The Science of Sustainability

Engineering

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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Life on The Gate: Working on the Golden Gate Bridge 1933-37

Life on The Gate: Working on the Golden Gate Bridge 1933-37

This year marks the 75th anniversary of an icon. When it opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge ever built, constructed in one of the world’s most challenging settings. For the men who poured the concrete, and drove in each iron rivet, it was a life-changing experience.

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Plug-in Version of Prius Quietly Rolls Out on California Roads

Plug-in Version of Prius Quietly Rolls Out on California Roads

Toyota's new Plug-in Hybrid Prius quietly enters the auto market.

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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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Natural Gas Cars Remain Niche Choice for Bay Area Commuters

Natural Gas Cars Remain Niche Choice for Bay Area Commuters

The 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas is eligible for a white carpool lane decal—granted only to cars that run on compressed natural gas or purely on electricity—but adoption of CNG cars has been slow.

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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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California Utility Commission Defends $100 Million EV Charging Deal

California Utility Commission Defends $100 Million EV Charging Deal

Electric car drivers cheered last week when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and NRG Energy announced plans to invest $100 million in the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

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Changing Foghorns

Changing Foghorns

Lightkeeper Peter Berkhout takes QUEST radio reporter Craig Miller to see a genuine rarity: one of perhaps two or three remaining vintage foghorns anywhere in the U.S. that’s still in working order.

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Feds Pay For Out-of-the-Box Energy Ideas

Feds Pay For Out-of-the-Box Energy Ideas

Did you know the federal government has a clean tech venture fund? QUEST talks with the head of the program, ARPA- E, about some potentially transformational energy ideas.

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Science in Your Life: The Magic Microwave

Science in Your Life: The Magic Microwave

Why doesn’t a microwave heat my food like a regular oven?

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Phylo: Turning Biology Puzzles Into Interactive Games

Phylo: Turning Biology Puzzles Into Interactive Games

People often think of medicine as hard work, but an emerging group of tech-savvy entrepreneurs is looking to re-shape people’s perspectives and turn health, and health research, into a form of play.

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Tsunami Program Faces Cuts One Year After Disaster

Tsunami Program Faces Cuts One Year After Disaster

Just one year after the disaster in Japan, proposed budget cuts could impact the US tsunami warning program.

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Clean Car Diaries:  The President's New Clean Car Initiative

Clean Car Diaries: The President's New Clean Car Initiative

President Obama announces a multi-billion dollar clean car initiative at a time of slumping EV sales.

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New, Cleaner Volts and Priuses Arrive

New, Cleaner Volts and Priuses Arrive

More clean car customers will soon be driving solo in the carpool lane.

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Clean Car Diaries: Could Tesla's 'Brick Problem' Happen To Other EVS?

Clean Car Diaries: Could Tesla's 'Brick Problem' Happen To Other EVS?

Some Tesla owners have found that leaving an electric car parked for too long could become a serious problem.

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Plant Proteins Power Solar Panel

Plant Proteins Power Solar Panel

Simplifying the production of bio-solar cells using many different plants could bring power to the developing world. It could be a whole new way to DIY solar.

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Up All Night on NASA's Flying Telescope

Up All Night on NASA's Flying Telescope

The Obama Administration’s new budget for NASA was released last week, and calls for cuts to many space programs. But one California-based project is likely to get more money. The SOFIA flying observatory, a telescope mounted on an airplane, is considered more nimble and cost-effective than other projects. Reporter Lauren Sommer recently caught a ride as it flew over the Pacific Ocean.

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Building Better Roads with Next Generation Pavement

Building Better Roads with Next Generation Pavement

A third of Bay Area roads are in poor condition and funding is dwindling on the state and federal level. That’s something Congress is discussing in Washington this week. Meanwhile, researchers at two University of California campuses are trying to find ways to stretch those sparse dollars, by making pavement quieter, greener and more durable.

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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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Surgeons Seek Kid-Sized Tools for the Operating Room

Surgeons Seek Kid-Sized Tools for the Operating Room

If you’ve ever spent time in Silicon Valley or among hi-tech entrepreneurs, you may have heard the term “Valley of Death.” It’s used to describe the huge gulf that can exist between coming up with a new idea, and getting a product to market. Well, this is a real problem in hospitals, too. Especially when it comes to kids.

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