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Stories by Joanne Manaster


Decoding Annie Parker-A movie about the discovery of the BRCA1 gene

I currently teach two online versions of a genomics course as a faculty lecturer at UIUC (one for undergraduates and one for certified teachers working on their Masters of Science Teaching Biology), and I love it when a topic I am teaching hits the news in a big way while the courses are in session.There has been quite a bit of buzz lately about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene, from Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy when she learned she had the BRCA1 mutation, which jumps her chances of getting breast cancer from 12 percent to 50-80 percent, to this week's US Supreme Court ruling that naturally occurring genes are not patentable...

June 18, 2013 — Joanne Manaster

EXPOSED: The Global Epidemic of TB

Unless you've been distanced from the news and the internet, you have heard that tuberculosis has become increasingly drug resistant and is resurging in many areas of the world and this is much more than a minor inconvenience.Kari Stoever, the Vice President of External Affairs at Aeras - a global nonprofit biotech advancing TB vaccines for the world, has put together a team to create an educational series of videos, which are available in its entirety for screenings, to raise awareness about the re-emerging infectiousness and virulence of pulmonary TB across the world.It will air in chapters online, to be released one per week for the next four weeks...

May 25, 2013 — Joanne Manaster
The Sciences

MORE Magnetic Putty Magic

Everyone has gone crazy for magnetic putty in the past few weeks. I wrote about the virality of a gif of the iron laden putty consuming neodymium magnet recently and the original video from which that was made has been shared far and wide.Joey Shanks from Joey Shanks FX in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios has made a great piece of creative film using the putty, magnets and other additives and objects to fabulous effect...

April 14, 2013 — Joanne Manaster
The Sciences

Adventures on the Alimentary Canal with Mary Roach

Mary Roach is one of my fave science authors because she looks at everything in a quirky and unique way. No subject is too daunting at all it seems, though in an interview I conducted back in 2009, I relayed a question from science author Carl Zimmer: "Is there any topic that cannot be made funny?" Mary answered, "yes" and listed a few topics: ones that are highly theoretical, geology, molecular biology and possibly the weather...

April 10, 2013 — Joanne Manaster
The Sciences

Mammal March Madness! Learn About Animal Competition in the Wild!

As a young girl, Katie Hinde became quite excited when her dad was preparing to watch the Bengals vs. the Bears on TV. It seems she was expecting this:What an education for the then four year old as she did not see a single tiger OR bear on TV that day and instead saw men in padded uniforms playing football!Now, Katie is an Assistant Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University...

March 11, 2013 — Joanne Manaster
The Sciences

Cyberscreen Film Festival Winners (in Brief)

We here at PsiVid are very proud to announce the winners of the Cyberscreen Film Festival as presented during the Science Online 2013 Un-conference.Films were submitted in either the Professional or the Independent category and we required that the submitters need to be considered as part of the Science Online community and the winners were granted a guaranteed spot for attendance at the Science Online 2013.Winners were selected by our panel of judges which include Brian Malow, Jennifer Ouellette, Kiki Sanford and Henry Reich and myself (Joanne).So, in brief, here are our winners."Step Into An Optical Illusion" from Science Friday was the winner of our professional category at Cyberscreen Film Festival...

February 2, 2013 — Joanne Manaster
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