The Science of Sustainability

Biology

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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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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