The Science of Sustainability

Biology

From Alvin to Robots: Deep Changes in Ocean Science

From Alvin to Robots: Deep Changes in Ocean Science

Ocean technology has come a long ways since the submersible Alvin made its first dive in 1964. Increasingly, scientists rely on robots, rather than manned subs like Alvin, to explore the earth's depths. But can remote-control exploration capture the thrill of science?

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Observing Life and Death in the CA Least Tern Colony

Observing Life and Death in the CA Least Tern Colony

Our scientific monitoring of the CA Least Tern nesting colony turned out to be more gripping than the best TV drama as we witnessed soaring action, villains and heroes, family ties, and death by predator all within the span of three hours.

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Bio-Robotics: Biology Goes High-Tech

Bio-Robotics: Biology Goes High-Tech

Meet "robo-squirrel." New technology in the emerging field of bio-robotics is helping biologists learn more about animal behavior.

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KQED Science Fan Spotlight

KQED Science Fan Spotlight

We'd like to share your stories about why you're passionate about science.

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Farmworkers Pay a Heavy Price for California's Bounty

Farmworkers Pay a Heavy Price for California's Bounty

California farmworkers work long days for about $7.50 an hour to pick fruit in orchards doused with nitrogen fertilizers. A UC Davis study released in March found that nitrates from fertilizers and dairy waste have contaminated groundwater supplies. Because farmworkers live near the fields they work in, they're at high risk for nitrate-contaminated drinking water.

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When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital

When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital

A hammerhead shark's baleful stare. A longnose batfish's fierce armor and delicate fins. These masterpieces of expression and scientific detail fill the pages of the world's first ichthyology book, De Historia Piscium, published in 1686 by the Royal Society.

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Tackling the Cause of Cystic Fibrosis One Mutation at a Time

Tackling the Cause of Cystic Fibrosis One Mutation at a Time

There was big news in the cystic fibrosis (CF) field recently: a new CF drug called ivacaftor (or VX-770 or Kalydeco) has been approved that does more than target the symptoms of CF. It actually works to get the broken gene working again. The good news is that this is the first treatment that has […]

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The Fungus Among Us Could Help Clean Oily Soil

The Fungus Among Us Could Help Clean Oily Soil

There’s more to fungi than just mushrooms. Buried in the soil live large fiber networks of fungi. And these fibrous microbes might be able to help clean up polluted soil.

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The Man Who Made California Safe for Mountain Lions

The Man Who Made California Safe for Mountain Lions

More than 40 years ago, Sen. John Dunlap (D-Napa) made conservation history when his mountain lion hunting moratorium passed the California Legislature and became law in 1971. He recalls the fight to pass the bill and his guiding principle, "when in doubt, preserve."

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Why Your Newfound Uniqueness is a Nightmare for Your Doctor

Why Your Newfound Uniqueness is a Nightmare for Your Doctor

A couple of new studies confirm what many of us have feared: each of us is surprisingly unique genetically. This is to be feared because of the impact it will have on the future of personalized medicine.

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It's Summer Vacation Time for the California Least Tern

It's Summer Vacation Time for the California Least Tern

The least tern, smallest of our three tern species, will be with us for the summer.  They arrive along California’s shore with their tuxedo colors and distinctive white “V” on their forehead in late April.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California’s Delta has a rich agricultural legacy, but farming there can be a risky business. Dozens of farms have been flooded over the past half century as aging levees have collapsed. Now, scientists are encouraging farmers to switch to a new crop. Instead of growing vegetables, they’d grow something that has all but disappeared in the Delta: wetlands.

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Making Women Partners in Breast Cancer Research

Making Women Partners in Breast Cancer Research

Dr. Susan Love, breast cancer surgeon and women's health advocate, has long railed against cancer researchers' fixation on treatments and cures. After spending more than $4 billion on breast cancer research, we still don't know what causes the disease or how to prevent it. It's time to focus on looking for causes, she says. And she wants your help.

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Tomorrow’s Science Illustrators Step Up To the Plate

Tomorrow’s Science Illustrators Step Up To the Plate

Science illustration began in a time when drawing was the only way to record the anatomy of a bird or the life stages of a flower. But is illustration still useful today, when it seems every cell phone has an 8 MB camera with zoom, auto-focus and image stabilization?

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Your Videos on QUEST: Kip Evans

Your Videos on QUEST: Kip Evans

Kip Evans is a natural history documentary filmmaker and photographer from Pacific Grove, California. This is an excerpt of his short film, “Isla Holbox: Whale Shark Island."

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Heron Spotting in Golden Gate Park

Heron Spotting in Golden Gate Park

It's prime time for Great Blue Heron viewing at Golden Gate Park's Stow Lake. Visit in the next couple of weeks to see newly-hatched chicks learning to fly. Heron chicks hatch from eggs that are slightly bigger than a chicken’s and grow to full size in just 10-12 weeks.

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Personalized Medicine: A Potential Tool for Predicting Disease?

Personalized Medicine: A Potential Tool for Predicting Disease?

We may finally be at the threshold of the age of personalized medicine. In a recent study, scientists were able to predict that a man was at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and over a two-year period tracked his health as he developed the disease.

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Tag Along On Science Adventures: The Field Trip Podcast

Tag Along On Science Adventures: The Field Trip Podcast

Season 2 of the science podcast, "The Field Trip" premieres today.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Can We Bring Back What We've Lost?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Can We Bring Back What We've Lost?

California's Delta is a far cry from what it once was. About 97% of its historic marshes have been lost and scientists aren’t quite sure what the Delta once looked like. Now, a Bay Area group is working to reconstruct it through ecological detective work.

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“The Art of Nature” Educates and Inspires

“The Art of Nature” Educates and Inspires

The First Friday Art Tour took place on May 4th at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History's exhibit, "The Art of Nature."

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