The Science of Sustainability

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Climate Watch: California at the Tipping Point

Climate Watch: California at the Tipping Point

The world's climate is changing and California is now being affected in both dramatic and subtle ways. Get an in-depth look at the science behind climate change as we explore the environmental changes taking place throughout the state.

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Smart Grid at Home

Smart Grid at Home

President Obama's stimulus plan set aside billions for clean energy. Funding will go to some familiar projects — like wind and solar power — and to some not so familiar ones, like the smart grid. So what is the smart grid? And how will it affect your home energy use?

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Web Extra: Smart Grid Technology Slideshow

Web Extra: Smart Grid Technology Slideshow

California is leading the way in a new smart grid. Check out some of the new technology and some of the not-so-new energy tools from decades past in this slideshow.

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QUEST Quiz: The Moon

QUEST Quiz: The Moon

In an average lifetime, a person experiences about 936 full Moons. So, how old is the Moon? How was it formed? Take the QUEST Quiz to find out how much you REALLY know about Earth's Moon.

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NASA Ames Rocket to the Moon

NASA Ames Rocket to the Moon

Call them demolition derby astrophysicists: NASA scientists in Mountain View deliberately crashed an unmanned rocket into the moon on October 9th, 2009. Their goal? To find water, in the form of ice, which could one day support a moon base. On November 15th, 2009, they announced they had found it. QUEST looks at the planning and run-up to the big event.

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Sewage Spills Increasing

Sewage Spills Increasing

How much sewage makes its way into our water? Plenty. Statewide, it's likely that last year's record number, 20 million gallons of raw sewage dumped in California waterways, is going to be broken this year. Decrepit pipes, lack of money and the growing severity of storms could all add up to a disaster of septic proportions.

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Cool Critters: Opossums

Cool Critters: Opossums

Did you know that opossums are good to have in your backyard? Learn why and a bunch of other cool critter facts when we visit the wildlife ambassadors that live at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA.

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The World's Most Powerful Microscope

The World's Most Powerful Microscope

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab recently turned on a $27 million electron microscope. Its ability to make images to a resolution half the width of a hydrogen atom made it the most powerful microscope in the world.

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Web Extra: Images from the World's Most Powerful Microscope

Web Extra: Images from the World's Most Powerful Microscope

See a selection of the new amazing atomic-scale images from the TEAM microscope seen in our Video "The World's Most Powerful Microscope."

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High Tech in the Vineyards

High Tech in the Vineyards

When it comes to water conservation, you might want to toast some of the state's vintners. Grape growers are among the best at curbing water use and many are increasingly relying on an array of high-tech gadgetry to help them do it.

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Web Extra: High Tech in the Vineyards Slideshow

Web Extra: High Tech in the Vineyards Slideshow

California vintners are increasingly relying on an array of high-tech gadgetry to help their grapes. Check out some of the technology they're using.

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Web Extra: Nudging with Nukes

Web Extra: Nudging with Nukes

Most scientists agree that using nuclear explosives to deflect an incoming asteroid is a bad idea. But Astrophysicist David Dearborn from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been heating up the debate with his theories about how nuclear explosives could be used effectively to nudge an asteroid into a new orbit that causes it to miss the Earth entirely.

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QUEST Lab: Five-Cent Battery

QUEST Lab: Five-Cent Battery

How much electrical power will a nickel buy you? This week the Exploratorium shows us how to make an LED flashlight battery for only five cents.

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Asteroid Hunters

Asteroid Hunters

Everyone knows that eight planets orbit the Sun. But thousands of other objects, including icy comets and football field-sized asteroids, are also zooming around our solar system. And some of them could be on a collision course with Earth. QUEST explores how these Near Earth Objects are being tracked and what scientists are saying should be done to prevent a deadly impact.

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Web Extra: Citizen Science – Mud Snails

Web Extra: Citizen Science – Mud Snails

They spend hours in the mud in search of a tiny snail. Meet the volunteers working with the Bay Institute to eradicate an invasive Japanese mud snail on the shores of San Francisco Bay.

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Web Extra: Medicine from the Ocean Floor Slideshow

Web Extra: Medicine from the Ocean Floor Slideshow

Scientists at UC Santa Cruz are using robots to sort through thousands of marine chemicals in search of cures for diseases like cholera, breast cancer, and malaria. Check out images from this story.

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Animal Chefs

Animal Chefs

Ever wonder how to make krill shakes, squid tacos or fishy sausages to tempt the taste buds of a 400-pound mola mola? The chefs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium prepare such meals daily to feed thousands of species, from otters to octopi to sharks. Find out what it takes to come up with nutritious and tasty meals for diners with wild appetites.

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Your Photos on QUEST: Laura Watt

Your Photos on QUEST: Laura Watt

Photographer Laura Watt has lived in the Bay Area for most of her life but it was not until she started sailing in San Francisco Bay at age 35 that she began to appreciate the patterns, textures and colors of the precious water that surrounds us all. Self-described as "trawler trash," she lives aboard her boat in San Rafael's Loch Lomand Marina, granting her a front row seat to the dynamic body of water that she captures so well in her moody, intimate images.

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Zeppelins Resurrected

Zeppelins Resurrected

In 1935, the USS Macon went down in 1000 feet of water off the coast of Monterey, California. Now, as scientists study the recently-discovered wreckage, dirigibles are returning to the Bay Area. But these aren't the same dirigibles – these are new and improved.

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Tracking Carbon through Your Cell Phone

Tracking Carbon through Your Cell Phone

A group of high school students in San Francisco are using high-tech GPS cell phones to track their daily carbon footprint – and to gauge their daily environmental risk. The GPS tracks the students' trips and shows them how much carbon they use and are exposed to each week. As cell phones become more powerful, organizers hope to spread this movement virally.

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