The Science of Sustainability

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Geological Side Trips from Interstate 80: Griffith Quarry in Penryn

Geological Side Trips from Interstate 80: Griffith Quarry in Penryn

Sometimes you need a break when you're taking Interstate 80 to or from the Sierra. Try this historic quarry in the foothills.

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Braking for Beetles: When Recreation and Conservation Converge

Braking for Beetles: When Recreation and Conservation Converge

The endangered Ohlone tiger beetle, found only in Santa Cruz County, depends on disturbed landscapes to hunt and breed. Migrating woolly mammoths and more recently grazing elk helped maintain that habitat. Recreational trails might prove a good replacement–as long as mountain bikers follow rules to reduce beetle casualties.

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Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook hired Frank Gehry to design its new building. Why? If the 'book wanted a green building (and who'd dare to build in the Bay Area without "a big emphasis on being eco-friendly"?), Gehry is a less than obvious choice.

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The Heat is On For California Wines

The Heat is On For California Wines

You’ve probably heard of the wines that made Napa and Sonoma famous, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. But what about Negroamaro or Nero d’Avola? They’re wine grapes that are well-adapted to hotter temperatures — the kind of conditions that California may be facing as the climate continues to warm.

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Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Medical experts disagree on whether prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests are an effective screening technique for prostate cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against PSA screening for men of any age, but recent research disagrees with this assessment.

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Waterways of the Largest Estuary on the West Coast

Waterways of the Largest Estuary on the West Coast

San Francisco Bay's watershed extends to the Sierras. Ponder the waterways of the largest estuary in western North America.

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Outdoor Labs: The UC Natural Reserve System

Outdoor Labs: The UC Natural Reserve System

The University of California runs a unique set of 38 pristine properties around the state for scientific research.

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Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery

Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery

Most of our plastics come from petroleum-based chemicals. Now, thanks to engineered microbes, similar materials might be made using food waste from Starbucks.

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Squid Skin: Why Pigment (But Not Glitter) Will Dance to the Beat

Squid Skin: Why Pigment (But Not Glitter) Will Dance to the Beat

Squid and their relatives–a group of animals known as cephalopods–have the world's best skin. And it's not because they moisturize, lack pimples, or tan without ever burning. It's because their skin is a canvas of endless possibilities.

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California Considers Giving Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California Considers Giving Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California is considering rules that would allow self-driving cars on the road, but making rules for robots is no simple task.

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NASA's New Mars Rover: Armed and Curious

NASA's New Mars Rover: Armed and Curious

Space exploration has caught up with science fiction (again): we have deployed laser-armed nuclear-powered robot on Mars, and nearly two weeks after landing, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, the rover Curiosity, has fired that weapon on a Martian rock.

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Energy Geeks Converge at ACEEE's Boot Camp

Energy Geeks Converge at ACEEE's Boot Camp

Every two years the staff of the magazine I edit, Home Energy, is invited down to the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, to publish a daily newsletter for the biennial ACEEE Summer Study of Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

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Geoscientists Without Borders

Geoscientists Without Borders

The chance to do good with their tools draws geoscientists to humanitarian projects around the world.

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In Defense of Science: An Interview with NCSE’s Eugenie Scott

In Defense of Science: An Interview with NCSE’s Eugenie Scott

Eugenie Scott, longtime director of Oakland's National Center for Science Education, has won numerous awards for helping the public understand science and defending evolution, especially against threats to replace it with “creation science” in public schools. She shares her thoughts on the challenges of communicating science in a climate of denial.

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Collaborative Creativity in the Digital World

Collaborative Creativity in the Digital World

When you think of digital art, Photoshop or a Wacom tablet may come to mind. And yes, drawing on a screen instead of a pad of paper is certainly one kind of digital art. But digital art can also happen on an entirely different level: art can be made with lines of code.

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Arm Yourselves for the Upcoming (Genetics) Revolution

Arm Yourselves for the Upcoming (Genetics) Revolution

As a nation, we aren’t teaching the right genetics in our schools. And for those of us out of school, the situation is, if anything, even worse. By and large we lack the fundamental knowledge needed to properly interpret the avalanche of data headed our way.

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Building a Better, Tastier Tomato

Building a Better, Tastier Tomato

Many tomatoes have been bred to travel well and look appealing, but now researchers are focusing on making them more nutritious and better tasting.

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Traipsing the Dipsea Trail

Traipsing the Dipsea Trail

A hiking adventure on the Dipsea Trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach explores the transect through coastal habitats.

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Stanford's Signature Sandstone

Stanford's Signature Sandstone

Many prestigious schools feature stone buildings, but the golden sandstone of Stanford's historic core is one of a kind.

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NASA's Roving Robotic Chemist Will Collect Clues For Life on Mars

NASA's Roving Robotic Chemist Will Collect Clues For Life on Mars

Scientists are looking for elements and molecules that signify life as we know it. But even if they don’t find those molecules, minerals contain important information about the Martian environment. That could help scientists determine if life could have survived on the planet.

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