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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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How Science Can Help Prevent a (Bad) Hangover

KQED Science | December 29, 2014 | 4 Comments

How Science Can Help Prevent a (Bad) Hangover

In the annals of medical research, you won’t find many studies on the common hangover. But one intrepid Bay Area scientist has taken on the topic -- and even has an inexpensive remedy you probably haven't heard about.

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Bird Biology Knowledge Expands with the Sequencing of 48 Genomes

KQED Science | December 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Bird Biology Knowledge Expands with the Sequencing of 48 Genomes

In a stunning feat of scientific prowess, a large group of scientists has completely sequenced the genomes of 48 different bird species. But as sequencing gets easier, managing all of that data is turning out to be the real challenge.

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Stanford Identifies Drug That May Improve Cardiac Stents

KQED Science | December 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Stanford Identifies Drug That May Improve Cardiac Stents

Stanford researchers believe they’ve found a drug for cardiac stents that can more effectively prevent complications, because the drug targets the actual cause of stent disease.

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UC Berkeley Study Says Migratory Birds Use Infrasound to Avoid Storms

KQED Science | December 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

UC Berkeley Study Says Migratory Birds Use Infrasound to Avoid Storms

It’s well-known that daylight length is an important migratory trigger, but a new study from UC Berkeley finds birds use infrasound, or tones lower than the normal range of human hearing, to flee bad weather.

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Spineless: New Photography Collection Celebrates Our Undersea Cousins

KQED Science | December 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

Spineless: New Photography Collection Celebrates Our Undersea Cousins

A new book about marine invertebrates celebrates the sumptuous beauty of our lesser-known cousins.

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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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Getting Genetic-Based Health Data Just Got Easier in Canada and the U.K.

KQED Science | December 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Getting Genetic-Based Health Data Just Got Easier in Canada and the U.K.

Here in the U.S., if you want to get health information from your direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test, you need to use an online resource like Promethease. The same is no longer true in Canada and the U.K.

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Bay Area Rainfall Ushers in Mating Season for Amorous Amphibians

KQED Science | December 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

Bay Area Rainfall Ushers in Mating Season for Amorous Amphibians

Amphibians face tough times as nearly one-third of the species has already lost worldwide. Learn about our local amphibians and what the East Bay Regional Parks District is doing to protect them.

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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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New Study Sheds Light On Two Regions of DNA Linked to Male Homosexuality

KQED Science | December 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

New Study Sheds Light On Two Regions of DNA Linked to Male Homosexuality

There is little doubt any more among the research community that sexual preference is a combination of both nature and nurture. In other words, it comes about because of both genes and the environment. The next questions to answer have more to do with how much each contributes and which genes and environmental factors are involved.

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Efforts to Restore Monarch Butterflies’ Milkweed Habitats May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

KQED Science | November 19, 2014 | 5 Comments

Efforts to Restore Monarch Butterflies’ Milkweed Habitats May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Migratory monarch butterfly populations have fallen into a tailspin in recent years. Scientists fear that in a classic case of good intentions gone awry, efforts to help the beleaguered butterflies may be inadvertently making matters worse by changing their behavior.

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Want to Go to Mars? A Cheaper Alternative Resides in Chile’s Atacama Desert

KQED Science | November 19, 2014 | 1 Comment

Want to Go to Mars? A Cheaper Alternative Resides in Chile’s Atacama Desert

If you want to go to Mars but can’t quite afford the hundreds of billions of dollars for a ticket, there is another solution: consider instead a trip to the Atacama Desert in Chile.

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What Gall! The Crazy Cribs of Parasitic Wasps

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 6 Comments

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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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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Scientists Find Genes in Mice That May Lead to Future Ebola Treatments

KQED Science | November 17, 2014 | 1 Comment

Scientists Find Genes in Mice That May Lead to Future Ebola Treatments

Scientists have identified Ebola-resistant and Ebola-sensitive mouse strains. Not only will the sensitive mice be useful as a relatively quick way to test new Ebola treatments, but by comparing its genetics to those of the resistant strains, scientists may find new ways to treat Ebola.

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