Almost 6 years ago, I attended a conference of scientists and communicators about issues of communicating global warming to the general public. At that point I was still wearing my graduate student hat and was still learning the ropes of science writing. The issues related to global warming and the public were different– this was
You have it, I have it. Many viruses are based on it. It’s RNA, which stands for ribonucleic acid. It’s DNA’s chemical cousin with just a few slight differences. While DNA serves as life’s genetic blueprint. RNA is more of a multitasker. DNA stores information in a kind of vault, and the cell makes RNA-based
Last night I realized how long it’s been since I last folded a paper crane. The documentary, Between the Folds, allows origami to explode into this beautiful world of artistic creations and amazing patterns and complexity driven by algorithms– sequences of mathematical instructions– ranging from simple to astronomically complex. The funny thing is that on
Cheering for an animal’s organs makes up one of my many badges of geekdom. In February I found out that Lizzy, one of my 10-year-old cats, had diabetes. Granted, I’d been getting the “fat cat lecture” from vets for almost five years. My black bundle of meows, attitude, klutziness, and a bottomless stomach was overweight.
Mussels (and geckos) exploit all sorts of crazy chemistry that scientists are still trying to understand and learn from. Geckos’ feet are the ultimate post-it notes, sticking and unsticking to surfaces without any glue. Mussels coat their “feet” in a natural protein super-glue. Some scientists are even trying to combine the two features. I’ve written
On Thursday I spent a couple hours at NYU on Thursday afternoon of the Silver Building near Washington Square Park. Completely coincidentally as I was going to the meeting of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, I passed this plaque commemorating the founding of the American Chemical Society. I’d never delved that deeply into the history of
RNA researchers rejoice! It’s been a good week for DNA’s often-underappreciated cousin. Most people are worried about the genetic material that stays safely tucked in the nucleus of cells, but RNA is definitely the genetic workhorse. Without these molecules, our genetic programs would be useless artifacts locked in the cell nucleus like some sort of