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KQED Science Video Podcast

KQED Science explores science and environment news, trends and events from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond with its award-winning features and reporting on television, radio and the Web.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Airborne Wind Energy

Looking up at the jet stream, Ken Caldera, a climate scientist from the Carnegie Institution of Global Ecology at Stanford University says, "We find that there’s more than 100 times the power necessary to power civilization in these high altitude winds."

10mins

14 Sep 2011

Rank #1

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Asian Carp: Threat to Great Lakes

The invasive Asian carp has wreaked havoc in the Mississippi River system. The voracious plankton eaters have out-competed native fish and have become the dominant species in many locations. If the carp reach the Great Lakes, they pose a threat to its $7 billion fishery, so a battle against them is taking place on many fronts.

10mins

2 Nov 2011

Rank #2

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QUEST Lab: Engineering Fire

In a dark lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, engineers and mathematicians are developing new burners and studying different flames in hopes of better understanding the power of fire and how to make the most efficient flame possible.

2mins

28 Sep 2011

Rank #3

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Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct: Big Fixes for Big Quakes

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is hard at work on a $4.6 billion, decade-long construction project to overhaul the Hetch Hetchy water system, which delivers water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park and five local reservoirs to 2.5 million residents in the Bay Area.

11mins

9 Nov 2011

Rank #4

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Exoskeletons Walk Forward

An exoskeleton suit may seem like science fiction, turning ordinary humans into super heroes, but wearable robots are moving forward into reality.

10mins

16 Nov 2011

Rank #5

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The Glowing Millipedes of Alcatraz: Science on the SPOT

More than a million visitors visit Alcatraz every year, but a recent discovery has revealed another attraction that lives within the shadows of this historic prison.

6mins

19 Mar 2013

Rank #6

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New Research into Disappearing Bees

In 2006, the world learned that honeybees in America and Canada were dying in large numbers, and hives were becoming defunct. Five years later, what have scientists learned about the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder?

7mins

23 Nov 2011

Rank #7

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The Science of Riding a Bicycle

Their basic design hasn’t changed much, but scientists still don’t fully understand the forces that allow humans to balance atop a bicycle. QUEST visits Davis – a city that loves its bicycles – to take a ride on a research bike and explore a collection of antique bicycles.

8mins

15 May 2012

Rank #8

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Your Photos on QUEST: Bryant Austin

Scotts Valley photographer Bryant Austin swims eye-to-eye with the world's largest animals in order to bring attention to the plight of these intelligent ocean denizens.

2mins

7 Sep 2011

Rank #9

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Black Holes: Objects of Attraction

Black holes have been the stuff of science fiction since their discovery in the late sixties. But now a new, nimble NASA telescope is using its powerful x-ray vision to hunt for these abundant yet invisible, massive space oddities.

10mins

26 Sep 2012

Rank #10

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What's Next for Nuclear?

Can nuclear power be produced safely and affordably? A scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, is working to do just that.

11mins

19 Sep 2012

Rank #11

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Science on the SPOT: Watching the Tides

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 operating tidal gauge in the Western Hemisphere.

6mins

11 Dec 2010

Rank #12

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Science on the SPOT: Monarch Meetup

Monarch Butterflies migrate from all over the western United States to overwinter along the California coast. Conservation Biologist Stu Weiss uses specialized photographic equipment to study what makes good Monarch overwintering habitat.

6mins

5 Apr 2012

Rank #13

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Childhood Obesity: Kids Fight Back

One in six kids in the United States is obese, a condition that doubles their risk of heart disease. Lorena Ramos, 14, a patient at the Healthy Hearts clinic at Children's Hospital Oakland struggles to lose weight. Will she succeed?

14mins

1 May 2012

Rank #14

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Science on the SPOT: Measuring Redwood Giants

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 today by global warming.

6mins

18 Dec 2010

Rank #15

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Alzheimer's: Is the Cure in the Genes?

By 2050, as our population ages, 15 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer's disease - triple today's number. Researchers at San Francisco's Gladstone Institutes have found that a gene may hold the key to a cure.

11mins

9 Apr 2008

Rank #16

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Pump It Up: Heart Health Special Report (FULL SHOW)

This half-hour program looks at heart disease – the number one killer in the United States – from the point of view of a teenager trying to lower her risk, a heart attack survivor, and a scientist working to rebuild damaged hearts.

26mins

1 May 2012

Rank #17

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Amateur Rocketeers Reach For The Stars

For decades amateur rocket builders, or "rocketeers," have been trying to reach space. Now with advances in materials and technology, they're able to do it. QUEST travels to rocket launches in fallowed fields and barren deserts to learn more about this addictive hobby and to meet a group of passionate high school rocketeers.

11mins

24 Apr 2012

Rank #18

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X-ray Microscope: Seeing Cells in 3-D

At the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, scientists are using a cutting-edge microscope, the first of its kind in the world, to image whole cells in 3-D with the penetrating power of x-rays. The new images generated by the microscope are offering a deeper, more precise understanding of cellular structures and how they change with diseases.

10mins

12 Sep 2012

Rank #19

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Rushing to Save Heart Attack Patients

By rushing heart attack victims to the operating table and opening their blocked arteries while their heart attacks are underway, doctors are now able to save 95% of those who make it to the hospital.

5mins

1 May 2012

Rank #20