The Science of Sustainability

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Emotions Revealed

Emotions Revealed

Is your face giving you away? Meet renowned psychologist Paul Ekman, who has spent his life studying how our facial muscles involuntarily reveal emotions like sadness and anger. His comprehensive catalog of human facial expressions has become an important tool for everyone from law enforcement agents to animators.

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Web Extra: Sights and Sounds of Alum Rock Park

Web Extra: Sights and Sounds of Alum Rock Park

Just a few minutes outside of San Jose, you’ll find a place to explore 100 million years of history. Alum Rock Park, created in 1872 as the first municipal park in California, offers both ancient rocks and new geologic changes (and lots of nice trails and wildlife, too). Despite its longevity and proximity to a populous urban area, it remains one of the less-visited jewels in the Bay Area’s crown.

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Earth Day TV Special: Where We've Been, Where We're Headed

Earth Day TV Special: Where We've Been, Where We're Headed

Journey back in time to the birth of the Bay Area's environmental movement. Meet the everyday people who rescued the Bay Area from environmental disaster and continue to inspire a new generation.

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Mercury in the Bay – Part 1

Mercury in the Bay – Part 1

You might not know it from the textbooks, but California's gold rush was also a mercury rush. Quicksilver mines near San Jose provided gold miners with the mercury they needed to separate gold from ore. 150 years later, we're still facing the consequences of gold-rush era mercury.

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Super Laser at the National Ignition Facility

Super Laser at the National Ignition Facility

It's the largest laser beam in the world and it's being built in the Bay Area. The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will shoot tremendous bursts of energy at an area the size of a pencil eraser. The goal? To create fusion ignition, a potential clean energy source for the 21st century.

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Resurveying California's Wildlife 100 Years Later

Resurveying California's Wildlife 100 Years Later

In the early 1900's, researchers from UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology traveled around California and created detailed records of the wildlife they found. A century later, scientists are revisiting the same sites — they've found that global warming is already having an impact.

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MAKE it at Home: Table-Top Biosphere

MAKE it at Home: Table-Top Biosphere

QUEST teams up with Make Magazine to construct the latest must have, do-it-yourself device hacks, whiz-bang gizmos and techno do-dads.

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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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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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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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Second Life: Big Avatar on Campus

Second Life: Big Avatar on Campus

It's a virtual world, but the transactions are real. Go inside Second Life, an online game where millions of people are creating digital personalities called avatars and are living virtual lives– meeting other avatars, going to events, and even buying property with real money.

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Do-it-Yourself Science: The Maker Faire

Do-it-Yourself Science: The Maker Faire

It's been called "Burning Man for science geeks." The annual Maker Faire attracts thousands of amateur inventors and scientists, displaying their home-made prototypes and gadget hacks. In a world where the technological race is speeding up, the Maker movement has revealed that the do-it-yourself culture is in no danger of dying out.

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Into the Inferno: The Science of Fire

Into the Inferno: The Science of Fire

In dry years, fires in California cost billions of dollars and often result in lost lives. As fire crews rest from a rough year and prepare for this one, QUEST looks at how the history of forest management could be feeding today's flames.

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Sea 3-D: Charting the Ocean Floor

Sea 3-D: Charting the Ocean Floor

Using sound and laser technology, researchers have begun to reveal the secrets of the ocean floor from the Sonoma Coast to Monterey Bay. By creating complex 3-D maps, they're hoping to learn more about waves and achieve ambitious conservation goals.

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Watching the Brain at Work: MRIs and Beyond

Watching the Brain at Work: MRIs and Beyond

The human brain was once a black box, but scientists are finding ways to peer inside and explore some of our most complicated thought processes. Using MRI scanners in innovative ways, Stanford scientists are learning how children's brains process words when they read.

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