The Science of Sustainability

Biology

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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A Thanksgiving Ode to Dungeness Crab and the Bay

A Thanksgiving Ode to Dungeness Crab and the Bay

Discover the connection between delicious Dungeness crabs and the San Francisco Bay.

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The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

Under a microscope many cancer cells look the same. And since cell lines used in cancer research are anonymous, often shared informally between labs, the only way to definitively know where they came from is with DNA. But many scientists don't do this.

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Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

The rural foothills along the Santa Cruz County Coast hold an ancient secret. Deep below the redwoods, White Moon Cave extends for nearly a mile — making it one of the longest caves in California. But few people have ever been in it. Join the KQED Science team as we squeeze through the narrow clandestine entrance, and meet the uncanny cave inhabitants to bring new light to this hidden realm.

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Turkey Trouble: Genetics Gone Too Far?

Turkey Trouble: Genetics Gone Too Far?

No, this isn’t a blog about genetically modified organisms — that has been argued enough lately! Instead, in honor of Thanksgiving, I want to talk about regular old selective breeding and the monsters it can create.

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Trophy Hunting: For the Love of Blood and Money

Trophy Hunting: For the Love of Blood and Money

Trophy hunters routinely pay thousands of dollars for the chance to kill big game like caribou, moose, black bear and especially grizzly bear. Trophy hunting narratives boast a love of nature. But some sociologists find a different story.

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Nothing "Fishy" About Sustainable Seafood

Nothing "Fishy" About Sustainable Seafood

Learn about what we can do to take care of our oceans, both for the fish and ourselves.

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New Clues to Our Ancestors' Mobility

New Clues to Our Ancestors' Mobility

Australopithecus afarensis (the species of the well-known “Lucy” skeleton) was an upright walking species, but the question of whether it also spent much of its time in trees has been hotly debated for 30+ years, partly because a complete set of A. afarensis shoulder blades has never before been available for study.

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Frankenstein vs. Godzilla:  What’s in Your Cereal Bowl?

Frankenstein vs. Godzilla: What’s in Your Cereal Bowl?

In all of the recent discussion about genetically modified (GM) foods here in California, we’ve overlooked regular foods and how new traits are found (or created) in them. There isn’t usually a monk lovingly breeding peas in the Austrian countryside somewhere. Instead, more often than not, there is someone blasting a seed with radiation and/or harmful chemicals.

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Playing Whack-a-Mole with Flame Retardants

Playing Whack-a-Mole with Flame Retardants

Countless consumer products sold in California contain a flame retardant flagged as a possible carcinogen nearly 35 years ago. As of this week, finally, they must carry a warning that the chemical causes cancer. But is it enough when manufacturers simply replace one toxic chemical with another?

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Creepy Yet Compelling: Blood Vessels Blown in Glass

Creepy Yet Compelling: Blood Vessels Blown in Glass

Halloween means time for gore! Blood, bones, brains and more! Severed fingers, severed toes, eyeballs and organs galore! But how accurate are all these loose bits of human anatomy in our front yards, costumes and punch bowls? Can we use that skeleton in the corner to bone up for a biology exam–or are we missing out on a tremendous opportunity to learn medical science?

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Science Behind Vampire Myths

Science Behind Vampire Myths

Why have people around the world always been fascinated by vampires? Did vampire tales begin as a way to explain frightening phenomena actually witnessed? Although there is no scientific evidence for vampires, there is some scientific basis for vampire folklore.

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Be HEARD: A Rare Disease Science Challenge To Find Cures

Be HEARD: A Rare Disease Science Challenge To Find Cures

Curing or even finding treatments for rare diseases is hard. Not necessarily because these diseases are any more complex than more common ones. It has more to do with the fact that there is very little profit to be made in helping people with these diseases.

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