The world’s deepest zoo harbors clues to extraterrestrial life – my first piece for kids

Roundworms on a biofilm deep underground in a South African gold mine. Credit: Gaetan Borgonie

I’m excited about the publication of my first piece for kids, about the World’s Deepest Zoo, written for Science News for Students.

It covers the same topic as my Smithsonian piece from last year, i.e. life living deep beneath the Earth and the scientists […Read More]

Ants, impostorism and a few more updates

It’s been a while since my last update, although this time I have a better reason than usual for being so busy-my wife and I were blessed with a lovely baby girl a few months ago! Between frantically trying to finish up assignments before she was born, and then being busy/sleep-deprived taking care of a newborn, I haven’t had much of a chance to […Read More]

An online feature about deep life for Smithsonian

Nematodes (blue) wiggle inside a stalactite from a South African gold mine in this image taken with an electron microscope. (Credit: Gaetan Borgonie)

Nematodes (blue) wiggle inside a stalactite from a South African gold mine in this image taken with an electron microscope. (Credit: Gaetan Borgonie)

I just got done with a Smithsonian feature on microbes that live in extremely inhospitable environments deep […Read More]

Keeping busy, writing about molecular biology for BioTechniques

Developing Drosophila Embryo (Credit: Credit: Raghav Chhetri, Fernando Amat, Yinan Wan, Burkhard Höckendorf, William Lemon & Philipp Keller, Janelia Research Campus.)

Developing Drosophila Embryo (Credit: Credit: Raghav Chhetri, Fernando Amat, Yinan Wan, Burkhard Höckendorf, William Lemon & Philipp Keller, Janelia Research Campus.)

I’ve been meaning to update this website for a while, unfortunately I’ve been too busy writing articles to do so.

Among other things, […Read More]

Extinct porpoise had a pronounced underbite

Skimmer porpoise skull and jaws Credit: Rachel Racicot

Skimmer porpoise skull and jawsCredit: Rachel Racicot

I got to write about a fossilized porpoise that had a pronounced underbite, a feature that’s seemingly unique among mammals. Based on their study the researchers think the extinct California porpoise may have used its extended lower jaw to probe for prey on the ocean floor.

The fossil itself has […Read More]

How crazy ants live up to their name

A crazy ant detoxifying itself next to a fire ant. Photograph by Lawrence Gilbert

A crazy ant detoxifying itself next to a fire ant. Photograph by Lawrence Gilbert

Crazy ants (named for their strange, jerky walk) are displacing fire ants from the Southern US. Fire ants are notorious for their toxic venom, so researchers wondered how the crazy ants […Read More]

XKCD on physicists…

Cartoon from xkcd

Several years ago, I had an Indian physicist tell me that “physicists don’t consider biology a real science,” so I couldn’t help but laugh at this cartoon. Of course, I know plenty of physicists who are perfectly willing to acknowledge the scientific value of biology, and some of them work on biophysics, applying physics to study biology.

But […Read More]

Regulating genetic testing, understanding probabilities, and knowing the future

Should we regulate people’s access to their own genome data?.

An image from the NIH that I guess has something to do with DNA and people…Credit: Jane Ades , NHGRI

More on the issue of regulating personal genetic testing, by Ars Technica‘s John Timmer.

The headline is a bit misleading, since the issue […Read More]