The Loom

Archives for October, 2006

Twice the Yak

Just an update to my post about talking this weekend at the National Association of Science Writers meeting: in addition to the panel I was originally scheduled to join–on book publicity–I’ve also been added to a panel talk on Friday afternoon called “Navigating the New Media.” I’m subbing for writer Rebecca Skloot, who cannot come.

To Bee

To sequence the human genome, scientists established a network of laboratories, equipped with robots that could analyze DNA day and night. Once they began to finish up the human genome a few years ago, they began to wonder what species to sequence next. With millions of species to choose from, they could only pick a…

Sciencebloggers meet Science Writers

I’ll be speaking on Saturday at the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting in Baltimore. I’ll be discussing how writers can publicize science books in the age of the Internet. It’s a subject I’m still figuring out for myself, so I won’t be dispensing advice so much as sharing thoughts. Details are here. I’m…

Autumn Leaves: Your Questions Answered

Martin Schaefer, one of the scientists I wrote about in my recent post on autumn leaves, has joined the comment thread and kindly answered some questions about his work. Check it out.

National Geographic Gets Complex

Flowers, flagella, feathers. Life is rife with complex features–structures and systems made up of many interacting parts. National Geographic magazine asked me to take a tour of complexity in life and report on the latest research on how it evolved. What struck me over and over again was how scientists studying everything from bacteria to…

Impudence, Thy Name is Mushroom

This fall we’ve had some rude visitors out by the front door. One morning a strangely foul smell wafted through the windows. When we looked outside for a dead animal, we found nothing. But we noticed some downright obscene growths foisting themselves out of the flower beds. Thus I got my first introduction to the…

Autumn Leaves: The Search for Purpose

As the autumn leaves turn handsomely, I’ve been wondering, why do trees bother? It’s a question scientists have been asking for the past few years, and for the first time, they’ve carried out an experiment to find out.

Saturn’s Lovely Ears

Galileo discovered Saturn’s rings, but called them ears. If only he could see what Cassini sees. Cue kettledrums…

Toxoplasma: Bet On Boys

Toxoplasma, that mind-altering, cell-manipulating, all-around awesome parasite that sits in the brains of billions of us, is back in the news. Infection with the parasite raises the chances a woman will have a boy from 51% to 72%. The average ratio of boys to girls at birth is 51%. Women with high levels of antibodies…

Q & A

The Seed in-house blog, Page 3.14 has been running Q & A’s with some of its bloggers. Mine’s up now.