If you can't abide Brussels sprouts and broccoli, your genes may be to blame. Geneticist Danielle Reed of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia studies differences in our perception of taste and smell. A small blip in DNA might determine if you're bitter blind or have a sweet tooth.
QUEST travels to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to meet Linda Spurlock, an anatomist and forensic reconstruction artist who uses clay to re-construct the faces of ancient humans in order to show what they looked like when alive. She also sketches more recently deceased people using only their remains in order to help police solve crimes.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is hard at work on a $4.6 billion, decade-long construction project to overhaul the Hetch Hetchy water system, which delivers water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park and five local reservoirs to 2.5 million residents in the Bay Area.
Mike Forsberg, a nationally renowned photographer, conservationist, and author from Nebraska, spent four years traveling 100,000 miles across the Great Plains—from North Dakota to Texas—to create a portrait of under-appreciated species and habitats of what many consider “flyover country.”
For more than 150 years, scientists have captured images of celestial objects scattered across the night sky. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in North Carolina is attempting to save those historical records before they vanish into a black hole.
The invasive Asian carp has wreaked havoc in the Mississippi River system. The voracious plankton eaters have out-competed native fish and have become the dominant species in many locations. If the carp reach the Great Lakes, they pose a threat to its $7 billion fishery, so a battle against them is taking place on many fronts.
The art and science of salt glaze pottery requires skills and techniques acquired over generations of trial and error. Ben Owen III combines his family’s experiential knowledge of ceramics and additional scientific knowledge to create and improve his unique works of art.
QUEST takes to the high seas with researchers Dirk Rosen, James Lindholm and their crew to study the underwater world off the California coast. In recent years, the state has established a network of marine protected areas to help fragile habitats and struggling fish populations bounce back. But are they working?
In California, more renewable energy comes from geothermal energy than solar and wind, combined. Today, a new technology known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems has the potential to extract even more heat and consequently energy to power steam turbines, but it’s not without challenges.
Experts warn that an offshore quake powerful enough to kill thousands and discharge a tsunami could hit the West Coast any time. QUEST Northwest talks with geologists and seismologists about cutting-edge research in earthquake prediction, and what it would look like if the next “Big One" hits close to home.
On the windswept tarmac of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, an inventive group of scientists and engineers are test-flying a kite-like tethered wing that may someday help revolutionize clean-energy. QUEST explores the potential of wind energy and new airborne wind turbines designed to harness the stronger and more consistent winds found at higher altitudes.
Studying the effects of a concussion at its source, inside the brain, is no easy feat. Says Dr. Geoffrey Manley, Chief of Neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital, "What we’re dealing with is one of the most complicated injuries in the most complicated organ in the body."