The ScienceBlogs Book Club

Jessica Snyder Sachs

Dear Prudence

I think Carl gets right to the heart of the issue both in this online conversation and in his book. “Are we really just getting started thinking about this stuff?” he asks. In some cases, it seems that regulators are forcing researchers to go to near-impossible lengths to ensure safety despite no conceivable risk. (Hillman’s…

Where’s the Line?

Yikes. Carl, how am I ever going to get that “parahuman” image out of my head! I get your point. This image evokes the abhorrent reaction that early critics had against the idea of tinkering with any life, even “mere” E. coli. Most people start to squirm when the transgenics concerns animals, especially when it…

Chemistry vs. Biology

Carl, of course, is right in that it wasn’t long ago that biologists scoffed at the idea of bacteria being more than bags of chemistry. Carl’s thoughtful reply to my question included what, for me, is the best distillation of what virus’s “are.” He writes, “So viruses may or may not be alive, but they…

No Nucleus, No Problem!

I knew I’d love Carl’s Microcosm for the delicious irony of using a mere “germ” to illustrate the mysteries of life itself. Well, I’m also partial to bacteria and their multicellular abilities, which Carl describes wonderfully. . First, as the other science writer on the panel, I’d like to express my appreciation for Carl’s way…