Author Archive | Rina Shaikh-Lesko

California Dept of Water's website tries to answer a question on a lot of people's minds right now.

Water World

Several recent developments have gotten me thinking about water use in California — recent water shortages and the conversations about building desalination plants. Water scarcity will be a growing problem this century, mostly due to the world’s growing population. Drought-prone California’s plans to desalinate seawater is likely to have unintended consequences in the form of…

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Franciscan wallflowers ((Erysimum franciscanum)

California’s Botanical Spring Fling

Although the term “biodiversity hotspot” conjures up images of steamy rain forests and exotic South Pacific islands, if you live in California, you have one right outside your door. California is the most biodiverse state in the U.S, ahead of even Hawaii. Biodiversity isn’t just a count of the number of species — it also reflects…

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But is it Eco Art?

Environmental art pioneers Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison have an exhibit at UC Santa Cruz’s Sesnon Gallery this quarter. It’s part of a larger focus on environmental art, including a series of lectures on Wednesday nights. I’m in Mountain View on Wednesdays and couldn’t attend the lectures, but the guests are an intriguing mix of…

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The Eye of the Tiger Salamander

Protecting endangered species is tough enough when it’s not easy to agree on what’s endangered and what’s not. But what about cases where it’s tough to define “species”? California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense), a threatened native species, has had to contend with an unwelcome house guest, the barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) for over 60…

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Breast Cancer Cells - false color scanning electron micrograph

Another science: a new approach to an old problem

Ted Goldstein is not someone you would expect to find pursuing a doctorate in cancer research. After more than 25 years working in Silicon Valley, he left an executive-level position at Apple to return to grad school at his alma mater, UC Santa Cruz. UCSC’s Cancer Genomics Hub, led by David Haussler, serves as the…

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