government has a clean tech venture fund? QUEST talks with the head of the program, ARPA- E, about some potentially transformational energy ideas.

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Gigantic Journeys: Humpback and Gray Whale Migration

Gigantic Journeys: Humpback and Gray Whale Migration

Perhaps no living thing has a better appreciation of the continuity of the seas than the largest animals in them: whales.

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Millipede Mystery: A New Fluorescent Subspecies on Alcatraz?

Millipede Mystery: A New Fluorescent Subspecies on Alcatraz?

During a routine February survey on Alcatraz Island, surveyors found no sign no rats. Instead, they discovered a colony of millipedes glowing with an intense white light.

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Grazing a New Trail

Grazing a New Trail

In California's arid San Joaquin Valley, scientists propose a novel approach to managing the landscape to benefit the threatened lizards, kangaroo rats, and squirrels who call it home. Livestock grazing, often demonized in the conservation world, can actually help create livable habitat for smaller creatures when well-managed.

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The Fact and Fiction of Fantastic Hybrids

The Fact and Fiction of Fantastic Hybrids

Have you heard of the Poisonous Fiddlerfrog, whose tadpoles grow up into crabs? Or the Hummingshrew, who eats flies as well as nectar? These animals aren't real, so you'd only know about them if you've seen Voyage Through a Hidden World.

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Reproduction Unleashed

Reproduction Unleashed

Stem cell technology may one day help infertile couples conceive. And it might even allow same sex couples to conceive as well.

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Lone Wolf’s Historic Trek Provokes Questions and Concerns

Lone Wolf’s Historic Trek Provokes Questions and Concerns

OR7, the lone gray wolf from a pack in Oregon, crossed back into his home state yesterday after two months of wandering in Northern California. With OR7’s arrival, California has been thrown into a national debate about how to manage wolves.

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Fantastic Voyage: The Salmon's Uphill Struggle for Survival

Fantastic Voyage: The Salmon's Uphill Struggle for Survival

California's critically endangered coho salmon are at a crossroads. Hundreds of thousands of fish once returned to our streams to spawn. But dams, water diversion, and habitat destruction have pushed the coho to the brink of extinction. Without heroic habitat restoration and water conservation efforts, we may lose our storied silver fish.

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Beautiful Slime

Beautiful Slime

Ross's film Leviathans is on display at the Vast and Undetectable exhibit in the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

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Evolution, Easy as Can Be

Evolution, Easy as Can Be

Evolving from something simple like a single celled beast into a slug, mushroom, cactus or a human seems impossibly hard. The series of precise DNA changes you need is mind-boggling to think about. Unless, of course, the changes are easier than we imagine.

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A Birder’s-Eye View of Conservation

A Birder’s-Eye View of Conservation

The Great Backyard Bird Count gives novice Bay Area wildlife watchers the chance to play field biologist in their own backyards and help scientists gather data on the incidence, abundance, and distribution of birds. Researchers will use sightings to identify trends that will help conserve these valuable indicators of biodiversity.

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One Whale's Tale

One Whale's Tale

A rooftop is a long way from the deep blue sea, so when I learned that the skull of a juvenile minke whale was resting atop the California Academy of Sciences' living roof, my curiosity was piqued.

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What Can Lake Vostok Tell Us About Europa?

What Can Lake Vostok Tell Us About Europa?

Does the prospect of life in subglacial Lake Vostok really point to the same on the icy satellite Europa? The answer may surprise you.

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California’s Gray Wolves

California’s Gray Wolves

When a gray wolf wearing a GPS collar crossed from Oregon into California in December, it was the first wild gray wolf to tread on California soil since the 1920s. It is debatable whether this lone wolf is a sign of things to come, but if wolves return to California, their role in the ecosystem will be different than it was in times past.

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Science Fair for the Rest of Us

Science Fair for the Rest of Us

If you want to do a science fair project, one of the best places to do one in the South Bay is at Schmahl Science.

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Feeling Biocurious? How To Get Your DIY Bio On

Feeling Biocurious? How To Get Your DIY Bio On

Maybe you have an idea to make bacteria that can sense or even break down mercury in the environment. Or you just always wanted to do some biology. Where can you turn?

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The Benefits of Radioactive Fallout

The Benefits of Radioactive Fallout

Wildlife seems to be thriving in the radioactive areas around Chernobyl. For now it looks like if animals had to choose, they'd choose radioactivity over humans.

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Got Science on the Brain? Come Blog with QUEST

Got Science on the Brain? Come Blog with QUEST

Got science on the brain? Come blog with us. KQED’s QUEST is looking to add new voices to our blog, which already offers commentary from our producers, reporters, and several writers from science organizations in our region. pply by February 1st.

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