Science and Technology

solar electric system

Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun

New research outlines the path to a possible future for California in which renewable energy creates a healthier environment, generates jobs and stabilizes energy prices.


Student Xander Bremer working on his bike / Photo: Kurt Hickman

Stanford students learn to build their own bikes

One of the most popular courses run by the Product Realization Lab, ME 204 teaches students how to build bicycles – with lessons in patience and project management as well.  Video


branched networks on Mars and in the human circulatory system / NASA/JPL and Wikimedia Commons

Stanford study finds order in the apparent randomness of Earth's evolving landscape

Stanford Earth scientists use newly developed mathematical tools to analyze landscapes formed by water and other processes, and in doing so challenge 50 years of research on landscape evolution. The new techniques allow scientists to better understand the signatures of erosion on Earth and perhaps on other planets.


fuel cell /Chueh Lab

Researchers led by Stanford engineer figure out how to make more efficient fuel cells

Using high-brilliance X-rays, researchers track the process that fuel cells use to produce electricity, knowledge that will help make large-scale alternative energy power systems more practical and reliable.


manta ray / nicolas.voisin44/Shutterstock

Protecting lagoons could be key to saving manta rays, say Stanford scholars

Manta rays – graceful, winged marine animals – are in danger of becoming extinct in the wild. But how can we protect animals that range across the open ocean?


Livia Eberlin, a chemistry postdoctoral scholar

Stanford team creates tool to help unravel secrets of cancer

Using novel methods, scientists identify biological signatures in cancer cells that can be traced back to the original cancer gene.


Vampyrum spectrum (false vampire bat) / Hannah Frank

Stanford faculty teams offer bold solutions for people and planet

Stanford Woods Institute announces 2014 Environmental Venture Projects.


Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 / NASA

Newly launched satellite will help predict future changes in climate, say Stanford researchers

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory will monitor carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to help scientists understand the lifecycle of carbon on Earth.


Electronic switch

Stanford engineers envision an electronic switch just three atoms thick

Computer simulation shows how to make a crystal that would toggle like a light switch between conductive and non-conductive structures. This could lead to flexible electronic materials.  Video


solar cells in Africa

Stanford Woods Institute celebrates decade of solutions

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment was established in 2004 to serve as a hub of interdisciplinary environmental research. Its forward-thinking natural and social scientists, engineers and others pursue practical solutions for people and the planet.


oil palm fruits / Yadi Purwanto

Oil palm plantations threaten water quality, Stanford scientists say

Indonesia pays a price for a lucrative crop used in many household products. Palm plantations damage freshwater streams that supply drinking water to millions of people.


Cassini spacecraft / NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mysterious features spotted on Titan reveal the moon's seasonal changes, says Stanford scientist

Bright spots in a large lake on Titan suggest that Saturn's largest moon supports processes similar to Earth's water cycle, says Howard Zebker.


sea lions / Robert Kennedy

Water samples teeming with information: Emerging techniques for environmental monitoring

Setting effective conservation policies requires knowledge of environmental conditions. Scientists with the Center for Ocean Solutions propose using genetic techniques as a low-cost, quick way to collect such data.


Precourt Institute partners with KQED on new e-book series on energy

The two-volume energy e-book series and iTunes U course can be downloaded for free on iPads and Macs.


Wind turbine blades

Net energy analysis should become a standard policy tool, Stanford scientists say

It takes energy to make energy, whether it's renewable or a fossil fuel. Net energy analysis gauges the sustainability of energy technologies over time.