The Science of Sustainability

Health

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

There's a hidden danger in San Francisco bay: mercury. A potent neurotoxin that can cause serious illness, mercury has been flowing into the bay since the mining days of the Gold Rush Era. It has settled in the bay's mud and made its way up the food chain, endangering wildlife and making many fish unsafe to eat. Now a multi-billion-dollar plan aims to clean it up. But will it work?

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Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Because there wasn't time in the QUEST TV segment on mercury in the bay to include information on safe fish eating practices, below are the guidelines, along with web links, to help you get plenty of Omega 3s and still keep your mercury levels low.

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Reconnecting Science, Religion and Health Care

Reconnecting Science, Religion and Health Care

I think that science is fundamentally about information and religion is fundamentally about relationship. The word religion comes from the Latin "to reconnect."

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Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 2)

Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 2)

In my last blog post, I showed how the two most powerful ancestry tests, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome, were useless to me in my hunt. Now I want look at the rest of my DNA. So here we go!

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Illuminating Depression

Illuminating Depression

Nearly 15 million Americans suffer from depression. Learn why depression is more than just "feeling blue," the difficulties of treating it with traditional medications and how new tools

and research are shedding light on brain structures that may play an integral role in treating it.

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Illuminating Depression Extended Interview: Philippe Goldin

Illuminating Depression Extended Interview: Philippe Goldin

What is the link between anxiety and depression, and can a form of talk therapy help treat both conditions? Learn more in an extended interview with Philippe Goldin, Clinical Research Scientist for the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Group at Stanford University.

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Producer's Notes: Illuminating Depression

Producer's Notes: Illuminating Depression

Imagine a medical disease that afflicts eighteen million people in the U.S., for which more than 160 million prescriptions were filled in 2008, that is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S., but a disease for which no definitive medical model of pathology exists.

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Predicting Swine Flu

Predicting Swine Flu

Why do some people get severely sick from swine flu and others barely feel it? As flu season ramps up, scientists at UCSF's Viral Discovery Center are racing to learn more about the 2009 H1N1 virus, including how it's evolving, and whether our current treatments will remain effective.

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Reporter's Notes: Predicting Swine Flu

Reporter's Notes: Predicting Swine Flu

The last time we reported on Swine flu, or 2009 H1N1 virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was considering whether or not to invest in a vaccine for the new influenza strain.

Now, after several delays, the first batches of vaccines — first, a nasal spray version, then an injectible vaccine — is due to hit hospitals and clinics across the country.

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Under Our Skin—A Look at Lyme Disease

Under Our Skin—A Look at Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, carried by ticks, has become a politically and medically controversial disease.

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Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 1)

Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 1)

Genetic tests often don’t give as much information as you might think.

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Personalized Medicine

Personalized Medicine

We all know that, thanks to our DNA, each of us is a little bit different. Some of those differences are obvious, like eye and hair color, but others are not so obvious, like how our bodies react to medication. Researchers are beginning to look at how to tailor medical treatments to our genetic profiles. Some of the biggest breakthroughs have been in cancer treatment.

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Reporter's Notes: Personalized Medicine

Reporter's Notes: Personalized Medicine

You've probably heard about some of the breakthroughs in personal genome sequencing, where companies take a look at your DNA and send back your risk profile. But there's a flip side to all this genetic research that doesn't have to do with risk: personalized medicine.

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Anti-bacterial Soap: is the Medicine Worse Than the Cure?

Anti-bacterial Soap: is the Medicine Worse Than the Cure?

Even if you are not handling reptiles daily like we are, you can take action to reduce exposure to toxic anti-microbials.

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Blowing up the House for Energy Efficiency

Blowing up the House for Energy Efficiency

How much air is your house leaking? Are you unknowingly slurping in dirty air from your garage and attic? Perhaps a blower door test can help you find out.

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Science Event Pick: The Long Quest for Health Care Reform

Science Event Pick: The Long Quest for Health Care Reform

There are health systems around the country that actually have costs that are as much as 20 percent or 30 percent lower than the national average and have higher quality. What is it that they are doing differently from other systems?

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Playing with Lead – Part 2

Playing with Lead – Part 2

Months after the federal government enacted stricter standards intended to keep lead out of children's toys, a KQED investigation found merchandise that violates the law still sitting on many Bay Area store shelves. In part two of the series, QUEST looks at the challenges of keeping leaded toys out of stores.

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Playing with Lead – Part 1

Playing with Lead – Part 1

Congress recently passed tougher limits on lead levels due to the large number of recalls of imported toys. But the new law, which went into effect in February, doesn't seem to be keeping dangerous items off store shelves, as reporter Oanh Ha found out.

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Reporter's notes: Playing with Lead – Part 1

Reporter's notes: Playing with Lead – Part 1

Suddenly, parents, including me, eyed the toys in our homes and on store shelves with suspicion. Extensive research links lead exposure in children to lower IQ scores, neurological and behavioral problems, even anemia.

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Science Event Picks: The Low Carbon Diet, August 9 and 10

Science Event Picks: The Low Carbon Diet, August 9 and 10

Most Americans have room to cut their carbon *food*print by 25%. Not easily done, but luckily we have help in the Bay Area. Check out these 2 upcoming events.

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