The Science of Sustainability

Biology

Battling the Bloom:  Lake Erie

Battling the Bloom: Lake Erie

Millions depend on Lake Erie for drinking water, business, and recreation. Toxic algae blooms put all of this at risk, and now researchers are trying to identify the cause and craft solutions.

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Could Ants Teach the Biofuel Industry a Thing or Two?

Could Ants Teach the Biofuel Industry a Thing or Two?

How leaf-cutter ants and fungus gardens could provide the model for sustainably producing biofuels.

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Fending off Invasive Species with Science, Education, and a Beer Can

Fending off Invasive Species with Science, Education, and a Beer Can

How an alert Boy Scout, hard working biologists, and continued vigilance have helped one Great Plains state remain free of invasive zebra mussels — for now.

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Citizen Scientists Gather Data on Urban Bees

Citizen Scientists Gather Data on Urban Bees

Seattle gardeners are assisting University of Washington researchers by gathering data on pollination activity in community gardens.

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The Great Escape: How Soil Protects Us from Carbon Emissions

The Great Escape: How Soil Protects Us from Carbon Emissions

Recent measurements show that the billions of tons of old carbon hidden deep in the earth may release into the atmosphere, greatly accelerating climate change.

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Ohio’s Bald Eagle Comeback

Ohio’s Bald Eagle Comeback

Our national symbol spreads its wings — and its reach – as it builds new nests in the heartland.

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Sustainable Spirits: Liquor for the Locavore

Sustainable Spirits: Liquor for the Locavore

Find out how an artisanal distillery is using locally-sourced ingredients to craft liquors that support a legacy of small agricultural producers on a storied Wisconsin Island.

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The Living Machine: A Flush Worth Following

The Living Machine: A Flush Worth Following

Engineered to mimic a wetland, an innovative system at Oberlin College uses plants and microbes to recycle wastewater—a process that begins with a trip to the bathroom.

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Outsourcing Your Compost: Soil Without The Stink

Outsourcing Your Compost: Soil Without The Stink

From Door to Spore: a reporter explores a new service that strives to make household composting easier.

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Fish Earbones Provide a Rare Glimpse into the Past and Future of Fisheries

Fish Earbones Provide a Rare Glimpse into the Past and Future of Fisheries

Archiving artifacts from the sea, a natural history museum preserves precious data for scientists.

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Saved From Living Death: How Genetically Modifying Chestnuts Could Bring Them Back

Saved From Living Death: How Genetically Modifying Chestnuts Could Bring Them Back

The American chestnut was the king of the trees in forests in the eastern U.S. until a fungus from Asia brought them down. We are getting very close to making a resistant American chestnut. Now the question is whether or not we should plant it out in the wild.

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Next Meal: Engineering Food

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Are the benefits of genetically engineered foods worth the risks? This half-hour QUEST Northern California special explores the pros and cons of genetically engineered crops, and what the future holds for research and regulations.

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Scrounging for Research Dollars

Scrounging for Research Dollars

If you’re a scientist these days, getting the money to do your research is a lot like getting into Stanford or Yale. Assuming you aren’t rich or connected, being incredibly skilled, hardworking and accomplished isn’t enough. You need to get lucky too.

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The Human Microbiome: A Rogue's Gallery

The Human Microbiome: A Rogue's Gallery

Get to know some of the microbes that may be in your gut.

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Top Cats: How Pumas and Other Apex Predators' Populations Affect The Big Biodiversity Picture

Top Cats: How Pumas and Other Apex Predators' Populations Affect The Big Biodiversity Picture

Apex predators exert far-reaching effects on ecosystems that surface just decades after their disappearance. Santa Cruz researchers hope to understand how human activities and development affect how pumas use the landscape to help mitigate conflicts and plan for the species' long-term survival.

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Fund Basic Research, It’s For Your Own Good

Fund Basic Research, It’s For Your Own Good

The budget proposal by the Obama administration is a mixed bag in terms of funding for science.

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Brain Mapping: From the Basics to Science Fiction

Brain Mapping: From the Basics to Science Fiction

Obama's BRAIN Initiative directs $100 million in public money toward basic brain research. But what's the goal?

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Fire Safety without Harm

Fire Safety without Harm

Last week, scientists and regulators from more than 20 countries gathered in San Francisco to discuss the latest research on flame retardants. The conference lasted four days, but the theme of the meeting was clear from just a few talks: Do we need toxic chemicals to achieve fire safety?

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Dabbling and Diving Ducks: Catch the Spring Show

Dabbling and Diving Ducks: Catch the Spring Show

Ducks are getting ready to make their seasonal migration away from San Francisco Bay. Come see them in their breeding finery before they're gone for the summer.

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Beavers Return to San Jose

Beavers Return to San Jose

A family of beavers has taken up residence in the Guadalupe River, across from the HP Pavilion.

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