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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

Mark Bittman, UC Berkeley Team Up to Cover California Agriculture

New York Times columnist Mark Bittman is currently a visiting fellow at UC Berkeley's Food Institute. We'll talk to the "How to Cook Everything" author about his upcoming video series on California's changing agriculture and food production systems. We'll also hear what Bay Area food spots have become Bittman's favorites.

Cleanup Underway in Santa Barbara Coast Oil Spill

An underground pipeline that ruptured Tuesday has released at least 21,000 gallons of crude oil onto the beach and into the ocean along the Santa Barbara coast. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates the oil slicks stretch for nine miles. As cleanup efforts continue, we look at the environmental impacts of the spill, what may have caused it and what can be done to prevent future incidents.

Water Expert Calls For Market-Based Solution to Supply Shortages

Is California's water too cheap? The drought is prompting many questions about the way water is allocated and priced. As part of our Drought Watch series, we'll look at proposals to reform the system with University of Arizona water expert Robert Glennon, who has advocated for free-market approaches to water-supply challenges.