The Science of Sustainability

Biology

Are Sleeping Aids Effective or Just A Placebo Effect?

Are Sleeping Aids Effective or Just A Placebo Effect?

Insomnia has become a major health concern worldwide. In the US, 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are issued each year and non-benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed type. However, recent scientific journal articles have raised concerns about using these sleep aids.

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Bay Area Bird Challenge: The Great Backyard Bird Count Is This Weekend!

Bay Area Bird Challenge: The Great Backyard Bird Count Is This Weekend!

Help the Bay Area be better represented in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count!

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Lighten Up, California: Why GloFish Can't Glow in the Golden State

Lighten Up, California: Why GloFish Can't Glow in the Golden State

One of the more popular exhibits at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose is the wetlab. The exhibit is getting a little long in the tooth so I was looking for ways to give it a bit of a refresh.

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On the Elephant Seal Dating Scene, It’s All About Bravado

On the Elephant Seal Dating Scene, It’s All About Bravado

They may sound like faulty plumbing, but male northern elephant seals have a unique communication system that's all about reputation.

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Coyote Killings: A Complex Debate of Conservation and Cruelty

Coyote Killings: A Complex Debate of Conservation and Cruelty

Coyotes, reviled for preying on sheep and goats, are the most targeted predator in the U.S. This week, hunters in the tiny Modoc County town of Adin will compete in a contest to kill the most coyotes to protect their livestock–even though research shows that killing coyotes results in higher reproductive rates.

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Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

UC Berkeley's University Herbarium boasts one of the largest and oldest collections of seaweed in the United States. Herbarium curator Kathy Ann Miller is leading a massive project to preserve digitally nearly 80,000 specimens of west coast seaweed.

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Groundhogs and Ground Squirrels: Winter Prognosticators

Groundhogs and Ground Squirrels: Winter Prognosticators

Ground squirrels in our local parks and grasslands are related to groundhogs. Find out more about their role in weather predictions and grassland ecology.

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Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Back in December I wrote a blog post asking scientists to comment online more often.

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Fear and Loathing in Wolf Country

Fear and Loathing in Wolf Country

After federal wildlife officials removed endangered species protections on wolves in the Rocky Mountains, hunters quickly killed them by the hundreds. If California's lone wolf leaves the state, he could meet a similar fate.

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Warblers' Secrets for Successful Survival Strategies

Warblers' Secrets for Successful Survival Strategies

Learn the survival secrets of our winter visitors, the yellow-rumped warblers.

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Pregnancy and Paternity: New Fetal DNA Testing

Pregnancy and Paternity: New Fetal DNA Testing

Imagine you are a woman in a committed relationship. The worst happens and you are raped and become pregnant. What are your options?

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Hiking in the New Year at Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Hiking in the New Year at Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Greet the New Year with a hike at the Sibley Volcanic Preserve in the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Should I or Shouldn't I? Wrestling with Giving Genetic Tests as Gifts

Should I or Shouldn't I? Wrestling with Giving Genetic Tests as Gifts

When 23andMe offered their DNA test for just $99, I started to think about giving it for Christmas presents.

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Conquering Fungophobia

Conquering Fungophobia

Late fall rains signal the start of mushroom season, which can last until spring in the Bay Area. Though only experts should forage and eat wild mushrooms (following park rules about harvesting), anyone can appreciate the rich diversity of these ephemeral fruits of the forest.

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Birdwatching for Science (and Fun!)

Birdwatching for Science (and Fun!)

While scientific research isn’t always fun it can be a "walk in the park" when it involves bird watching. Get a first-hand account of one of the largest and longest-running “Citizen Science” projects in the world, Audubon's Christmas Bird Count.

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Knowing Neanderthals

Knowing Neanderthals

One of the more interesting things to come out of all the cheaper, more robust DNA sequencing technology has been our deeper understanding of human history.

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Can Earth Survive Without Scientist-Citizens?

Can Earth Survive Without Scientist-Citizens?

Last summer, a group of top scientists warned that our penchant for growth and consumption may be pushing earth toward an irreversible tipping point. The days when scientists could share their results with just their colleagues are over, says NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. It's time for scientists to help solve our "wicked problems."

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Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

From the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to killer whales, bicycles to cheese — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science and Environment team. Here's a round-up of the top 10 stories shared on our website (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2012.

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Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Flying Away Home

Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Flying Away Home

Ladybugs have returned to the Oakland Hills and Redwood Regional Park. Find out why they're here and how you can help track ladybugs in your own yard or neighborhood.

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Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Last June, Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to change California's flammability standard to ensure fire safety without dousing furniture and other foam products with toxic chemicals. Now activists are focusing on an even bigger market for flame retardants: foam insulation in buildings.

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