The Science of Sustainability

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Urban Growth on the Ballot

Urban Growth on the Ballot

In the East Bay city of San Ramon, voters are deciding a measure that would substantially expand their city limits. Measure W is one of several urban growth measures on Bay Area ballots this November.

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When Brains Hit The Gym

When Brains Hit The Gym

Can brain performance be improved? The $300 million-a-year "brain-fitness" industry is betting that the answer to that question is yes. Some companies say that an 80-year old brain can perform just as well as a 25-year old brain after some specialized video game training. What about crossword puzzles and regular old exercise? QUEST takes a look at the growing brain fitness industry and the science behind it.

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When Brains Hit the Gym

When Brains Hit the Gym

The general idea is that by doing a series of basic and repetitive tasks, which get harder over time, you’re actually changing your brain structure. Over time, the manufacturers claim, you can train an old brain to behave like a new one. But many scientists who study aging are skeptical.

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Silicon Valley: The New Detroit?

Silicon Valley: The New Detroit?

Detroit has been at the center of the country's auto industry ever since Henry Ford rolled his first Model T off the assembly line in 1908. But as hard times have fallen on America's Rust Belt, there's a new region hoping to give Detroit a run for its money.

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Reporter's Notes – Silicon Valley: The New Detroit?

Reporter's Notes – Silicon Valley: The New Detroit?

Amidst start-up companies and corporate office parks, clean tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are plugging into an emerging electric car industry.

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Looking For A Charge

Looking For A Charge

Every year buzzwords enter the American lexicon. Like "octo-mom" or "crowdsourcing." Next year "range anxiety" may top the list. It's the fear of being stranded in an electric car because the battery has run out. Andrea Kissack continues to explore the brave new world of electric cars. Today, she goes in search of a charge.

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Reporter's Notes: Looking For A Charge

Reporter's Notes: Looking For A Charge

In my search for a greener car, I have considered biodiesel, hydrogen, and even clean diesel. What looks most promising to me, however, are low and zero operating emission plug-in vehicles.

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Greening Your Drive

Greening Your Drive

The first mass-produced electric vehicles ever sold in the United States will begin to hit auto show rooms by the end of this year. The Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt already have tens of thousands of pre-orders. Until now, electric cars had been the domain of small groups of tech hobbyists and hard core environmentalists. But how feasible are they for everyday drivers? Take a drive with Andrea Kissack and find out.

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Reporter's Notes: Greening Your Drive

Reporter's Notes: Greening Your Drive

In my search for a greener car, I have considered biodiesel, hydrogen, and even clean diesel. What looks most promising to me, however, are low and zero operating emission plug-in vehicles.

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San Francisco Among Top Cities For HIV Testing

San Francisco Among Top Cities For HIV Testing

New CDC survey shows that San Francisco has been successful in getting HIV-positive men tested.

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Backyard Seed Banks

Backyard Seed Banks

It's the time of year when backyard gardeners are gathering the last few tomatoes and squash of the summer harvest. But there's one thing most gardeners don't harvest: seeds.

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Reporter's Notes: Backyard Seed Banks

Reporter's Notes: Backyard Seed Banks

Today, most backyard gardeners opt for buying seed packets or seedlings at the garden store. But a handful of Bay Area groups are working to create local seed saving networks, where local gardeners can learn to save seeds and share them.

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40 Years of the Clean Air Act

40 Years of the Clean Air Act

In 1969, there were 65 days when Bay Area air quality exceeded federal health standards. Under those same standards, last year, there wasn’t a single day over the limit. On the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, we examine the impacts that the law has had on public health, business, and environmental justice in the Bay Area and what still needs to be done to improve the quality of our air.

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California Takes the Lead on Stem Cell Research

California Takes the Lead on Stem Cell Research

A judge's ruling last month that blocks the federal government from funding embryonic stem cell research puts California back in the lead in the field.

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Reporter's Notes: California Takes the Lead on Stem Cell Research

Reporter's Notes: California Takes the Lead on Stem Cell Research

Deepak Srivastava – profiled in this week's radio story – is no stranger to QUEST. Just last month, Srivastava made headlines when he announced that his lab had successfully created beating heart cells from adult cells.

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Cow Power Not Cutting It

Cow Power Not Cutting It

Take a waste product like cow manure or trash, let it decompose for a bit and you'll soon end up with methane gas. Methane is powerful contributor to climate change. But it can also be captured and used to make renewable electricity. That's something farmers are experimenting with across California. But by solving one environmental problem, they're running headlong into another. Lauren Sommer has more.

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Reporter's Notes: Cow Power Not Cutting It

Reporter's Notes: Cow Power Not Cutting It

A handful of dairies across California are capturing the climate change emissions produced by their cows. But they're running headlong into another environmental problem.

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All Charged Up Over EMFs

All Charged Up Over EMFs

The wireless age has introduced countless devices that many of us can't live without, like cell phones, laptop computers and wifi routers. Like all electronics they communicate using electromagnetic frequencies – or EMFs. Some people worry that EMFs are making them sick – and say that technology should slow down, as Amy Standen reports.

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Polishing Oakland's Crown Jewel: Lake Merritt Reborn

Polishing Oakland's Crown Jewel: Lake Merritt Reborn

Oakland's Historic Lake Merritt is in the midst of a multimillion dollar face lift.

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Reporter's Notes: All Charged Up Over EMFs

Reporter's Notes: All Charged Up Over EMFs

The wireless age has introduced countless devices that many of us can’t live without, like cell phones, laptop computers and wifi routers. Like all electronics they communicate using electromagnetic frequencies – or EMFs. Some people worry that EMFs are making them sick – and say that technology should slow down, as Amy Standen reports.

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