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What Gives the Morpho Butterfly Its Magnificent Blue?

KQED Science | December 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

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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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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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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The Amazing Life of Sand

KQED Science | November 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Amazing Life of Sand

There’s a story in every grain of sand: tales of life and death, fire and water. If you scooped up a handful of sand from every beach, you'd have a history of the world sifting through your fingers. From mountain boulders to the shells of tiny ocean creatures, follow the journey that sand takes through thousands of years across entire continents to wind up stuck between your toes.

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Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage

KQED Science | October 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage

Tiny and delicate, pygmy seahorses survive by attaching to vibrant corals where they become nearly invisible to both predators and researchers. Now, biologists at the California Academy of Sciences have successfully bred them in captivity for the first time. Finally, they're able to study the seahorses' amazing act of camouflage up close.

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Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots

KQED Science | October 10, 2014 | 16 Comments

Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots

Activists are hoping local residents will do what state legislators haven’t done -- shut down the controversial oil production technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

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Predatory Plant: Lure of the Cobra Lily

KQED Science | March 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Predatory Plant: Lure of the Cobra Lily

What lurks inside a hungry pitcher plant? The cobra lily, a carnivorous plant native to California, uses deception, patience and bacteria to catch and digest its prey. Watch it in action.

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Science of Beer: Tapping the Power of Brewer’s Yeast

KQED Science | February 11, 2014 | 3 Comments

Science of Beer: Tapping the Power of Brewer’s Yeast

Whether it’s a lager or ale, sour or bitter, dark or light, most beer has one thing in common: yeast. KQED Science visits a commercial yeast laboratory and a local brewery to reveal how this key ingredient is a major player in both science history and beer production.

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Our Top Science Stories from 2013

KQED Science | December 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

Our Top Science Stories from 2013

From the debut of the world's largest solar plant to Comet ISON, zombified bees to the physics of sailing — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science team. Here's a round-up of our top 10 stories (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2013.

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200 Geeks, 24 Hours: Science Hack Day in San Francisco

KQED Science | December 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

200 Geeks, 24 Hours: Science Hack Day in San Francisco

What happens when you fill up a giant space with over 200 eager science fans from around the Bay Area for a weekend? You get Science Hack Day San Francisco, a two-day event where a diverse group of "hackers" -- from developers and designers to scientists and students -- works side-by-side to see what they can quickly create within 24 consecutive hours.

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Silicon Valley VC’s Take on Successful Space Startups

KQED Science | November 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Silicon Valley VC’s Take on Successful Space Startups

Steve Jurvetson is a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist and a board member of rocket maker and launch services company, SpaceX. He shares what it takes to launch a successful start-up in the high-stakes space industry.

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Silicon Valley Goes to Space

KQED Science | November 18, 2013 | 8 Comments

Silicon Valley Goes to Space

Commercial space ventures are taking off and opening up space like never before. With its culture of risk and game-changing startups, Silicon Valley is playing a starring role in many of these new space companies. But risks and costs emerge with the increasing privatization of space.

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ZomBees: Flight of the Living Dead

KQED Science | October 31, 2013 | 2 Comments

ZomBees: Flight of the Living Dead

Something strange and unsettling is happening to Bay Area honeybees. Entomologists at San Francisco State University have identified the culprit: a tiny parasitic fly is causing the bees to exhibit bizarre nocturnal behaviors before suffering a gruesome demise.

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Why Does a Curveball Curve?

KQED Science | October 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

Why Does a Curveball Curve?

With the World Series in full swing, most Americans would probably say they know the basic rules of baseball: the pitcher throws it, the batter hits it, three strikes and you’re out. But underneath it all, the rules that truly govern this game are the laws of physics. “When you go to a ballgame you’re […]

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NASA’s ‘Mohawk Guy’ on the Search for Signs of Life on Mars

KQED Science | October 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

NASA’s ‘Mohawk Guy’ on the Search for Signs of Life on Mars

NASA's "Engineer with a Mohawk" has become a pop culture phenom (62,000 Twitter followers isn't too shabby). But under that comb beats the heart of a true explorer, as we found when he dropped by for a visit.

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Science on the SPOT: Chasing Pumas

KQED Science | September 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

Science on the SPOT: Chasing Pumas

Join a research team from University of California, Santa Cruz as they track, tranquilize and collar a wild puma. The special GPS collars collect data on the puma’s location and behavior, and they reveal how the big cats survive in their shrinking habitat in the Bay Area.

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<a href=http://science.kqed.org/quest/video/science-on-the-spot-preserving-the-forest-of-the-sea/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=science-on-the-spot-preserving-the-forest-of-the-sea target=_blank >Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea</a>

QUEST | February 5, 2013

Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

"Walking down the stacks, you almost feel like you’re in Indiana Jones looking for the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant," said Kathy Ann Miller, PhD, a curator and seaweed expert as she led me down a long, nondescript corridor flanked by row upon row of one ...

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<a href=http://science.kqed.org/quest/video/shadows-and-spiders-a-secret-cave-in-california/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=shadows-and-spiders-a-secret-cave-in-california target=_blank >Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California</a>

QUEST | November 20, 2012

Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

Human beings have always been fascinated with caves. These clandestine spaces carved by mysterious forces elicit our natural curiosity, while at the same time the foreboding depth of their darkness creates a very visceral apprehension. Coupled with the baseline fear of earthquakes that many of us in California share, caves ...

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<a href=http://science.kqed.org/quest/video/science-on-the-spot-sofia-observatory/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=science-on-the-spot-sofia-observatory target=_blank >Science on the SPOT: Up all Night with SOFIA, NASA's Flying Observatory</a>

QUEST | June 27, 2012

Science on the SPOT: Up all Night with SOFIA, NASA's Flying Observatory

Seen from the exterior with its rear canopy closed, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft looks much like a typical jumbo jet you might see at any airport– perhaps even reminiscent of another well-known, heavily modified Boeing 747, Air Force One. "SOFIA has a lot of characteristics ...

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<a href=http://science.kqed.org/quest/video/science-on-the-spot-new-hope-for-heart-repair/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=science-on-the-spot-new-hope-for-heart-repair target=_blank >Science on the SPOT: New Hope for Heart Repair</a>

QUEST | April 18, 2012

Science on the SPOT: New Hope for Heart Repair

More than 5 million people in the United States live with damaged hearts that make it difficult to walk and carry out other simple daily tasks. Pacemakers and drugs can help, but they don’t repair the heart muscle that has died as a result of a heart attack or clogged ...

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