Science & Society

When DNA Becomes Data

In the past 10-20 years, we have seen a lot of data storage methods come and go, each type bigger and better than the last. As a child of the early 1990s, my first introduction to data storage devices was the floppy disk. These disks stored about 1.4 MB, a pitifully small amount these days. […]

UN Antibiotic Resistance

When most of us think about bacteria, we think of fairly routine infections that can be cured with a trip to the doctor and a prescription for antibiotics. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is quickly rising, and now more than 700,000 people die around the world each year from drug-resistant […]

The Great Science “Hack”

The DIY (do-it-yourself) trend continues to grow in popularity these days. With DIY TV networks and websites like Pinterest serving as a hub for tips and ideas, more and more people are embracing the idea of performing tasks themselves instead of purchasing pre-made items or outsourcing. Science hasn’t been left out of the trend, and […]

“Meat Without Misery”

There is something about food that typically causes us to feel traditional. Perhaps it is that we have fond memories of eating our favorite recipes during childhood, or that we grew up eating family dinners each night. But no matter the reason, we tend to like our food to be “natural” and no different than […]

No Pain, Lots Of Gain

We’re all familiar with pain. Ranging from a stubbed toe to a severe injury, some level of pain is experienced on a near daily basis. But many of us are fortunate enough that our experiences with pain tend to be limited to relatively brief episodes that will eventually end, sooner or later. Yet for a […]

Meat Of The Matter

There are a multitude of ways to shock an audience, but it is not every day that a news item causes fear, disdain, and skepticism all with one headline. Yet somehow the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) managed to do just this on Oct. 26 by announcing that everyday food items such as […]

Katrina’s Other Resonance

As a graduate student researcher, I work in a mass spectrometry lab with five different types of spectrometers. These instruments are highly sensitive to the environment (and also extremely expensive), and small perturbations or temperature fluctuations can be very harmful. This means that every power outage, building exhaust issue, and volatile substance can cause our […]

Big Genomic Promise of Big Data

Highlighted by the recent embryonic genetic engineering (CRIPSR/Cas9) controversy, advances in genetics and genomics have been made in leaps and bounds in the past twenty years. It is now relatively easy for us to obtain genetic information about ourselves (23andme DNA kits, for example), and even our pets. Entire genome sequencing is now possible, albeit […]

The Bite That Kills

Summer is finally here and for some of us, the sweat-inducing humidity and high electrical bills are the least of our worries. Mosquito bites are inevitable for nearly anyone who ventures outside, but unfortunately the blood-sucking insects display a definite preference for their victims. And while multiple bites can be an itchy nightmare for those […]

Trans Fats’ Last Stand

Forrest Gump famously told us that “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” And while life does throw us curveballs we still need to be wary of that box of chocolates, among other processed foods. A danger of eating prepackaged and processed foods is the cleverly hidden and […]