Here’s today’s roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

EBay to Power Data Center with Renewable Energy: Scientific American(Reuters) – EBay Inc said it plans to build a data center powered by startup Bloom Energy’s renewable energy fuel cells, a more environmentally-friendly alternative to drawing power from the mostly coal-based electric grid. The U.S.

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Can Cutting Carbon Fuel Growth?Can Cutting Carbon Fuel Growth? The perennial debate returns, this time at a symposium on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Do environmental regulations boost innovation and job creation, or do they just make the state a more expensive place in which to live and do business?

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via Kqed
Social media in health care create risks, benefitsOn Twitter, 10,000 people are listening to Jen Gunter. Sexual health, shoes and “The Hunger Games” are the subjects of just a few of the 36,500 tweets crafted by the obstetrician-gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco.

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via Sfgate
Gov. Jerry Brown scraps idea to soften environmental scrutiny on high-speed rail – San Jose Mercury NewsThe Brown administration on Wednesday abandoned its plan to ease environmental scrutiny of the $69 billion bullet train, backing off quickly after strong opposition from environmentalists threatened the project altogether.

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Study: Living with dogs may help guard against respiratory virusdevinf/Flickr New research indicates that living with dogs may provide protection against a harmful respiratory virus. Dog owners and parents, take a deep breath. Get your children to take a deep breath. And most importantly, shake some carpets, fluff your pillows and get your infants to take a deep breath – or lick the floor.

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Searing questions on massive solar experiment in Mojave DesertIVANPAH VALLEY, Calif. – At what temperature might a songbird vaporize? Will the glare from five square miles of mirrors create a distraction for highway drivers? Can plumes of superheated air create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane? What happens if one of the Air Force’s heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar power plant with a military training target?

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Project tracks tiny germ that’s killing mighty oaksThe most comprehensive map ever put together detailing the spread of the pathogen known as sudden oak death shows the tree-killing microbe moving down from the forested hills into residential areas all over the Bay Area.

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via Sfgate
Tiny human liver grown inside mouse’s head – health – 21 June 2012 – New ScientistIt may be small, but is it perfectly formed? A tiny human liver, just 5 millimetres in size, has been grown inside a mouse. It remains to be seen whether the organ can replicate all liver functions – and if it will be possible to scale up the tiny structure to useable dimensions.

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via NPR

Author

Jenny Oh

Jenny is a long-time contributor to Bay Area Bites, KQED's popular food blog. She formerly worked as an Interactive Producer for the Science & Environment unit. Jenny graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program and has worked for WNET/PBS, The Learning Channel, Sundance Channel, HBO and the University of California.

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