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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

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.

Scientists Take on Dangerous Mosquitoes in Central Valley

Two people have died of West Nile virus in Sacramento and Shasta counties, the first reported deaths in the state this year. Last year, 15 people died in California from the virus, which is usually transmitted to humans from a bite by an infected mosquito. One variety of mosquito found recently in San Mateo, Madera and Clovis is particularly worrisome because it can carry a number of deadly diseases, including yellow fever and West Nile. The state's entomologists are mobilizing to fight this new, bloodsucking threat.



Forum With Michael Krasny

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.

'Working Stiff,' A Forensic Pathologist's Story

Judy Melinek has made a career of working with dead bodies. As a forensic pathologist, she has probed and prodded bodies for clues that may reveal murder, suicide, a medical accident or a rare genetic disease. In her book "Working Stiff," Melinek chronicles her two rookie years working in the New York Medical Examiner's office, a job she started two months before the 9/11 attacks. Melinek, now based in San Francisco, joins us to talk about a career straddling medicine and law.

Gardening in a Drought

As California's drought continues, its effects have become easy to see in browning lawns and drooping flowers. We talk with landscape and gardening experts about how you should best use precious water. What should you try to save, and what should you leave alone? And, as the fall planting season approaches, we'll talk about the best drought-friendly landscapes.