The Science of Sustainability

Health

Building a Better Athlete

Building a Better Athlete

Someday genes may "pump you up." Lots of athletes are using performance enhancing drugs to, well, enhance their performance. Examples include steroids to increase strength and EPO to increase endurance. Of course these methods have their drawbacks (even beyond the murky ethical ones). They're dangerous and the penalties can be pretty severe if the athlete […]

Continue Reading

Perilous Diesel

Perilous Diesel

Diesel engines are the durable workhorses of transportation, but as they get older, they spew unhealthy soot. Communities with the highest diesel smog levels, like West Oakland, California, are working hard to reduce the pollution.

Continue Reading

Perilous diesel

Perilous diesel

What's the most harmful kind of air pollution? It's soot generated by diesel engines found in trucks, buses and ships. Diesel engines are the durable workhorses of transportation, but as they get older, they spew unhealthy soot. They are now challenging community activists and government officials to find creative solutions for at-risk areas like West […]

Continue Reading

A Level Playing Field

A Level Playing Field

Living in the bay area with two school-aged sons, you'd think the news that Barry Bonds broke the all-time home run record would have been a big deal in our house. It wasn't. My kids focused on the steroids instead of home run number 755. This got me to thinking about fair and unfair advantages […]

Continue Reading

Genetic Tells

Genetic Tells

There is no perfect genetic tell. In poker, a tell is something you do that gives away the fact that you're bluffing. Maybe you itch your nose every time you have a bad hand. So now when you make a big bet and itch your nose, you'll lose to the players who have caught on. […]

Continue Reading

Quest for Longevity

Quest for Longevity

Americans have made an enormous leap in life expectancy over the past century. Now, Bay Area scientists are looking to extend lifespan, and "healthspan" to 100 years and beyond.

Continue Reading

Quest for Longevity

Quest for Longevity

One of the biggest challenges for medicine in the 21st century is understanding more about the diseases that come with aging like Alzheimer's, cancer and Parkinson's. Americans have made an enormous leap in life expectancy over the past century. Now, Bay Area scientists are looking to extend lifespan, and "healthspan" to 100 years and beyond. […]

Continue Reading

What's in your Shampoo?

What's in your Shampoo?

Just how safe is your shampoo, eye liner or aftershave? No one really knows. In an effort to shed more light on the ingredients in everyday cosmetics and toiletries, California lawmakers passed the Safe Cosmetics Act, which takes effect this year. It requires manufacturers to report all toxic or carcinogenic ingredients to the state and lets the public decide what is safe.

Continue Reading

What's in Your Shampoo?

What's in Your Shampoo?

How safe is your makeup, perfume or lotion? Surprisingly, no one really knows. Two years ago, California passed groundbreaking legislation requiring cosmetic companies to report if their products contained toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. This year, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005 goes into effect and other states are closely watching California as they consider similar […]

Continue Reading

Amy's update: Dispatch from CPMC

Amy's update: Dispatch from CPMC

Editor's Note: Producer Amy Miller, who was reporting the story on camera in tonight's 7/24 episode on premature births titled "Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise", was placed on bed rest for preterm labor 2 weeks after filming. She is at day 27 of mandatory bed rest at the hospital. In this post […]

Continue Reading

Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise

Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise

The United States has the highest rate of premature births of any developed nation in the world. But why? QUEST meets Bay Area researchers working to answer that question, and discovers some of the technology and cutting-edge medical procedures used to care for the most vulnerable newborns. You may view the "Born Too Soon" TV […]

Continue Reading

Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise

Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise

The United States has the highest rate of premature births of any developed nation in the world. But why? QUEST meets some of the Bay Area researchers working to answer that question.

Continue Reading

Recreational DNA Sequencing

Recreational DNA Sequencing

Last blog I talked about the current revolution in DNA sequencing. Within the next five years you'll probably be able to get all 6 billion letters of your DNA on a CD to look over at your leisure. Someone who read the blog asked me if I would have my DNA sequenced for 1000 dollars. […]

Continue Reading

Big Plans for Big Oil

Big Plans for Big Oil

As Chevron hatches expansion plans for one of California's largest oil refineries, Richmond's Green Party mayor considers the future of her city, and the state.

Continue Reading

Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?

Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?

Mosquitoes are actually the most dangerous animals in the world, killing more than two million people per year. In the United States alone, there are 150 different species, each carrying a different type of disease.

Continue Reading

Please Touch the Animals: Environmental Enrichment at Zoos

Please Touch the Animals: Environmental Enrichment at Zoos

Zookeepers are using a lighter touch to keep their animals strong and healthy. From body work and acupuncture for giraffes, to pachyderm pedicures, come see how the Oakland Zoo is using alternative treatments to guarantee the well-being of its residents. You may view the "Please Touch the Animals: Environmental Enrichment at Zoos" TV Story online, […]

Continue Reading

How Buildings Evolve (or Devolve)

How Buildings Evolve (or Devolve)

I wonder if homes in the past fifty years or so have undergone a similar evolution in architecture– or devolution, depending on your point of view– as churches. Dining with FriendsDuring my former career as a Catholic priest, I taught a few Religious Studies classes at a small college. My favorite text in one class […]

Continue Reading

What is in your DNA?

What is in your DNA?

How deeply do you want to look into your DNA? Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs Remember Jim Watson? The guy who co-discovered what DNA looks like? Recently he got to look at the 6 billion letters that make up his DNA. And maybe soon you can get a peek at yours. In a […]

Continue Reading

Turning skin cells into embryonic stem cells

Turning skin cells into embryonic stem cells

Last blog I talked about how I may have to be cloned to get my own embryonic stem (ES) cells. I was willing to deal with all of the associated ethical baggage because these sorts of cells would be so useful. They'll help cure many of my future ailments without my body rejecting these ES […]

Continue Reading

Cleaning up Hunters Point

Cleaning up Hunters Point

The Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard bears traces of a toxic — and historic– military legacy. It could also be the site of the new 49ers stadium. But cleaning up this 500 acre Superfund site is costly and time consuming. QUEST looks at how the site got that way, and how the Navy is cleaning it […]

Continue Reading