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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Their basic design hasn’t changed much, but scientists still don’t fully understand the forces that allow humans to balance atop a bicycle. QUEST visits Davis – a city that loves its bicycles – to take a ride on a research bike and explore a collection of antique bicycles.
Season 2 of the science podcast, "The Field Trip" premieres today.