The Science of Sustainability

Engineering

California's Prop. 37: Are GMO Labels a Scarlet Letter?

California's Prop. 37: Are GMO Labels a Scarlet Letter?

Proposition 37 could make California the first state in the country to require "Made with GMO" labels on genetically-engineered foods. But would the labels inform people? Or scare them?

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Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook hired Frank Gehry to design its new building. Why? If the 'book wanted a green building (and who'd dare to build in the Bay Area without "a big emphasis on being eco-friendly"?), Gehry is a less than obvious choice.

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California Considers Giving Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California Considers Giving Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California is considering rules that would allow self-driving cars on the road, but making rules for robots is no simple task.

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Collaborative Creativity in the Digital World

Collaborative Creativity in the Digital World

When you think of digital art, Photoshop or a Wacom tablet may come to mind. And yes, drawing on a screen instead of a pad of paper is certainly one kind of digital art. But digital art can also happen on an entirely different level: art can be made with lines of code.

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Internet in Cars: From the Desktop to the Dashboard

Internet in Cars: From the Desktop to the Dashboard

Car companies and Silicon Valley tech companies pair up to make smarter cars. But what happens when the internet makes its way into our dashboards?

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Fracking Gives Hydrogen Fuel Cells New Life

Fracking Gives Hydrogen Fuel Cells New Life

In 2009, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu dismissed zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as an impractical alternative to electric cars. Now an abundant supply of natural gas, from which hydrogen can be extracted, is changing Chu's mind, but that natural gas comes from the controversial hydraulic fracturing process.

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NASA's Mars Lander: The Exploration Begins

NASA's Mars Lander: The Exploration Begins

NASA's Curiosity lander has ended its 352 million-mile journey, landing safely on the surface of Mars. For scientists at NASA Ames in Moffet Field, the work is just beginning.

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Avatars and the Mirrorbox: Can Humans Hack Empathy?

Avatars and the Mirrorbox: Can Humans Hack Empathy?

Virtual avatars are one thing. But what about real bodies? Would identifying with another person's body make you behave more like that person? If the body belongs to a different gender, age, or ethnicity than yours, would you become more empathic to others in that group?

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Illustrating Science: Int'l Science and Engineering Fair Student Projects Beautifully Visualized

Illustrating Science: Int'l Science and Engineering Fair Student Projects Beautifully Visualized

ISEF student projects can be just as esoteric as Nobel laureates' research. But this year, those of ISEF's student scientists lucky enough to be paired with professional artists will see their research translated into compelling and accessible posters for the public.

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The Bay Area Thanks Buckminster Fuller for Geodesic Domes

The Bay Area Thanks Buckminster Fuller for Geodesic Domes

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is showing, for just a few more short days, an exhibit called "The Utopian Impulse: Buckminster Fuller and the Bay Area." Fuller never actually lived in the Bay Area, but the exhibit's designers seem to think he would have liked it.

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Hetch Hetchy: Will We Do the Anthropocene Thing?

Hetch Hetchy: Will We Do the Anthropocene Thing?

The Restore Hetch Hetchy proposal is the Bay Area's first serious encounter with Anthropocene engineering.

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Making Sense of Electric Car Apps

Making Sense of Electric Car Apps

Electric car drivers use multiple apps to find charging stations.

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Oriental Ink Painting with a Computer Instead of a Brush

Oriental Ink Painting with a Computer Instead of a Brush

Traditional occidental painting techniques like watercolor or oil build an image from many layered brush strokes. You don't usually notice the individual strokes unless you stand very close. But in traditional oriental ink painting, called sumi-e, the brush strokes are the painting.

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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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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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Soaring in Space: Citizen Science at 103,000 Feet

Soaring in Space: Citizen Science at 103,000 Feet

Citizen scientist Marc Labriet and students from Valley Christian High School in Dublin, CA collaborated on a special balloon project to retrieve images from near space as well as test theories on gamma rays and radiation repercussion yields.

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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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Ford Focus Electric Hits the Market With Faster Charging Times

Ford Focus Electric Hits the Market With Faster Charging Times

The all-electric Nissan Leaf first went on sale in December 2010. Until a couple of weeks ago, the Leaf had been the only EV available to U.S. consumers from a major automaker. That changed in mid-May when, according to a report by Reuters, Ford started shipping the 2012 Focus Electric to dealers.

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Diversity in the Valley: The NewME Accelerator (Part One)

Diversity in the Valley: The NewME Accelerator (Part One)

If you look around Silicon Valley, ideas all seem to be coming from the same kind of people. By a recent estimate, one percent of technology entrepreneurs were African American. Only eight percent of companies were founded by women. One program aims to change this by encouraging more women and minorities to launch companies.

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Fire and Ore: Humanity’s Love Affair With Metal

Fire and Ore: Humanity’s Love Affair With Metal

May is Maker Month. But the maker urge is as old as humanity, and many modern maker hobbies were once major technological advances: tanning and weaving, brewing and baking, paper-making, printing and metalworking.

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