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KQED Science Video Podcast: Episodes

UC Santa Cruz plant biologist Jarmila Pitterman and her students are studying rare albino redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains to better understand the inner workings of these unusual plants. By learning how albino redwoods survive, they may unlock some of the mysteries of how redwood trees live ...
Stanford geneticists Ghia Euskirchen and Barry Starr trek into the Santa Cruz Mountains to uncover the genetic mystery of the rare albino redwood trees. QUEST follows along as they seek to discover the root of the mutation. Taking both albino redwood and normal - or "wild type" - samples back to their ...
QUEST meets the San Francisco Zoo’s resident peregrine falcon, "Bella." Not long ago Peregrine Falcons were perched at the edge of extinction. But through the work of conservationists, they have rebounded and have been taken off the endangered species list. "This is a conservation success story." says ...
Inspired in part by the open source movement, public spaces are emerging where people congregate to share ideas, make cool projects, teach, and brainstorm with collaborators on everything from coding to cooking. With no leaders, they have one rule: "Be excellent to each other." Take a tour of the hackerspace ...
QUEST explores how the San Francisco Botanical Garden is toiling to bring one of the city's rarest native plants, the Franciscana manzanita, back from the brink of extinction.
Forest ecologist Steve Sillett is leading a team of scientists as they climb and measure every branch of some of the last and tallest old growth redwoods in California. Their goal is to learn how these ancient giants have historically responded to climatic shifts and to monitor how they are being impacted ...
Ocean tides rise and fall twice a day, influenced by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon. Studying tides' rhythmic movements helps us understand both the ocean and the cosmos. Astronomer Ben Burress explains how tides work, and QUEST visits Crissy Field in San Francisco to see the oldest continually ...
The California Academy of Sciences has the largest collection of biological reference materials west of the Mississippi. Dating back over 100 years, the collection provides a treasure trove of biological information for scientists and researchers studying the natural world. Norman Penny, the Collections ...
Can fire save the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly? The Golden Gate National Recreation Area experiments with using controlled burns to improve habitat for this critically imperiled Bay Area native.
The Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco are a vital home to many birds and marine mammals. While the forbidding and inhospitable nature of the Farallones may be ideal for wildlife, it also makes this a difficult place for scientists to live and work. QUEST ventures out to these jagged rocks ...
California Highway One, between Pacifica and Montara, was carved out of the steep coastal cliffs. Plagued by closures due to rockslides and land slippage, this route has earned the nickname "The Devil's Slide." Now two tunnels beneath San Pedro Mountain, each 30-feet wide and 4,200-feet long are being ...
Artist Kate Nichols longed to paint with the iridescent colors of butterfly wings, but no such pigments existed. So she became the first artist-in-residence at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to synthesize nanoparticles and incorporate them into her artwork.
Meet Shelley, a car that drives itself. Researchers at Stanford University have developed an autonomous race car and plan on taking it on one of the toughest courses in the country. First, the car is taking them for a test ride at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
Pale ghosts that hide amidst their gigantic siblings, only a few dozen Albino redwood trees are known to exist. They are genetic mutants that lack the chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis-- how and why they survive is a scientific mystery. QUEST ventures into the deep canopy of Henry Cowell Redwoods ...
As the "father of biodiversity," two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and guru of myrmecology (the study of ants), E. O. Wilson has been an inspiration to young scientists around the globe. Wilson discusses his life, his career, and his hope for the future of our living world.
Scientists say it's no secret San Francisco Bay is rising, along with all of the earth’s oceans. The reason -- global warming. This rise in sea level will affect everyone who lives, works, or plays near the bay. QUEST asks how high will the Bay rise and when? And what steps can communities take to plan for it?
QUEST journeys back to find out how physicists on the UC Berkeley campus in the 1930s, and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the 1970s, created "atom smashers" that led to key discoveries about the tiny constituents of the atom and paved the way for the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
San Francisco 's fickle summer weather has earned it the nickname "Fog City." Science on the SPOT asks UC Berkeley's Todd Dawson to clear up the mysterious origins of this weather phenomenon, and share his research on how fog is integral to our state's ecology.
Flowing 330 miles from the Sierras to the delta, the San Joaquin River is California’s second longest river. It once boasted one of the state's great salmon runs. But since the construction of Friant Dam near Fresno in the 1940s, most of the San Joaquin's water has been siphoned off to farmland in ...
Think there's nothing to new to see outside? Take a closer look. Photographer Ron Wolf leads us on a hunt for fungi and slime molds, with their surprisingly ornate and elegant patterns, at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Los Altos.
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