The Science of Sustainability

Chemistry

Smelly Rocks: Researchers Reveal The Source of "Stinkspar" Stench

Smelly Rocks: Researchers Reveal The Source of "Stinkspar" Stench

The source of the stench in crushed “stinkspar” is a 200-year old mystery. Solving this puzzle took a mixture of old-fashioned chemical analysis and modern instruments.

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How Do Fireworks Work?

How Do Fireworks Work?

From colors to crackles, fireworks are all about chemistry.

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Shining a New Light on the Chemistry of Art Conservation

Shining a New Light on the Chemistry of Art Conservation

Conserving delicate artwork requires knowing what paints and techniques were used to create a piece. A new imaging technique helps restorers look at the pigments in frescos even while visitors are enjoying the works in a gallery.

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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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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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Try This at Home: The Chemistry of Fresh Cheese

Try This at Home: The Chemistry of Fresh Cheese

You can make cheese at home with some milk and a little bit of chemistry. Here's how.

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The (Dog's) Nose Knows: Sensor Mimics Canine Sniffing Cells For Smells

The (Dog's) Nose Knows: Sensor Mimics Canine Sniffing Cells For Smells

Dogs have an amazingly sensitive sense of smell that allows them to find lost people, illegal drugs and even floating whale poop. A new sensor uses the same principles to sniff out rotten food.

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Metal Materials, Cold Could Have Contributed to the Titanic’s Demise

Metal Materials, Cold Could Have Contributed to the Titanic’s Demise

One hundred years after the sinking of the Titanic, questions still abound about what really caused the ship to go down. Two theories say the physical properties of the ship’s metal hull or the composition of the iron rivets could have worsened the damage when the ship slammed into the iceberg.

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The Political Firestorm Inside Your Sofa

The Political Firestorm Inside Your Sofa

To comply with California law, furniture makers treat the foam in cushions with flame-retardant chemicals, up to two pounds of chemicals in an average-sized sofa. Those chemicals can turn up in household dust, blood, and breast milk. But efforts to remove them have been blocked by the chemical industry.

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Coffee Flavor By the Numbers

Coffee Flavor By the Numbers

Technology helps home coffee drinkers analyze and automate their morning brew so that everyone can brew the same artisanal cup of coffee each day.

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Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

The science of brewing coffee includes scales, thermometers and trained taste buds. And like any good experiment, it requires a bit of flair too.

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Flower Blooms In Your Tea Cup? It's Water Absorption as Entertainment

Flower Blooms In Your Tea Cup? It's Water Absorption as Entertainment

Every time I drive from the South Bay to the East Bay, I pass the Numi tea factory and start to crave a hot cup. I love tea–the ritual of heating and pouring the water, the warm mug in my hands and the slow sipping as it cools–and Numi makes some of my favorites.

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Try This at Home: Invisible Ink

Try This at Home: Invisible Ink

Many invisible ink recipes from the Revolutionary War and World War I used chemicals commonly found in labs. Write your own secret messages using ingredients in your house.

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Chocolate Tasting in the Name of Science!

Chocolate Tasting in the Name of Science!

Chocolate scientists study everything from the disease resistance of cacao trees to the health benefits of the finished product. But they shy away from one critical question: which chocolate tastes best?

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Smitten Ice Cream: Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Sixty Seconds

Smitten Ice Cream: Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Sixty Seconds

When I have guests visiting, I make sure that one of the local stops is Smitten. The ice cream is made to order only using the freshest local ingredients and it is frozen within 60 seconds using liquid nitrogen.

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Got Science on the Brain? Come Blog with QUEST

Got Science on the Brain? Come Blog with QUEST

Got science on the brain? Come blog with us. KQED’s QUEST is looking to add new voices to our blog, which already offers commentary from our producers, reporters, and several writers from science organizations in our region. pply by February 1st.

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Top KQED QUEST Stories of 2011

Top KQED QUEST Stories of 2011

From hackerspaces to banana slugs, flying telescopes to cheese – it's been a quite a diverse year of storytelling here at QUEST. Here's a round-up of the top 10 video and audio stories and blog posts that you've enjoyed from the past year.

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'Tis The Season for the Science of Holiday Lights

'Tis The Season for the Science of Holiday Lights

Learn about the science of holiday lights with Discovery Street Tours in December.

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Building a Better Hose

Building a Better Hose

Depending on the atoms used and their arrangement, engineers and chemists use polymers to create almost anything from a soft toothbrush bristle to a tough bullet-proof vest.

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Why I Do Science: Danielle Reed

Why I Do Science: Danielle Reed

If you can't abide Brussels sprouts and broccoli, your genes may be to blame. Geneticist Danielle Reed of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia studies differences in our perception of taste and smell. A small blip in DNA might determine if you're bitter blind or have a sweet tooth.

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