The Science of Sustainability

Health

Reporter's Notes: Strawberries and Worker Safety

Reporter's Notes: Strawberries and Worker Safety

After millions of dollars of research, strawberry growers have come up with an alternative to methyl bromide, which damages the ozone layer: methyl iodide. Unfortunately, methyl iodide has its own set of problems.

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Chickens in the House

Chickens in the House

Raising chickens offers a good life for our feathered friends, a sense of peace, a connection to nature and our food source, eggs with high nutritional value, a composting and fertilization system, free entertainment and another reason to rise and shine.

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Baby Brain Development

Baby Brain Development

Thousands of babies are born each year in the U.S. with brain defects that can cause lifelong disability or even death. UC-San Francisco neurologists and pediatricians are developing better diagnostic tools and treatments to help brain-damaged babies not only survive, but grow up to live more normal lives.

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Reporter's Notes: Baby Brain Development

Reporter's Notes: Baby Brain Development

It is well known that strokes can happen in the elderly. But what many people don't know is that babies suffer strokes.

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Hepatitis C: The Silent Epidemic

Hepatitis C: The Silent Epidemic

Hepatitis C is a virus that causes cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. It's the leading cause for liver transplants in the U.S., and an estimated 4 million Americans have the disease. Current treatments are difficult to tolerate and are often ineffective, but recent breakthroughs from Bay Area scientists may soon produce a cure for the disease that claims more than 10,000 American lives each year.

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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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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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