I’m leaving the Scientific American network, which is being “reshaped.” I’ll be returning to my original solo blog, which I left nearly five years ago, continuing to edit Method Quarterly, and writing for other outlets.
Over the past couple months, I’ve been working with Azeen Ghorayshi on starting a new publication for stories about science in the making.
In her fascinating and wide-ranging talk on multi-dimensional spaces and human consciousness, Tauba Auerbach briefly mentioned the fact that after an organism dies its molecules will gradually change "handedness" — from an entropy defying left-handed favoritism back to 50-50 over many thousands of years.
Fist bumps are back in the news this week after the publication of a study finding that fist bumps transfer fewer bacteria than the more customary handshake.
Microbes live in dense and diverse communities. There are billions of bacteria from thousands of species living together in your gut or in the soil.
You don’t need your nose to know what something smells like. Perfumers and astronomers can detect and recreate scents based on the chemical signatures of the molecules in the air, even if that air is very very far away.
There’s no doubt that humans have drastically changed the Earth. The global scale impacts of humans on the environment has led many scientists, scholars, and environmentalists to use the term Anthropocene to describe our present geological period.
A great short talk by Drew Endy about the early history of synthetic biology and the motivations, hopes, and uncertainties of bioengineering.
According to the New York Times, synthetic biology is creating DNA out of thin air. A recent article about synthetic biology and consumer goods describes DNA synthesis as a process where “DNA is created on computers and inserted into organisms.” Computers are pretty cool and really useful in synthetic biology labs, but it takes a [...]
This is a guest post from my friend and former colleague Tami Lieberman. She’s a postdoc in the Kishony Lab in the Department of Systems Biology at the Harvard Medical School, and you follow her on twitter @conTAMInatedsci.
One of my good friends is an engineer trained in Canada. I had noticed over the years that she always wears a plain silver ring on her pinky, but I never asked if it had any special meaning to her.
I’ve recently been working on a new project with Ellie Harmon about dirt. Ellie hiked the Pacific Crest Trail last year, the 2,663 miles from the US border with Mexico to the border of Canada.
Synthetic Aesthetics is a project that brings together artists, designers, engineers, biologists, and social scientists to investigate the design of living things.
My friend Wayne and his daughters Nico and Charlie recently made sourdough bread with homemade starters containing wild yeasts and bacteria.
I havent read Jane Austen, Game Theorist and Im definitely not going to after reading William Deresiewiczs scathing review in the New Republic.
Are cows more likely to lie down the longer they stand? This apparently simple question turns out to have an unexpected answer. The study, by a team of Scottish sustainable livestock systems researchers, won the 2013 IgNobel Prize for probability and has left many people puzzled about the mysteries of cow behavior.
Scientists and other nerds love a good cocktail party fact, and one of my favorites for the holidays is that mistletoe is actually a parasite.
I’ve been at iGEM (an undergraduate engineering competition in synthetic biology) this weekend learning about all the amazing bioengineering projects that students from around the world have been building.
Cheese is a fascinating model for studying the intersection of human and microbial cultures. My project with Sissel Tolaas explores these connections through the process of making cheese using microbes sampled from the human body.
This post was originally written for the Superflux blog. Superflux is a collaborative design practice working at the intersection of emerging technologies and everyday life to design for a world in flux.