PG&E finds 239 pipelines at risk – San Francisco Business TimesDate: Monday, July 2, 2012, 7:00am PDT Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has identified 239 of its natural-gas pipelines that are considered to be at risk of a failure similar to the one that exploded in San Bruno, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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Shining a light on sunscreen guidelinesIt’s a conundrum. You want to have fun in the sun, but you don’t want skin cancer or – heaven forbid! – wrinkles. Maybe you think you have it made in the shade with sunscreen. But while most sun and skin experts would advise you to slather the stuff on like crazy, many also would warn you not to rely on it too, too much.

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Cockroaches equipped as wireless networksEpstein is a vice president at OpCoast, a defense contractor in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. For the last few years he’s been using insects – specifically, the death’s head cockroach, a 2-inch-long, glossy brown branch of the species – to create wireless networks.

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via Sfgate
Viewing an infection in 3DWhat does an infection look like as it takes hold in the body? Where does it spread to and when? When does the immune system kick in and drive the infection off? For the first time, scientists at the new MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection at Imperial College London have used scanning equipment to watch an infection unfurl, in real time, inside an animal.

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via Bbc
US Navy’s ‘great green fleet’ sets sail for PacificPolitical storm rumbles on as first carrier strike group to be powered largely by biofuels heads for testing manoeuvres A US Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state last week, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon’s controversial green fuels initiative.

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Brown widow spiders “taking over” in Southern CaliforniaAs far as anyone knows for certain, brown widow spiders have only resided in Southern California for a decade or so — the first in the region was spotted in Torrance in 2003. But a new survey conducted by California entomologists shows that the spider is now making itself quite comfortable in our neck of the woods.

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Why There is No New Coal When Reserves Run Out, And How That Could Help BiofuelsAlthough peak coal gets less attention than peak oil, the issue is gaining attention. The world consumes 6 billion tons of coal per year (2010 data),with coal consumption trending upward. The largest user of coal, China, faces the imminent depletion of national coal reserves at current use rates, raising disturbing political, social, and environmental issues about neighboring Mongolian coal reserves.

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Local haterade: Authors say locavores do more harm than goodPierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu say they know what’s wrong with the food system: local food purists. In their new book, The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet , the husband-and-wife team (a University of Toronto geography professor and an economist) argue that the excitement over this movement is misguided to the point of having “utterly disastrous” effects.

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via Grist
Far side of the moon offers quiet place for telescopes – tech – 02 July 2012 – New ScientistTo peer back to the universe’s earliest years will need sensitive telescopes in a place where Earth’s ionosphere and radio chatter cannot interfere FORTY years after NASA ditched the idea of landing Apollo 17 on the far side of the moon, the forbidden fruit is being sought once again.

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World’s Tiniest Fly May Decapitate Ants, Live in Their HeadsA reconstruction of the tiny phorid fly Euryplatea nanaknihali, with body size compared with a house fly (Musca domestica). This family of flies is known for laying eggs in living ants. CREDIT: © Inna-Marie Strazhnik A new fly discovered in Thailand is the world’s smallest.

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Reading Stephen Hawking’s Mind to Keep His Voice Alive | Techland | TIME.comPhilip Low almost didn’t meet Stephen Hawking. Running his own start-up, NeuroVigil, was exhausting for Low and after his speech at the World Science Festival in New York, the last thing he wanted to do was socialize at an event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – even if Hawking was supposed to be in attendance.

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via Time
Is The Hunt For The ‘God Particle’ Finally Over? : NPRBefore we get to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, we might see some pyrotechnics from a giant physics experiment near Geneva, Switzerland. Scientists there are planning to gather that morning to hear the latest about the decades-long search for a sub-atomic particle that could help explain why objects in our universe actually weigh anything.

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via Npr

Here’s the roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond for Monday, July 2nd, 2012.

Author

Craig Rosa

Craig Rosa is KQED's Senior Interactive Producer for Science & Environment. Prior to joining KQED in October of 2006, he spent 11 years with The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, where he worked to create innovative educational visitor experiences online and within the museum space. He was also responsible for the museum's Information Services operations. He began his informal science interpretation career at the Brooklyn Children's Museum as an Assistant Exhibit Developer and Greenhouse Program Coordinator. Craig has a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA, and an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University.

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