The Science of Sustainability

Health

Producer's Notes: Hepatitis C, Hope and Humanity

Producer's Notes: Hepatitis C, Hope and Humanity

I came to realize that hope has a lot to do with science. It’s the driving force for those who seek cures, for those who work to protect the environment, for those who search for solutions to the pain and problems facing humanity.

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What if the Geneticists are Wrong?

What if the Geneticists are Wrong?

What if most people or families had unique DNA differences that led to their disease? Then scientists have been going about finding the causes of genetic disease in the wrong way.

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The American Diet

The American Diet

I just finished reading Omnivore’s Dilemma. It mysteriously appeared on my desk a few months ago; someone who still is anonymous thought I should read it.

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QUEST Quiz: Sleep

QUEST Quiz: Sleep

Our companion story to "Catching Up on Sleep Science", this short segment serves as a quiz for viewers to test their knowledge about sleep and sleep disorders.

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Catching Up on Sleep Science

Catching Up on Sleep Science

Everyone can appreciate the value of a good night's sleep. But did you know that a lack of sleep can have real consequences for your health? QUEST investigates how sleep affects our minds and bodies and uncovers why some people are genetically programmed to need less sleep than others.

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Producer's Notes: In Search of a Better Night's Sleep

Producer's Notes: In Search of a Better Night's Sleep

Nearly all of us have had the experience of waking up and feeling as though the restorative, rejuvenating effects of a good night's sleep had passed us by.

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Teaching the Brain To See

Teaching the Brain To See

Thanks to stem cells and other cutting-edge technologies, doctors hope they may one day be able to restore sight to people who were born without it, or lost it, later in life. But a rare case here in the Bay Area suggests that curing blindness may be more than meets the eye.

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Reporter's Notes: Can You Teach A Brain To See?

Reporter's Notes: Can You Teach A Brain To See?

When Mike was three years old, he opened up a jar containing an explosive chemical that the miners had left behind. The accident left him nearly blind. Forty-two years later, doctors fixed one of his eyes in a series of two procedures.

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Truckers Clean Up Their Act

Truckers Clean Up Their Act

This month, truckers at the Port of Oakland face new rules on diesel rigs.The rules call for expensive filters that cut down the amount of soot the trucks spew out. Many truckers say they can't afford the new gear, especially amid a recession. But treating the health effects of diesel pollution may be much more expensive.

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The Wild, Wild Web

The Wild, Wild Web

I have often thought that the percentage of good scientific information on the web must be pretty low. So I decided to test the idea out on a question I was recently working on.

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Careful What You Choose

Careful What You Choose

People often think about certain versions of a gene as either good or bad. One that leads to depression is bad while one that protects you from HIV infection is good. For most genes this is almost certainly too simplistic a view. Many versions of genes can be good or bad depending on your situation.

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Tactile Maps

Tactile Maps

Human beings have used maps to describe the world for thousands of years. Blind people have used Braille for about 150. But there's never been a way for the blind to have easy access to maps of everyday places. Until now. Amy Standen reports.

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Don't Forget about Life Style Choices

Don't Forget about Life Style Choices

As readers of this blog might remember, I was recently diagnosed with metabolic syndrome just as I was undergoing DNA testing. This was a wake up call in a couple of different ways.

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Beware Helicopter Parents

Beware Helicopter Parents

Time recently had a great article on helicopter parents. These are the parents who hover around their kids, protecting them from any harm. They are undoubtedly doing this to ensure their kids’ success in life. I don’t want to get into the plusses and minuses of this parenting style…to each his own. What I do want to do is to warn them away from a new genetic testing company that seems designed to target them.

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Decoding the Emotional Brain

Decoding the Emotional Brain

People with pseudobulbar affect — a neurological condition common in patients with Lou Gehrig's disease — have overwhelming emotions at inappropriate times: They laugh uncontrollably at funerals, cry even when they aren't sad. Scientists at UC San Francisco believe that by putting these people into MRI scans, they can learn more about how emotions are created and controlled in the human brain — and what happens when those systems break down.

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Who Owns My DNA?

Who Owns My DNA?

If a DNA testing company gets bought out, what happens to their customers' DNA? Image by Molly Eyres. / CC BY 2.0 One niggling worry I had when I decided to get some genetic testing from 23andMe was what would happen to my DNA if the company failed. By all accounts, 23andMe is a very […]

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Is There Something Dangerous Lurking In Your Purse?

Is There Something Dangerous Lurking In Your Purse?

Each October, within Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my friends and I get into a flurry organizing and putting on Beats for Boobs.

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Trick or Trait

Trick or Trait

"Mysteries of DNA" image courtesy Mark H. Adams. Full-size version. As anyone who follows this blog knows, I recently took a 23andMe genetic test and have been blogging about it ever since. Today I thought I would focus on one of the fun parts of the service: traits. Lots of our traits are at least […]

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An Incomplete for 23andMe's Carrier Testing

An Incomplete for 23andMe's Carrier Testing

What can genetic testing tell you? A while back I took a 23andMe genetic test that looks at over 600,000 different spots on my DNA. The last few blogs I have been going over my genetic test results with an eye on how useful they are. And how well the results are explained. Last blog […]

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Reporter's Notes: Catching the Drift – Part 2

Reporter's Notes: Catching the Drift – Part 2

Luis Medellin and Karl Tupper set up a drift catcher in Lindsay, CA. My radio story on pesticide drift looks at how residents in the citrus town of Lindsay are monitoring pesticides in the air and in their bodies. They are using a device called a Drift Catcher, modeled after technology used by the California […]

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