Month: May 2015

TBT: Darwin’s Doodles

The image before you is known as Darwin’s tree of life. Today, most scientists immediately recognize it as a basic idea in evolutionary theory; yet when Darwin drew it in 1837, it was simply a sketch drawn in an attempt to understand the observations he…

Warm as a fish in the sea

No one can accuse the opah, Lampris guttatus, of being a cold fish. Nor could one call it a cold-hearted fish. Even if it were the most emotionally distant and bitter of all fish, the opah is in fact a warm fish. That is to…

May 2015 SWAC Seminar: Mark Derewicz

Speaker: Mark Derewicz, Science Communications Manager at UNC School of Medicine/UNC Health Care Date: May 26th, 2015 Time: 5:30 PM Location: Bondurant Hall, Room G030 Event Link: https://swac.web.unc.edu/event/mark-derewicz-seminar/ Last month, SWAC hosted a very successful first seminar featuring Lauren Neighbours, PhD, RAC, from Rho, Inc.,…

NCI Ras Initiative: Let’s get together and drug RAS!

Non-scientist friends and relatives often ask me whether I am “curing” cancer, and question why the cure for cancer doesn’t already exist following decades of funding for research. Worse, some social media conspiracy theorists are irrevocably convinced that the cure for cancer already exists, but,…

Naturally GMO, the sweet potato way

Naturally GMO, the sweet potato way

Contrary to scientific consensus, the public at large continues to harbor concerns over the consumption of foods containing  Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs. To make matters worse, scientists have now discovered we have unknowingly been eating GMO foods for more than 10,000 years. Indeed, it…

Move over, Mendel

Recently featured in Science, Valentino Gantz and Ethan Bier have developed a novel genome editing method that subverts traditional heritability. Termed the mutagenic chain reaction, this process  can insert new mutations in the genome that automatically spread themselves to neighboring chromosomes. Thus, homozygous mutants are…

Mr. Turtle

Mr. Turtle

In 2012, I was working at the Cooperative Oxford Lab in Oxford, Maryland, when we were notified of and rescued a stranded sea turtle. Sadly, the turtle was so sick that it died. An intern performed the necropsy (an autopsy on animals) and found that…

Arctic Tales of Icy Trails

Arctic Tales of Icy Trails

Far out in eastern Russia, deep in the Siberian Plateau, lies one of the great waterways of the world.  The Lena is the eleventh longest river on Earth. For thousands of treacherous kilometers, she makes her way through forests and across tundra, eventually delivering her…