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

Astronomers discover an ‘odd couple’ of planetsThe Kepler spacecraft has detected a pair of extrasolar planets with orbits so close that at times the larger planet looms more than twice the size of the full moon in the second planet’s night sky.

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UCSF links key dementia protein, brain traumasThe mysterious proteins called prions, which build up in the human brain to cause Alzheimer’s and other dementias, are also linked to post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans and in the brain damage of athletes like football players who have suffered repeated concussions, UCSF researchers report.

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via Sfgate

Condoms not effective against HPV or herpes(06-21) 15:39 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Since the AIDS epidemic, awareness of sexually transmitted diseases seems embedded as a Bay Area cultural norm. Yet most people don’t know about how common viral STDs actually are. Experts say being exposed to at least one STD virus is virtuallyinevitable.

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Two-thirds of California parks set to close may be saved – San Jose Mercury NewsWith July 1 deadline looming, deal finalized Thursday to save Portola Redwoods in San Mateo County

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California environmentalists seek protection for unfished species – San Jose Mercury NewsWho cares about fish that no one seems to care about? Everybody, it seems.

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Is Hydroelectric Power a ‘Renewable’ Energy Source?Most California hydro doesn’t count toward utilities’ renewable energy mandates. Should it? Continue reading →

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via Kqed

Golden Gate Bridge reflects scientists’ creativityYou may have noticed flashes of light emanating from the Golden Gate Bridge. They are part of an art installation designed by University of California, Berkeley space scientists for the bridge’s 75th anniversary celebration. On May 25, the scientists installed two heliostats – mirrors that reflect light at a predetermined target – on the bridge.

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Scientists to Discuss Search for Alien Life in CaliforniaDozens of scientists, artists and entertainers are gathering in Silicon Valley this weekend to discuss the search for intelligent aliens and humanity’s place in the universe. They’re coming for SETICon 2, which runs Friday-Sunday (June 22-24) in Santa Clara, Calif. The meeting is organized by the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, which is based in nearby Mountain View.

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via Space

Author

Sheraz Sadiq

Sheraz Sadiq is an Emmy Award-winning producer at San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED. In 2012, he received the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism award for a story he produced about the seismic retrofit of the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system which serves the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to producing television content for KQED Science, he has also created online features and written news articles on scientific subjects ranging from astronomy to synthetic biology.

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