The Science of Sustainability

Biology

The Ant-Driven Landscape

The Ant-Driven Landscape

Invasive ant species have powerful—and poorly known—effects on a region's soil.

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Engineering a Virus-Free Future

Engineering a Virus-Free Future

I have been reading a book called "Regenesis" where in one part the authors propose a way to re-engineer the human race so all people are resistant to all viruses, known and unknown. This will theoretically be possible in the next few decades (or even sooner) and, if done right, is predicted to make us resistant for a very long time and possibly even forever.

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Comets May Have Delivered Life's Early Building Blocks

Comets May Have Delivered Life's Early Building Blocks

The building blocks of life on Earth may have originated in space.

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Arsenic and Old Wells

Arsenic and Old Wells

Six years after the EPA's new arsenic rule for drinking water went into effect, poor communities in the San Joaquin Valley—who can’t afford the costs of complying with the stricter standard—face the highest risk of exposure to unsafe arsenic levels.

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Two Species, One Nest: CuriOdyssey's Animal Odd Couple

Two Species, One Nest: CuriOdyssey's Animal Odd Couple

As spring approaches, an egret and a heron have been hard at work preparing for their future brood…together. This will mark the sixth year that "Jabby," a snowy egret (Egretta thula), and "Lefty," a black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) have nested as a pair at CuriOdyssey (formerly Coyote Point Museum) in San Mateo.

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Invasive Species: They're Here and More on the Way

Invasive Species: They're Here and More on the Way

Invasive species are here and more are on the way! Find out about the problems and some possible solutions.

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Genetic Sleuthing, Or How To Catch The Right Identical Twin Criminal

Genetic Sleuthing, Or How To Catch The Right Identical Twin Criminal

There are unique DNA differences between identical twins that scientists can use to tell them apart. Why isn't law enforcement using these differences to catch their criminal? Because the cost is too high.

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The Science of Nudity: The Skinny on Showing Skin

The Science of Nudity: The Skinny on Showing Skin

News flash – as of February 1st, 2013 – public nudity is illegal in San Francisco. But well before the law went into effect, it generated a tremendous amount of debate.

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The Animal Kingdom's Otherworldly Ancestors

The Animal Kingdom's Otherworldly Ancestors

At one time, squishy invertebrates constituted most of the animal life on Earth, but about half a billion years ago, something remarkable happened: an evolutionary explosion known as the Cambrian Period.

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Book Review: Animal Wise – The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

Book Review: Animal Wise – The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

An appreciation of the rich inner lives of nonhuman animals dates back at least to Aristotle and gained support from Charles Darwin, who saw any differences between humans and other animals as a matter of degree, not kind. Still, the notion that humans stand above and apart from our fellow creatures dies hard. In her new book, "Animal Wise," science journalist Virginia Morell takes us on a tour of labs and field sites around the world to show us that many of the traits once thought uniquely human appear in even our most distant evolutionary relatives.

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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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