The Science of Sustainability

Biology

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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Side Trips from Interstate 5: Great Valley Rivers and Grasslands

Side Trips from Interstate 5: Great Valley Rivers and Grasslands

It takes a million years to make a land this big and flat. Take a few hours to experience it.

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DNA Ancestry Tests: Simultaneously Powerful and Limited

DNA Ancestry Tests: Simultaneously Powerful and Limited

Don’t count on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) ancestry tests giving you a broad understanding of your own family history. They won’t.

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Navy Training Raises New Concerns for Whales off California Coast

Navy Training Raises New Concerns for Whales off California Coast

As the whale migration season reaches its peak, new concerns arise over naval training exercises off the California coast.

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Peregrine Falcon Chicks Hatch On Easter Sunday in San Jose

Peregrine Falcon Chicks Hatch On Easter Sunday in San Jose

Peregrine falcon nest cameras in San Francisco and San Jose have been giving citizens the unique chance to watch these animals up-close since 2005.

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Richard Misrach’s Cancer Alley: Documenting the Poisoning of America’s Wetland

Richard Misrach’s Cancer Alley: Documenting the Poisoning of America’s Wetland

In the new exhibition on display at Stanford's Cantor Arts Center, "Revisiting the South: Richard Misrach's Cancer Alley," the Berkeley photographer takes a hard look at the environmental consequences of our dependence on petroleum.

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Resurrection Biology: The Reality of Bringing Back Extinct Species

Resurrection Biology: The Reality of Bringing Back Extinct Species

There has been a lot of buzz of late about bringing back extinct species like mammoths or passenger pigeons. While it might be a good idea to start thinking about these possibilities, we are years or even decades away from being able to actually pull this off with most long dead animals. The problem isn’t […]

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Scientists Celebrate a Long-Dead Whale

Scientists Celebrate a Long-Dead Whale

Why is a rotting whale on the Antarctic seafloor exciting to geologists?

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Yes, Your Cell Phone Conversation Does Drive People Mad

Yes, Your Cell Phone Conversation Does Drive People Mad

It's well known that talking on your cell phone compromises your ability to perform simple tasks like walking and driving. Now it turns out cell phones impact cognition in bystanders as well: listening to another person talk on their cell phone isn't just incredibly annoying, it also interferes with your memory and concentration.

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Science on the SPOT: The Glowing Millipedes of Alcatraz

Science on the SPOT: The Glowing Millipedes of Alcatraz

More than a million visitors visit Alcatraz every year, but a recent discovery has revealed another attraction that lives within the shadows of this historic prison.

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Rescuing Injured Wildlife

Rescuing Injured Wildlife

Wild birds, injured on the beach, get a helping hand from dedicated staff and volunteers. Here's the story of one injured water bird.

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