Designing the Interstellar Doorbell (Or How to Talk to...12/16/14
Humans have been sending messages into outer space for decades, hoping some intelligent extra-terrestrial might come upon them. Now, for the first time in history, we have addresses. So, what should we say?
How California's Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought
Here’s the thing: Water rights in California are based on who got there first. It’s as if you had to line up with all your coworkers to get a cup of coffee at work, and maybe the pot’s empty when the new guy gets to the front. Some are asking, in a...
California Drought Boosts 'Cash for Grass' Programs
California homeowners are replacing Kentucky bluegrass with native species and other water-friendly options to try and cut back on outdoor watering. Depending on what replacement residents choose, water districts may offer a cash reward for tearing...
California Utilities and Solar Companies Battle Over Electricity Prices
Solar companies in California have long been able to tell homeowners they can save a lot of money on power bills by going solar. Now PG&E is proposing a rate change the company says will be more fair for everyone. But solar companies say it’s simply...
Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought
Scientists say it’s possible California’s drought may last a lot longer than a few years. No one knows for sure, but we could all simply have to adjust to a drier climate. That could mean changing the way we build cities to make them more porous. The...
Parched: California Wildlife Suffers in Drought
Birds, salmon and snakes depend on marshes and rivers for survival and migration, and to propagate the species. But many wildlife species are unable to find the water they need as the drought shrinks rivers and dries up wetlands.
Aging U.S. Icebreaker Fleet May Imperil Polar Science
The last of the Coast Guard's big icebreakers departs San Francisco Bay this week, a rare sight on the Bay and a reminder that the U.S. is falling behind in the race for polar dominance -- and knowledge.
'Bionic Eye' Allows Some Blind People to See Light
A California woman recently became the first person in the West to receive a new type of bionic eye, an implant that will help her see for the first time in nearly three decades.
Drought-Stressed Crops May Be Better For You
Scientists in California's Central Valley are testing the nutrient content of fruits grown with less-than-normal amounts of water. And the findings so far are raising a question: will consumers buy fruits that are just as nutritional, or sometimes...
25 Years After the Loma Prieta Earthquake, Are We Safer?
Bay Area taxpayers have spent billions of dollars over the last quarter-century to make our bridges, water pipes and power supplies safer in an earthquake. Experts say that means the Bay Area is much better off now. At the same time, the work is far...
Do Wearables and Health Apps Belong in the Doctor’s Office?
Wearables and health apps made a multi-billion-dollar industry out of healthy peoples' desires to count calories and rack up steps. Now can this technology make the transition to a medical setting, to help people with chronic illnesses?
How Big Data Is Changing Medicine
Used to be that medical researchers came up with a theory, recruited subjects, and gathered data, sometimes for years. Now, the answers are already there in data collections on the cloud. All researchers need is the right question.
Finding Faults: Scientists Close in on Napa Quake Origins
The South Napa Earthquake revealed how much we've yet to learn about seismic faults in the Napa Valley.
Why More Trees in the Sierra Mean Less Water for California
California water districts are eyeing a potential new source of water: trees. After a century of fire suppression, Sierra Nevada forests are more dense than ever before. And those pine trees are taking up a lot of water that might otherwise run off...
Finding the Next Ebola Before it Breaks Out
Scientists at UC Davis are scouring the globe to find new viruses that can jump from animals to humans. Their goal is to prevent the next pandemic.
Drought Myth-Busting: Why El Ni¤o Is Never A Good Bet
The peculiar set of ocean conditions is known as a California rainmaker -- but El Ni¤o's reputation has been greatly exaggerated.
A Year After Rim Fire, Debate Sparks Over Replanting Trees
Reforestation is common after large fires in the West, but some scientists say it’s time to rethink how forests are replanted.
Schizophrenia: What It's Like to Hear Voices
People who hear auditory hallucinations say the voices can be quiet or cacophonous, singular or crowd-like, but they are almost always harsh and disapproving.
What Is Schizophrenia? Scientists Call for New Thinking
For two generations, psychiatrists have treated schizophrenia by medicating its most obvious symptoms: delusions and hallucinations. Were they wrong?
New Clinics in California Seek to Stop Schizophrenia Before it Starts
A psychotic break can lead to social isolation, hospitalization or medications with sometimes disabling side effects. Now some clinics are taking a controversial approach and trying to intervene earlier.
- San Francisco, CA