The Science of Sustainability

Tag: QUEST

Producer's Notes – Biofuels: Beyond Ethanol

Producer's Notes – Biofuels: Beyond Ethanol

A sample of switchgrass at Sandia National LaboratoriesIt doesn't need to be said that there's a heated debate about how to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions with actions that lessen our society's carbon footprint. Biofuels like ethanol or biodiesel are one option. They're touted as being carbon neutral because the CO2 they emit comes from crops […]

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Reporter's Notes – Cool Critters: Sharks of the Bay

Reporter's Notes – Cool Critters: Sharks of the Bay

First things first: If you swim in the bay, no need to worry about sharks. None of the experts we spoke to could remember a single instance of someone getting bitten. And you can rest easy about Great Whites too; they don’t seem to have a taste for Bay waters. For more on this, see […]

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Alzheimer's: Is the Cure in the Genes?

Alzheimer's: Is the Cure in the Genes?

By 2050, as our population ages, 15 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer's disease– triple today's number. Researchers at San Francisco's Gladstone Institutes have found that a gene may hold the key to a cure.

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Biofuels: Beyond Ethanol

Biofuels: Beyond Ethanol

For years there's been buzz — both positive and negative — about generating ethanol fuel from corn. But thanks to recent developments, the Bay Area is rapidly becoming a world center for the next generation of green fuel alternatives. Meet the scientists investigating the newest methods for converting what we grow into what makes us go.

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Cool Critters: Sharks of the Bay

Cool Critters: Sharks of the Bay

Do sharks live in San Francisco Bay? QUEST heads out on a shark-tagging expedition to unlock the secrets of some of the bay's biggest and least known predators.

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Cement – A Dirty Business

Cement – A Dirty Business

Thought California has consigned coal-burning to the scrap bin? Think again! California has 11 coal-fired power plants, all used to heat limestone into cement — making us one of the biggest cement-producing states in the country. In addition to cement, these kilns produce 95% of the state's airborne mercury pollution and 2% of its greenhouse […]

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Urban Heat Islands

Urban Heat Islands

Buildings, concrete, asphalt, tar roof tops and industry have caused cities to reach higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas. Now, green-minded architects are taking cooler approaches to their designs.

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An Upside Down Tree

An Upside Down Tree

A Baobab TreeIt is not only animals that can be become endangered but plants and trees as well. One of California Academy of Science's research areas has been Madagascar. Coined as an "Island of Evolution," Madagascar hosts a rich biodiversity of plant and animal life that is indigenous to the area and, unfortunately, highly threatened. […]

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QUEST Lab: Aerogel

QUEST Lab: Aerogel

It looks like frozen smoke. And it's the lightest solid material on the planet. Aerogel insulates space suits, makes tennis rackets stronger and could be used one day to clean up oil spills.

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Producer's Notes – SETI: The New Search for ET

Producer's Notes – SETI: The New Search for ET

The Allen Telescope Array.When I first began to work on Quest's SETI: The Search for ET segment, I have to admit that my initial reaction was "are we still looking for ET?" Of course, humans have been gazing up to the heavens for millennia, asking ourselves that interminable question "are we alone?" And of course, […]

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Producer's Notes – In the Kitchen with Aerogel

Producer's Notes – In the Kitchen with Aerogel

Scientist Alex Gash prepares the "frozen smoke." I've always loved cooking shows. There's something so satisfying about watching an expert gather, wash, peel, macerate, combine and assemble ingredients. And because of the magic of television, we get the whole enchilada neatly packaged within a half hour program. Everything's perfectly cooked, presented and served. And I […]

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Interview with Astronomer Jill Tarter,  Part I (web only)

Interview with Astronomer Jill Tarter, Part I (web only)

Web Extra: Part I of our complete November 2007 interview with astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter of SETI Institute on site at the Allen Telescope Array in Hat Creek, CA.

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Interview with Astronomer Jill Tarter, Part II (web only)

Interview with Astronomer Jill Tarter, Part II (web only)

Web Extra: Part II of our complete November 2007 interview with astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter of SETI Institute on site at the Allen Telescope Array in Hat Creek, CA.

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SETI: The New Search for ET

SETI: The New Search for ET

Is anyone out there? For over 40 years scientists have been searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, but they've found nothing. Now the new Allen Telescope Array, a string of 350 radio telescopes, is being built 300 miles north of San Francisco and is breathing new life into the search.

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The Fierce Humboldt Squid

The Fierce Humboldt Squid

A mysterious sea creature up to 7 feet long, with 10 arms, a sharp beak and a ravenous appetite, has invaded ocean waters off Northern California. Marine biologists are working to discover why they have headed up from South America.

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Plug-in Hybrids Get a Boost

Plug-in Hybrids Get a Boost

Today's San Francisco Chronicle reports on the California Air Resources Board's decision to require automakers to produce more low-emissions cars such as plug-in hybrids and on the plug-ins that GM, Toyota and Ford are now testing. If you're curious about how plug-in hybrids actually achieve 100 miles per gallon, watch Plug-in Hybrid Cars, the story […]

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Wild Prices for Wild Salmon

Wild Prices for Wild Salmon

Consumer appetite for salmon is booming at a time when the supply is about to dry up. With an impending year-long fishing ban in place, prices for wild salmon — that is, salmon caught in the ocean off California and Oregon — are expected to skyrocket. What are the alternatives for shoppers?

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Wild Prices for Wild Salmon

Wild Prices for Wild Salmon

Image Source: AdactioThe expected shutdown of this year's salmon season in California is bad news not only for fishermen but for consumers too. It means that anyone buying wild salmon this year is going to pay some wild prices. There is another choice, of course, cheaper, farmed salmon. But that prospect has some consumers cringing… […]

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QUEST Season 2 Web Premiere: The Fierce Humboldt Squid

QUEST Season 2 Web Premiere: The Fierce Humboldt Squid

A mysterious sea creature up to 7 feet long, with 10 arms, a sharp beak and a ravenous appetite, has invaded ocean waters off Northern California. Packs of fierce Humboldt Squid attack nearly everything they see, from fish to scuba divers. Marine biologists are working to discover why they’ve headed north from their traditional homes […]

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Chevron's Plans

Chevron's Plans

Richmond city officials are expected to approve a controversial upgrade to the Chevron refinery plant. Quest reports on the decision and explores the debate around Chevron's billion dollar proposal. You may listen to the "Chevron's Plans" Radio report online, as well as find additional links and resources. Amy Standen is a Reporter for QUEST and […]

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