The Science of Sustainability

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Mars Science Laboratory's Touchdown on The Red Planet

Mars Science Laboratory's Touchdown on The Red Planet

Last Sunday, NASA scored a long-distance touchdown…on Mars! The Mars Science Laboratory, nicknamed "Curiosity" is the largest, most complex spacecraft ever to have set down on the Red Planet.

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What Is That Unusual Smell In Walnut Creek?

What Is That Unusual Smell In Walnut Creek?

The city's hospital sits at the site of an ancient sulfur spring.

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Fracking Gives Hydrogen Fuel Cells New Life

Fracking Gives Hydrogen Fuel Cells New Life

In 2009, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu dismissed zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as an impractical alternative to electric cars. Now an abundant supply of natural gas, from which hydrogen can be extracted, is changing Chu's mind, but that natural gas comes from the controversial hydraulic fracturing process.

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Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Many people continue to doubt the evidence for climate change, evolution, and vaccine safety, even though the scientific consensus on these issues is rock solid. Among the most troubling evidence-resistant theories is the long-debunked yet persistent myth that vaccines cause autism—a completely unfounded belief–leading to general doubts about vaccine safety, with dangerous public health consequences.

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Stunning Solar Visualizations: The Sun's Van Gogh-like Artistry

Stunning Solar Visualizations: The Sun's Van Gogh-like Artistry

While nearly all eyes are focused on Mars, two astophysicists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have been quietly staring at the sun instead.

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NASA's Mars Lander: The Exploration Begins

NASA's Mars Lander: The Exploration Begins

NASA's Curiosity lander has ended its 352 million-mile journey, landing safely on the surface of Mars. For scientists at NASA Ames in Moffet Field, the work is just beginning.

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Rethinking Reproductive Biology

Rethinking Reproductive Biology

Everyone knows that women are born with all the eggs they can ever make, right? Well, a recent study shows that everyone just might be wrong.

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Newly Discovered Stem Cells Cause Clogged Arteries

Newly Discovered Stem Cells Cause Clogged Arteries

Scientists thought they understood how arteries hardened and clogged, but they may have been wrong. New research indicates that a previously unknown type of stem cell is actually the underlying cause of clogged arteries. If confirmed, it could lead to new therapies.

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The Pleasures of Backyard Bird-Watching

The Pleasures of Backyard Bird-Watching

Get to know your feathered neighbors and find out how you can contribute to avian science and research.

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We Are the Desert: Tackling California's Water and Electricity Woes

We Are the Desert: Tackling California's Water and Electricity Woes

As we approach the limits of our power and water, we will face some wrenching decisions with geological dimensions.

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Prescription Drug Disposal: Who Should Foot the Bill?

Prescription Drug Disposal: Who Should Foot the Bill?

A new ordinance in Alameda County requires the pharmaceutical industry to pay for disposal of extra medicine. The regulation is part of a larger movement to shift responsibility for waste disposal from local governments to companies that make products like paint, medicine and batteries.

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Avatars and the Mirrorbox: Can Humans Hack Empathy?

Avatars and the Mirrorbox: Can Humans Hack Empathy?

Virtual avatars are one thing. But what about real bodies? Would identifying with another person's body make you behave more like that person? If the body belongs to a different gender, age, or ethnicity than yours, would you become more empathic to others in that group?

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California Considers Banning Dogs in Bear Hunts

California Considers Banning Dogs in Bear Hunts

The legislature is considering a bill that would ban the use of hounds in both bear and bobcat hunting in the state.

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Do Constellations Change Over Time?

Do Constellations Change Over Time?

Do the constellations—the patterns made by the stars in the night sky—change over time, and if so, how long have they resembled what we see today?

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What Shall We Do About Earthquake Weather?

What Shall We Do About Earthquake Weather?

If we can't shake this discredited notion, let's speak it instead with a smile.

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Picturing Biodiversity: Cultivating an Eye for Conservation

Picturing Biodiversity: Cultivating an Eye for Conservation

Environmentalists have long relied on spectacular photography to show people why wilderness is worth preserving. The nonprofit ARKive builds on that tradition, using the power of wildlife imagery, from photos to film, to promote conservation of the world's threatened species, now approaching 17,000 plants and animals, based on the latest IUCN estimates.

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Illustrating Science: Int'l Science and Engineering Fair Student Projects Beautifully Visualized

Illustrating Science: Int'l Science and Engineering Fair Student Projects Beautifully Visualized

ISEF student projects can be just as esoteric as Nobel laureates' research. But this year, those of ISEF's student scientists lucky enough to be paired with professional artists will see their research translated into compelling and accessible posters for the public.

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Pregnant Women Face Big Questions With Cheaper DNA Sequencing

Pregnant Women Face Big Questions With Cheaper DNA Sequencing

In the very near future, a pregnant woman will be able to learn a whole lot more than she currently can about the fetus she is carrying. And she can find out in a way that poses no risk to the fetus.

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A Unique HIV Case Inspires New Research

A Unique HIV Case Inspires New Research

More than 34 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide but only one person may have been cured of the virus. We look at promising, genetic research that is aimed at replicating this apparent cure.

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Arrow Gobies, Ghost Shrimp and Bubble Snails: Teachers Explore the Unique Biodiversity of San Francisco Bay

Arrow Gobies, Ghost Shrimp and Bubble Snails: Teachers Explore the Unique Biodiversity of San Francisco Bay

Dedicated teachers spend a week of their summer vacation delving into science, climate change, and San Francisco Bay ecology.

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