The Science of Sustainability

Health

Nerve-Stimulating Headband May Prevent Migraines

Nerve-Stimulating Headband May Prevent Migraines

Migraines affect about 30 million Americans, but anti-migraine medications are often ineffective or cause unpleasant side effects. New research indicates that migraines may be prevented by wearing a headband that stimulates the nerves around the eyes and forehead.

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Yes, Your Cell Phone Conversation Does Drive People Mad

Yes, Your Cell Phone Conversation Does Drive People Mad

It's well known that talking on your cell phone compromises your ability to perform simple tasks like walking and driving. Now it turns out cell phones impact cognition in bystanders as well: listening to another person talk on their cell phone isn't just incredibly annoying, it also interferes with your memory and concentration.

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Arsenic and Old Wells

Arsenic and Old Wells

Six years after the EPA's new arsenic rule for drinking water went into effect, poor communities in the San Joaquin Valley—who can’t afford the costs of complying with the stricter standard—face the highest risk of exposure to unsafe arsenic levels.

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The Science of Nudity: The Skinny on Showing Skin

The Science of Nudity: The Skinny on Showing Skin

News flash – as of February 1st, 2013 – public nudity is illegal in San Francisco. But well before the law went into effect, it generated a tremendous amount of debate.

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Are Sleeping Aids Effective or Just A Placebo Effect?

Are Sleeping Aids Effective or Just A Placebo Effect?

Insomnia has become a major health concern worldwide. In the US, 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are issued each year and non-benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed type. However, recent scientific journal articles have raised concerns about using these sleep aids.

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Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Back in December I wrote a blog post asking scientists to comment online more often.

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Pregnancy and Paternity: New Fetal DNA Testing

Pregnancy and Paternity: New Fetal DNA Testing

Imagine you are a woman in a committed relationship. The worst happens and you are raped and become pregnant. What are your options?

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Think Before You Drink Grapefruit Juice

Think Before You Drink Grapefruit Juice

You should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist whether ingesting grapefruit could cause an unintentional drug overdose. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice affects how the body metabolizes certain drugs, and the number of drugs that adversely interact with grapefruit has increased according to new research results.

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Stanford Investigates the Hits that Cause Concussions

Stanford Investigates the Hits that Cause Concussions

It's no secret that concussions are endemic in American football at every level, from peewees to the pros, but little is known about the hits that cause them. Stanford University is searching for answers.

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Should I or Shouldn't I? Wrestling with Giving Genetic Tests as Gifts

Should I or Shouldn't I? Wrestling with Giving Genetic Tests as Gifts

When 23andMe offered their DNA test for just $99, I started to think about giving it for Christmas presents.

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Think Tiny: The Science of New Year's Resolutions

Think Tiny: The Science of New Year's Resolutions

Want to keep a New Year's resolution? One Stanford researcher says to give up on lofty goals. Instead, focus on tiny habits.

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Conquering Fungophobia

Conquering Fungophobia

Late fall rains signal the start of mushroom season, which can last until spring in the Bay Area. Though only experts should forage and eat wild mushrooms (following park rules about harvesting), anyone can appreciate the rich diversity of these ephemeral fruits of the forest.

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Dynamic Duo: Antibiotics and Probiotics

Dynamic Duo: Antibiotics and Probiotics

Scientific evidence now suggests that taking probiotics with antibiotics can reduce the risk of negative side affects. In a recent combined study, people who took probiotics with antibiotics were 42% less likely to develop diarrhea. However, further research is needed to determine the most effective probiotics and dose.

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Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

From the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to killer whales, bicycles to cheese — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science and Environment team. Here's a round-up of the top 10 stories shared on our website (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2012.

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Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Last June, Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to change California's flammability standard to ensure fire safety without dousing furniture and other foam products with toxic chemicals. Now activists are focusing on an even bigger market for flame retardants: foam insulation in buildings.

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The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

Under a microscope many cancer cells look the same. And since cell lines used in cancer research are anonymous, often shared informally between labs, the only way to definitively know where they came from is with DNA. But many scientists don't do this.

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What Are Richmond Residents Breathing?

What Are Richmond Residents Breathing?

Chevron's Aug. 6 fire re-ignited questions many Richmond residents have asked for years. What does it mean to live next to the largest refinery on the West Coast? What are people living in the city breathing?

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Nothing "Fishy" About Sustainable Seafood

Nothing "Fishy" About Sustainable Seafood

Learn about what we can do to take care of our oceans, both for the fish and ourselves.

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Frankenstein vs. Godzilla:  What’s in Your Cereal Bowl?

Frankenstein vs. Godzilla: What’s in Your Cereal Bowl?

In all of the recent discussion about genetically modified (GM) foods here in California, we’ve overlooked regular foods and how new traits are found (or created) in them. There isn’t usually a monk lovingly breeding peas in the Austrian countryside somewhere. Instead, more often than not, there is someone blasting a seed with radiation and/or harmful chemicals.

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Playing Whack-a-Mole with Flame Retardants

Playing Whack-a-Mole with Flame Retardants

Countless consumer products sold in California contain a flame retardant flagged as a possible carcinogen nearly 35 years ago. As of this week, finally, they must carry a warning that the chemical causes cancer. But is it enough when manufacturers simply replace one toxic chemical with another?

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