Over the past 15 years, the number of people who die of AIDS each year in the United States has dropped by 70 percent. But AIDS remains a serious public health crisis among low-income African-Americans, particularly women. QUEST meets two Bay Area research groups studying innovative approaches that could lead to new treatments and possibly a cure.
Though computers have gotten faster, smaller and more versatile, it's still a big challenge to get them to demonstrate intelligent behaviors. Will machines like robots ever match — or perhaps even exceed — the capabilities of the human brain?
Join QUEST in our latest photography feature about viewers like you who love documenting science, environment and nature here in the Bay Area. Meet architect and photographer Cris Benton. To document the rich colors of the south San Francisco Bay's salt ponds, he places his camera in a very unique position: suspended from a kite.
October 21st, 2008 marked the 140th Anniversary of the 1868 Hayward Earthquake. Geologists say that's important because major earthquakes happen on the Hayward fault every 140 years on average. With much of the East Bay on or near the fault, geologists and community members are working to prepare for what may be the next big one.
Northern California has a storied, 500-year history of sailing. But despite this rich heritage, scientists and boat designers continue to learn more each day about what makes a sail boat move. Contrary to what you might expect, the physics of sailing still present some mysteries to modern sailors.
Frontotemporal dementia occurs when parts of the brain atrophy, causing marked personality changes. Some patients lose the ability to read other people's facial expressions. Others have trouble with language. Sometimes FTD also brings a new interest in art. Dr. Bruce Miller, director of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, explains what patient artwork might suggest about the disease.
Video on Sep 12, 2008 by KQED QUEST staff
When we think about what happens to our brains as we age, one disease tends to dominate our thoughts and fears: Alzheimerâ€™s. In fact, Alzheimerâ€™s only accounts for about half of degenerative brain diseases. Many others are far tougher to diagnose and treat. Amy Standen reports on one under-diagnosed brain disease, frontotemporal dementia, and its often baffling effects.
Video on Sep 12, 2008 by Amy Standen
A great migration is taking place as the California Academy of Sciences moves from its temporary home in downtown San Francisco to its new green building in Golden Gate Park. Join QUEST inside as Cal Academy scientists move live penguins, sharks, eels and millions of other scientific specimens.
In California today, 37,000 people, mostly children, receive treatment for the most severe form of autism. This is a sevenfold increase from 15 years ago, prompting officials to call the situation a public health crisis. Northern California autism researchers are studying everything from saliva samples to carpet dust in hopes of cracking the mystery.
Meet Matt Chaney. He's been diagnosed with pseudobulbar affect, a neurological condition which shows up in about one of three people with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. The result? Uncontrollable fits of laughter and crying that strike as often as three or four times a day. Watch Matt's episodes from the outside, and from within an fMRI machine, as scientists try to figure out how emotions play out in the human brain.
Video on Aug 15, 2008 by KQED QUEST staff
More than 70 retired military ships are anchored northeast of San Francisco in Suisun Bay. Most of them have been there for decades and are leaching toxic substances into the water. While a few have historic value, the rest are in line for scrapping – a process that environmentalists hope to speed up with a new lawsuit.
At 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, you can't see nanoparticles, but you can find them in everyday products like sunscreen and clothing. But environmental and health concerns are mounting about exposure to nanomaterials, sparking a growing debate about their possible regulation.
Hyenas are mostly scavengers, right? Wrong! Spotted Hyenas are extremely good hunters, and they can hunt alone or in a pack. Find out more interesting facts about the Spotted Hyena when QUEST visits with Oakland Zoo Keeper Lorraine Levy.
Melting glaciers, rising temperatures and droughts – all are impacts of global warming. What receives much less attention is the toll that climate change is taking on the health of our oceans. The sea, it turns out, absorbs carbon dioxide emissions, which are causing it to become more acidic. Changing pH levels threaten the entire marine food chain from coral reefs to salmon.
Video on Aug 08, 2008 by Lauren Sommer
Athletes are racing to get the most out of the human body and are using new technology to do it. But there is a dark side. Anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs have been injected into the mix. But how do they really work? And can new technology catch the cheaters?
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are pioneering a new way to recover 100-year-old recordings. Found on fragile wax cylinders and early lacquer records, the sounds reveal a rich acoustic heritage, including languages long lost.