My latest for The Scientist

Phages carry antibiotic resistance genes, 8 December 2016

Gut microbes linked to neurodegenerative disease, 1 December 2016

First glimpse at infectious prion shape, 8 September 2016

Tasmanian devils developing resistance to transmissible cancer, 30 August 2016

Using RNA to amplify RNA, 15 August 2016


Google searches for health

The latest project from Google’s high-risk, secretive research arm, Google X, focuses on defining health for human beings. According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the newsin July, an initial pilot of the so-called “Baseline Study” will collect biological samples from 175 healthy individuals. The samples, which include blood, saliva, urine, and tears, will then be analyzed and the resulting data mined by Google X in order to find genetic and biochemical patterns that correlate with health. ScienceInsider reports that, after the pilot, Google X plans to enroll thousands more participants through collaborations with Duke University and Stanford University.

Read more at the Duke Science & Society blog.

Ebola News

As the number of Ebola virus deaths in West Africa climbs, much of the media hype in the United States has centered instead on the transfer of two infected American health workers to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia for treatment. As is common in the 24-hour news cycle, misinformation sometimes outweighs the facts, and on Twitter, the reaction to bringing Ebola patients into the U.S. has bordered on hysterical.

Read more at the Duke Science & Society blog.

The Scientist (Part 5)

I’ve officially stopped working for TS, though I am still finishing up a story and have some others coming up in the April issue. I already miss the virtual newsroom, and I am so thankful for what I learned over the past five months!

Discovering Archaea, 1977
Early Evidence
Path Finding

News and Roundups:
Skin-to-Liver Cell Shortcut
Imaging the Canine Brain
Behavior Brief
Genome Digest

Nutshells (like blog posts, with links to other coverage elsewhere):
New Bird Flu Threat?
Not Seeing is Hearing?
Triglyceride Clock
Molecular Motors
Genetic Atlas
Not Swine Flu
Obituary for Alison Jolly
Imaging Musical Improv
Paralyzing Illness
A Wine Bacterium’s Proteome
Dad’s Contribution