The Science of Sustainability

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Found In Space: Exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb

Found In Space: Exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb

If you've been keeping up on the now very frequent reports of new extrasolar planet discoveries, here's a news flash: an Earth-sized exoplanet has been found orbiting the nearest star!ei

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A New Radiocarbon Yardstick from Japan

A New Radiocarbon Yardstick from Japan

A long core of sediment from a Japanese lake is a Rosetta Stone for ice-age climate research.

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Vaccine Waivers, Informed Consent and Public Health

Vaccine Waivers, Informed Consent and Public Health

Starting in 2014, California will require parents to see a health practitioner to learn the risks and benefits of vaccination before opting out of the state's immunization requirements. Public health officials hope that when parents learn the difference between science-based evidence and the uninformed myths so prevalent online and in the mainstream media, they'll decide to protect their children from the real risks of infectious disease, rather than worry about unfounded theoretical risks.

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Information Is Beautiful Competition: San Francisco Design Company Takes Top Prize

Information Is Beautiful Competition: San Francisco Design Company Takes Top Prize

The Bay Area is a magnet for both artistic spirits and data freaks. So, although the inaugural Information is Beautiful award competition drew entries from around the world, perhaps it isn't too surprising that the ultimate prize was snagged by San Francisco design company Stamen.

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Fracking in Urban Oilfields: A New Study Sparks More Debate

Fracking in Urban Oilfields: A New Study Sparks More Debate

A rigorous study shows that fracking is unharmful when the stakes are high. Not much should be made of it.

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Why I Do Science: Stephen Palumbi

Why I Do Science: Stephen Palumbi

In this edition of "Why I Do Science", we hear from Stephen Palumbi, a world-renowned marine biologist and director of the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California.

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Saving Bighorn Sheep, One Mural At a Time

Saving Bighorn Sheep, One Mural At a Time

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are animals worth seeing. With their bright white rumps and the rams' remarkable headgear, they bound and leap over seemingly impassable alpine terrain. But you may have a tricky time spotting one–there are only about four hundred in existence.

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SF Scientist Wins Nobel for Stem Cell Breakthrough

SF Scientist Wins Nobel for Stem Cell Breakthrough

Shinya Yamanaka, a stem cell researcher at the Gladstone Institutes and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, has won this year's Nobel Prize in medicine.

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Who is Qualified to Decide Scientific Matters?

Who is Qualified to Decide Scientific Matters?

In November, California voters need to decide whether or not GM foods should be labeled as such. They are making this decision even though a recent study shows that 49% of the people surveyed think that GM foods have genes whereas regular foods do not. Is this any way to run a democracy?

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News From Mars: A River Ran Through It

News From Mars: A River Ran Through It

NASA's Curiosity rover, now exploring the alluvium at the base of Mount Sharp in Gale Crater for over two months, has struck pay dirt: the gravel and river stone conglomerate laid down by an ancient Martian stream!

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Earth Science Week 2012: Careers in the Field

Earth Science Week 2012: Careers in the Field

More than the good salaries and jobs, it's the coolness that attracts young people to geoscience.

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Think Pink? I’d Rather Raise a Stink

Think Pink? I’d Rather Raise a Stink

Every October, high-profile outlets from Ace Hardware to the NFL sell pink products to raise awareness and money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Critics of "pinkwashing" urge consumers to ask just how much of that money goes to support breast cancer programs–and challenge us to move beyond awareness to action.

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Illustrating Science: Translating Knowledge Into Pictures

Illustrating Science: Translating Knowledge Into Pictures

Allison Bruce has a wonderful job: she spends all day making pictures for scientists. Bruce started out in science herself, earning a chemistry degree from UC Davis. After college, she worked in an environmental lab, but she didn't enjoy it and turned to art classes "to keep from losing my mind," she says.

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Heat and Harvest – the documentary

Heat and Harvest – the documentary

A half-hour documentary on how climate change is challenging California’s $30 billion agricultural industry. Co-produced by KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Some Bugs Like it Hot: Climate Change and Agricultural Pests

Some Bugs Like it Hot: Climate Change and Agricultural Pests

Scientists and farmers are starting to notice that, as California's winters warm up, the state is becoming more hospitable to destructive agricultural pests.

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Get Your Binoculars, It's Raptor Viewing Time

Get Your Binoculars, It's Raptor Viewing Time

The autumn brings the annual raptor migration over Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco. Find out about their journey and the people who count them.

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Things You May Not Know About California Tsunamis

Things You May Not Know About California Tsunamis

Scientific agencies have helped the state improve its knowledge of tsunamis and its responses to them. They can teach you and help you respond, too.

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Creative Use of a Cancer Mutation May Improve Nylon Production

Creative Use of a Cancer Mutation May Improve Nylon Production

Chemists want to reengineer metabolic proteins and pathways in microbes so they can convert sugar into commodity chemicals. Now a mutant protein found in cancer cells provides clues to help scientists improve a protein that could help microbes create a precursor to nylon. In science, as in so much of life, inspiration can come from unusual places.

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Black Holes: Objects of Attraction

Black Holes: Objects of Attraction

Black holes have been the stuff of science fiction since their discovery in the late sixties. But now a new, nimble NASA telescope is using its powerful x-ray vision to hunt for these abundant yet invisible, massive space oddities.

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Your Videos on QUEST: Steve Fyffe

Your Videos on QUEST: Steve Fyffe

Motion-activated cameras at Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve provide scientists a window into the secret lives of the animals there. This short video by the Stanford News Service reveals how these "camera traps" work and shows some of the amazing animals that roam around Jasper Ridge at night.

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