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What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel?

KQED Science | March 31, 2015 | 2 Comments

What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel?

Scientists use a high-speed camera to film hummingbirds' aerial acrobatics at 1000 frames per second. They see, frame by frame, how neither wind nor rain stop these tiniest of birds from fueling up.

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Drought Hasn’t Dampened Gorgeous Bay Area Wildflowers Display

KQED Science | March 27, 2015 | 3 Comments

Drought Hasn’t Dampened Gorgeous Bay Area Wildflowers Display

The drought hasn't held back the wildflowers this year. See what's blooming in naturalist Sharol Nelson-Embrys blog.

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Researchers at SLAC Study Promising Alternative to Morphine

KQED Science | March 27, 2015 | 3 Comments

Researchers at SLAC Study Promising Alternative to Morphine

Researchers are now studying a new kind of pain reliever with less side effects than morphine, using the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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Newt Sex: Buff Males! Writhing Females! Cannibalism!

KQED Science | March 17, 2015 | 4 Comments

Newt Sex: Buff Males! Writhing Females! Cannibalism!

Every winter, California newts leave the safety of their forest burrows and travel as far as three miles to mate in the pond where they were born. Their mating ritual is a raucous affair that involves bulked-up males, writhing females and a little cannibalism.

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Bee Decline Linked to a Combination of Stressors

KQED Science | March 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Bee Decline Linked to a Combination of Stressors

There's plenty you can do, however, to help honeybees, from observations you can make when watching pollinators to what you plant in your garden.

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Powerful Genetic Test Prevents Paternity Mix-Up

KQED Science | March 9, 2015 | 4 Comments

Powerful Genetic Test Prevents Paternity Mix-Up

A couple who used a fertility clinic to conceive was ready to sue when the child’s blood type didn’t match up with mom and dad’s. Obviously the clinic had used the wrong sperm or made some other awful mistake. Except in this case they probably hadn’t. The couple, whose case I worked on, gave me […]

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Vivid New Seadragon Found Hiding in a Museum

KQED Science | March 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

Vivid New Seadragon Found Hiding in a Museum

Science has just introduced the first new seadragon species in 150 years, and the first new ichthyosaur species in 130 years. The coincidence illustrates the value of museum collections.

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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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Strongest Natural Material in the World Discovered: Limpet Teeth

KQED Science | February 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

Strongest Natural Material in the World Discovered: Limpet Teeth

The strongest natural material in the world has just been discovered: limpet teeth. Learn more about how this discovery could improve our future technology and innovations through biomimicry.

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Scientists Tackle a Dual Threat: More Acid, Less Oxygen in the Ocean

KQED Science | February 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Scientists Tackle a Dual Threat: More Acid, Less Oxygen in the Ocean

Marine scientists from up and down the West Coast say it's a one-two punch to the Pacific food web.

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Scientists Create the Most Precise 3D Map of the Human Genome Yet

KQED Science | February 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

Scientists Create the Most Precise 3D Map of the Human Genome Yet

Until recently scientists have not been able to figure out the information coded in the folding of our DNA in the nucleus. A new map now makes this task simpler. This kind of map will not only tell us how the instructions in our DNA lead to making each one of us, but it may also provide new ways to understand and even treat diseases like cancer.

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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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Elephant Seals Battle for Love With Mating Songs and Bravado

KQED Science | February 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

Elephant Seals Battle for Love With Mating Songs and Bravado

They may sound like faulty plumbing, but male northern elephant seals have a unique communication system that's all about reputation.

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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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Genetically Speaking, Americans Really Are a Melting Pot of Diversity

KQED Science | January 26, 2015 | 1 Comment

Genetically Speaking, Americans Really Are a Melting Pot of Diversity

A new study confirms that at the DNA level, people in the U.S. are more similar than many might think. People who self identify as African-American, Latino or European-American very often have traces of one or both of the other ancestries in their DNA.

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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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Scientists Used Modern DNA to Reconstruct Part of a 19th-Century Man’s Genome

KQED Science | January 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

Scientists Used Modern DNA to Reconstruct Part of a 19th-Century Man’s Genome

Until recently, you pretty much had to rely on family stories that were passed down through the generations to learn about your ancestors. But that is now set to change. With a little luck, a whole lot of science and genealogy, you may be able to use passed down DNA instead of stories to learn a bit about that great-great-great-grandfather.

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The Fantastic Fur of Sea Otters

KQED Science | January 6, 2015 | 1 Comment

The Fantastic Fur of Sea Otters

Sea otters aren’t just cute -- they’re a vivid example of life on the edge. Unlike whales and other ocean mammals, sea otters have no blubber. Yet they're still able to keep warm in the frigid Pacific waters. The secret to their survival? A fur coat like no other.

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