The Science of Sustainability

Biology

UCSF Scientists Bio-Hack Bacteria

UCSF Scientists Bio-Hack Bacteria

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco have hacked into the genetic wiring of billions of individual bacteria and outfitted them with the kind of on/off switches normally found in computer chips, not living organisms.

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How Do You Decaffeinate Tea?

How Do You Decaffeinate Tea?

Ever wonder how tea is decaffeinated?

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It Came From Mono Lake

It Came From Mono Lake

The world is buzzing about the bacteria from Mono Lake, a strain of bacteria that can substitute the element arsenic for phosphorus into the backbone of its DNA.

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Solving Mutation Mysteries

Solving Mutation Mysteries

Hopefully one way redwoods turn albino is through mutations in their chloroplast DNA. Then the mystery will be solved sooner rather than later.

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Arsenic-Eating Bacteria Expands Definition of Life

Arsenic-Eating Bacteria Expands Definition of Life

A Bay Area biochemist has found a new strain of bacteria living in the briny shores of Mono Lake that can not only eat arsenic, a substance highly toxic to most organisms, but thrive on it.

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AIDS Researchers Unlock Cell Death Mystery

AIDS Researchers Unlock Cell Death Mystery

For nearly 30 years scientists have known that a cell vital to the immune system dies off in patients with HIV, leading eventually to the onset of AIDS. But exactly when and how has remained a mystery – until now.

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Building an Artificial Leaf

Building an Artificial Leaf

At UC Berkeley, scientists studying how to feed our growing need for energy have turned to a surprising source. As Lauren Sommer reports, researchers there are trying to produce the next generation of green power by mimicking something every weekend gardener works to clean up.

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A Superfoods-laden Thanksgiving

A Superfoods-laden Thanksgiving

Four prominent Thanksgiving food items could be considered 'superfoods.' Are these on your table?

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Ghostbusters of the Forest

Ghostbusters of the Forest

Because clones aren't always the same, Stanford geneticists have a pretty good shot at figuring out what makes a redwood albino using DNA sequencing.

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Give Thanks for Wild Turkeys

Give Thanks for Wild Turkeys

As Thanksgiving approaches, all thoughts turn to turkeys – especially when I see a gang of wild ones in the Berkeley hills.

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Tiny Satellites Give NASA Big Returns

Tiny Satellites Give NASA Big Returns

On Friday, a NASA satellite hitched a ride aboard a U.S. Air Force rocket that launched into space from Kodiak Island, Alaska. But this isn’t your typical satellite.

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Producers Notes: Cal Academy Butterfly Collection

Producers Notes: Cal Academy Butterfly Collection

Collections Manager Norman Penny gives Science on the SPOT a small peek at The Cal Academy’s vast butterfly collection.

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Science on the SPOT: Cal Academy Butterfly Collection

Science on the SPOT: Cal Academy Butterfly Collection

The California Academy of Sciences has the largest collection of biological reference materials west of the Mississippi River. Norman Penny, collections manager of the entomology department, gives QUEST viewers a peek at the academy's vast butterfly collection.

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Feeling Crabby? Dungeness Crab Season Is Upon Us

Feeling Crabby? Dungeness Crab Season Is Upon Us

Got Crabs? It's that time of year again for San Francisco’s favorite crustacean: the Dungeness crab.

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Migrating Monarch Butterflies Hunker Down in Monterey

Migrating Monarch Butterflies Hunker Down in Monterey

As you read this, monarch butterflies are arriving at their winter homes in Santa Cruz and Pacific Grove.

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Facts are Facts

Facts are Facts

Despite what you might read on the web (including in the comments section of this blog), herd immunity is real. There is an overwhelming amount of data out there to support the idea that it protects us from the diseases that used to sweep through our population. Herd immunity is a fact and therefore real whether you believe in it or not.

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5 DIY Tricks to Squash Bed Bugs

5 DIY Tricks to Squash Bed Bugs

Check out these five DIY options to help you put bed bugs to sleep once and for all.

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Newt Migration

Newt Migration

The newts are on the move again. Each fall, after the rains start, the newts of Berkeley’s Tilden Park start migrating from the woods to waters of Wildcat Creek, where they mate and lay their eggs. South Park Drive, popular with cyclists and Sunday drivers, crosses their migratory path. Each year from November 1 to April 1 the road is closed to cars, to prevent the newts from getting squished. (How did the newt cross the road? Not by being run over, that’s for sure.)

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Science on the SPOT: Fire and Butterflies

Science on the SPOT: Fire and Butterflies

Can fire save the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly? The Golden Gate National Recreation Area experiments with using controlled burns to improve habitat for this critically imperiled Bay Area native.

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Producer's Notes for  Science on the SPOT: Fire and Butterflies

Producer's Notes for Science on the SPOT: Fire and Butterflies

On a glorious sunny August morning I found myself in a parking lot in the Marin headlands attending in a pre-burn fire crew meeting.

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