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Science/Environment

Latest Features

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

The largest solar plant in the world - in California’s Mojave Desert - goes through its last test before opening, after a debate that pitted renewable energy against a threatened tortoise.

Tesla Unveils 90-Second Battery Swap Technology

Palo Alto based electric car maker Tesla has announced a service that will swap out a battery in less than two minutes.

In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

Now that scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another, a key question will be whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome.



More From KQED News

New Privacy Agreement Marks Historic Moment in Bioethics

A new agreement between the family of Henrietta Lacks and the National Institutes of Health marks a historic moment, but leaves questions unresolved.

A Year After Richmond Refinery Fire, Community Air Monitors Still Not Working

Inadequate air monitoring systems near the Bay Area's five refineries remain a big concern for local communities.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Turns Back on Baby Peregrines?

A group instrumental in the recovery of peregrine falcons in California is now battling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.





Recently on KQED Public Radio

The California Report

Brown's Signature Marks Beginning of Groundwater Reform

California's historic drought deserves some credit for political action on longtime water needs in the state. That was the assessment of Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, just after he signed a groundbreaking trio of laws regulating the use of groundwater.

UC Looks to Homegrown Startups as New Funding Source

When Google went public, Stanford University made millions. That's because it had equity not only in Google's intellectual property, but in the company itself. That kind of direct investment in a startup wasn't allowed at the University of California, until now. UC President Janet Napolitano made it possible by removing guidelines for industry-academic relations. The change raises questions about ethics, funding and the future of basic research.

What Scientists Are Learning From the South Napa Earthquake

Last weekend's 6.0-magnitude earthquake, centered at the southern edge of Napa, was the strongest to strike the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta quake of 1989. Scientists are in the area studying what happened, and learning a fair bit that upends what they thought was going on in the region. We get the details from KQED Science Editor Craig Miller.



Forum With Michael Krasny

Despite Rain, Coho Salmon Still Struggling

State fisheries biologists recently reported some disturbing news: the coho salmon that typically spawn near Muir Woods had vanished. Recent rainstorms may be helping the endangered salmon, but habitat degradation and the persistent drought are taking a major toll. We'll discuss the plight of coho salmon in the Bay Area.

Study: Climate Change Not Responsible for California Drought

With a new storm expected to pummel the Bay Area on Wednesday, we'll get an update on California's drought. Using tree rings as evidence, scientists say it's the worst drought to hit the state in 1,200 years. We'll also hear about a new federal report that says California's drought isn't caused by man-made climate change, but rather by natural weather patterns.

The Global Impact of Superbugs

More than 58,000 newborns in India died last year from drug-resistant bacteria, according to The New York Times. The global spread of these bacteria, often called "superbugs," has alarmed experts for some years, especially in developing nations where health care spending is low and sanitation is lacking. We'll discuss the increase in superbugs and the possible overuse of antibiotics. What role can the U.S. play in helping the international community contain the problem?