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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

How Technology is Transforming Prosthetics and the Lives of Amputees

In the last decade, innovations in 3D printing, advanced bionics and other technologies have led to marked improvements in the form and function of prosthetics. These days, it's not uncommon to see amputees rock climbing, dancing and showing off custom-designed limbs. We explore the changing field of prosthetics.

'Earth, A New Wild' Explores Interdependence of Humans, Wildlife

In an age of climate change and other environmental threats, the relationship between humans and the natural world seems more fragile than ever. Shot in 29 countries, the upcoming PBS series "Earth, A New Wild" shines a spotlight on the close and complex links between people and wildlife. We'll talk to the host of the program, conservation scientist M. Sanjayan.

U.N. Climate Chief Rajendra Pachauri on 'Irreversible and Dangerous' Global Impacts

In November, a United Nations climate panel offered a stark warning to world leaders: time is running out to avoid potentially catastrophic climate change. We'll talk with the chair of that panel, Rajendra Pachauri, about his proposed solutions to the looming crisis. We'll also get his take on the likelihood of an agreement at this year's climate talks in Paris.