The Science of Sustainability

Biology

Oil and the Sanctuaries Expansion Bill

Oil and the Sanctuaries Expansion Bill

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, is pushing to expand marine sanctuaries and permanently ban offshore oil drilling off much of the North Coast.

Continue Reading

It's Gray Whale Season!

It's Gray Whale Season!

It’s gray whale season. As you gaze out across the Pacific, you may see one.

Continue Reading

15 Months Later, Rediscovered San Francisco Plant Thrives

15 Months Later, Rediscovered San Francisco Plant Thrives

Fifteen months after a native plant thought to be extinct was rediscovered in San Francisco, local botanists have succeeded in growing it and are making plans to plant it out in the wild.

Continue Reading

Science on the SPOT: Restoring San Francisco's Lost Manzanita

Science on the SPOT: Restoring San Francisco's Lost Manzanita

QUEST explores how the San Francisco Botanical Garden is toiling to bring one of the city's rarest native plants, the Franciscana manzanita, back from the brink of extinction.

Continue Reading

Learning About Life Through Real-Time Biotic Video Games

Learning About Life Through Real-Time Biotic Video Games

Imagine a world where games could influence the actions of others. A team at Stanford has taken the first step towards creating biotic games.

Continue Reading

Meet Our Newest Relative

Meet Our Newest Relative

Scientists identified a new human relative just using DNA from a fossilized finger. Using this DNA they showed more non Homo sapien DNA in modern humans. First Neanderthals, now Denisovans. Who knows what DNA we'll find next.

Continue Reading

Rediscovering Extinct Plants

Rediscovering Extinct Plants

This week, QUEST’s Science on the SPOT video will feature the Franciscan manzanita, a plant thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in San Francisco’s Presidio in 2009.

Continue Reading

Piled Higher and Deeper

Piled Higher and Deeper

People with doctorate degrees are piling up while waiting for their dream (or any research) job. This is at the back of my mind most days since I work with graduate students.

Continue Reading

Mistletoe: Friend or Foe?

Mistletoe: Friend or Foe?

Have you been hanging out under the mistletoe at holiday parties, hoping for a kiss? Well, that mistletoe is more than a Christmas kissing custom. It’s a parasite that can harm trees—and a potential treatment for cancer.

Continue Reading

California's Redwoods Face Climate Change

California's Redwoods Face Climate Change

After a century of logging, California's old growth redwood forests are only a fraction of what they once were. Today, they remain a narrow coastal band that extends from Monterey Bay to the Oregon border. But redwoods are facing a new threat. As Lauren Sommer reports, scientists are trying to understand how these trees are responding to a changing climate.

Continue Reading

A Dangerous Blush

A Dangerous Blush

Some sobering thoughts on alcohol, cancer, and the Asian glow.

Continue Reading

California's Redwoods Face Climate Change

California's Redwoods Face Climate Change

After a century of logging, California's old growth redwood forests are only a fraction of what they once were. But redwoods are facing a new threat — climate change.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

How Do You Decaffeinate Tea?

How Do You Decaffeinate Tea?

Ever wonder how tea is decaffeinated?

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

A Superfoods-laden Thanksgiving

A Superfoods-laden Thanksgiving

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

Continue Reading