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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.





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The California Report

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.

California-Trained Doctor Helps Keep Liberian Hospital Open During Ebola Crisis

While many run from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, some brave souls are running toward the region to help. Dr. James Appel is one of those. Trained in the Inland Empire at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, he's been working for Adventist Health International at hospitals in Chad for the last decade. Last week, Dr. Appel flew to Liberia to keep the doors open at Cooper Adventist, a small hospital in the capitol, Monrovia.

Politicians to Focus on Climate Change at Lake Tahoe Summit

On Tuesday, more than 400 politicians from California and Nevada will convene at Lake Tahoe to hear about how the drought and climate change are affecting the lake. Senator Dianne Feinstein will host the event. She's put forward a bill to authorize $415 million for restoration of Lake Tahoe -- but it's currently stalled. The House version introduced last October has not even had a hearing yet.



Forum With Michael Krasny

Bay Area's Old, Leaky Pipes Waste Billions of Gallons of Water

The Bay Area loses about 23 billion gallons of water a year because of old, leaky water pipes. That's enough to supply more than 70,000 families for a year. It's an enormous waste in a time of drought, and the aging infrastructure is vulnerable to natural disaster. After this week's earthquake, water main breaks left hundreds without water for days. What would happen in a bigger quake? We check in with water experts about the Bay Area's aging infrastructure and what's being done to fix it.

How Less Sleep Increases Your Risk of Disease

More and more Americans are sleeping less and less. That's according to data from the Centers for Disease Control that show a growing number of people sleep less than six hours a night. And research shows people who sleep less are at greater risk for heart disease, obesity and diabetes. We talk with experts about all things sleep.

Invasive Species on the Rise

California will gain a new invasive species every 60 days. According to the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside, some of these could lead to economic losses to the state of about $3 billion each year. We'll discuss the issues surrounding invasive species from Scotch broom to Asian carp and beyond.