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From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton

KQED Science | March 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton

Most plankton are tiny drifters, wandering in a vast ocean. But where wind and currents converge they become part of a grander story… an explosion of vitality that affects all life on Earth, including our own.

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A Visit to Apple’s Secret New Headquarters

KQED Science | February 23, 2015 | 1 Comment

A Visit to Apple’s Secret New Headquarters

From the dust of the former Hewlett Packard campus in Cupertino, a glass and concrete ring is taking shape. Apple is building a new headquarters, and it's going to be bigger than the Pentagon. KQED got a tour and a look at the campus' green features.

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Banana Slugs: Secret of the Slime

KQED Science | February 17, 2015 | 1 Comment

Banana Slugs: Secret of the Slime

Beneath the towering redwoods lives one of the most peculiar creatures in California: the banana slug. They're coated with a liquid crystal ooze that solves many problems slugs face in the forest -- and maybe some of our own.

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Does California Need More National Monuments?

KQED Science | February 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Does California Need More National Monuments?

Despite initial objections, most national monuments have withstood the test of time. We get some perspective from a leading authority on public lands law.

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In the Race for Life, Which Human Embryos Make It?

KQED Science | February 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

In the Race for Life, Which Human Embryos Make It?

Every one of us started out as an embryo, but only a few early embryos – about one in three – grow into a baby. Researchers are unlocking the mysteries of our embryonic clock and helping patients who are struggling to get pregnant.

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Building a Better Bionic Arm by Teaching the Brain a New Signal

KQED Science | February 2, 2015 | 2 Comments

Building a Better Bionic Arm by Teaching the Brain a New Signal

Even the best prosthetics today lack a natural sense that tells the brain where the body is in space. That makes it hard to comb the back of your hair, for example, or thread a belt.

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Your Chance to Weigh In on the EPA’s New Smog Proposal

KQED Science | January 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

Your Chance to Weigh In on the EPA’s New Smog Proposal

Regulators say the stricter new standard could save lives and reduce hospitalizations. Critics say it would be costly and would kill jobs.

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How Electric Light Changed the Night

KQED Science | January 20, 2015 | 4 Comments

How Electric Light Changed the Night

Artificial light makes the modern world possible. But not all kinds of light are good for us. Electric light has fundamentally altered our lives, our bodies and the very nature of our sleep.

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Tiny Parasite Threatens Native Plants

KQED Science | January 12, 2015 | 6 Comments

Tiny Parasite Threatens Native Plants

A microscopic pathogen got into the roots of some native plants at a restoration project in Alameda County, despite massive efforts to prevent it. Now officials are hoping to stop this microbe before it spreads.

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Future of Berryessa-Snow Mountain Lands in Limbo

KQED Science | January 5, 2015 | 5 Comments

Future of Berryessa-Snow Mountain Lands in Limbo

Faced with a new Republican-led Congress, supporters of special protections for the area are taking their case to the president, urging him to create a new national monument. But there are no guarantees there, either.

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Ten Years After Indian Ocean Tsunami, California is Better Prepared

KQED Science | December 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

Ten Years After Indian Ocean Tsunami, California is Better Prepared

The tragedy sparked a decade of improvements to our tsunami warning system.

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What Gives the Morpho Butterfly Its Magnificent Blue?

KQED Science | December 16, 2014 | 3 Comments

What Gives the Morpho Butterfly Its Magnificent Blue?

What does it mean to be blue? The wings of a Morpho butterfly are some of the most brilliant structures in nature, and yet they contain no blue pigment -- they harness the physics of light at the nanoscale.

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New Residential Water Use Numbers Indicate Conservation Backslide

KQED Science | December 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

New Residential Water Use Numbers Indicate Conservation Backslide

The year-over-year water-saving rate slid by more than a third in October, worrying officials calling on residents to reduce water usage during record drought.

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The Hidden Perils of Permafrost

KQED Science | December 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Hidden Perils of Permafrost

For thousands of years, mysterious bacteria have remained dormant in the Arctic permafrost. Now, a warming climate threatens to bring them back to life. What does that mean for the rest of us?

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California Drought Boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ Programs

KQED Science | December 1, 2014 | 5 Comments

California Drought Boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ Programs

California homeowners are replacing Kentucky bluegrass with native species and other water-friendly options to try and cut back on outdoor watering. Depending on what replacement residents choose, water districts may offer a cash reward for tearing out that thirsty lawn.

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This Week’s Rain Unlikely to Dent Drought

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

This Week’s Rain Unlikely to Dent Drought

Rain systems so far this season have been on the wimpy side. This next series is likely to continue the trend.

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What Gall! The Crazy Cribs of Parasitic Wasps

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

What Gall! The Crazy Cribs of Parasitic Wasps

Plenty of animals build their homes in oak trees. But some very teeny, tricky wasps make the tree do all the work. “What nerve!” you might say. What… gall! And you’d be right. The wasps are called gall-inducers. And each miniature mansion that the trees build for the wasps' larvae is weirder and more flamboyant than the next.

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Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 12 Comments

Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought

Scientists say it’s possible California’s drought may last a lot longer than a few years. No one knows for sure, but we could all simply have to adjust to a drier climate. That could mean changing the way we build cities to make them more porous. The 'Hydramax,' a futuristic design pictured above, rises with the tide and captures water from the air.

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Scientists Suspect a Virus is Causing Sea Star Die-Off

KQED Science | November 17, 2014 | 1 Comment

Scientists Suspect a Virus is Causing Sea Star Die-Off

But the virus isn't new to sea stars, so what triggered the current outbreak remains a mystery.

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Life Aboard a ‘Polar Roller': America’s Last Heavy Icebreaker

KQED Science | November 6, 2014 | 2 Comments

Life Aboard a ‘Polar Roller': America’s Last Heavy Icebreaker

And a trick to prevent seasickness that the skipper swears by (other than staying ashore).

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