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Rare Disease Week Through a New Lens: Having a Common Disease, Breast Cancer

It’s Rare Disease Week, and this year I’m thinking about it in a new way. My experience with breast cancer has been so different from the diagnostic odysseys that rare disease families traverse. While they’ve

How rare is rare? And other common FAQs on “Rare Disease Day”

To mark Rare Disease Day 2018 (Feb 28), we repost this explainer from DNA Science blogger, geneticist and rare disease specialist Ricki Lewis to address commonly asked questions about rare diseases. —PLOSBLOGS Originally posted Octo...

Gene Therapy for the “Butterfly Children”

Videos of the “butterfly children” are difficult to watch. The name comes from the delicate skin of people who have epidermolysis bullosa, which is reminiscent of the fragility of a butterfly’s wings. The slightest touch

An Argument Against Gene Drives to Extinguish New Zealand Mammals: Life Finds a Way

The mammals of New Zealand have long posed a threat to native species. The Predator Free 2050 program is an effort to rid the island of these invaders – including using the tools of CRISPR-based genome

How David Cassidy Introduced A Hawaiian Shell To The World

David Cassidy, 70’s heartthrob and star of The Partridge Family, died today at age 67. In November of 1970, his hit song, “I Think I love You,” was everywhere on AM radio. It’s one of the first hit songs I recall from my childhood. As a seven-year-old boy in 1970, I remember David Cassidy for […]

10-23-17 A Bit of Harbor Seal - Video

Monday, October 23rd...during this year, from time to time, I have posted about the waters on the west side of San Juan Island and how something is wrong, to me anyway. I've noticed it all year. Changes would occur when salmon came through. Show More Summary

As Blindness Gene Therapy Nears FDA Finish Line, A Shout-Out to Activist Families

On a spectacular September Sunday in 2008, 8-year-old Corey Haas, a cane in one hand and his mother’s hand in the other, stepped tentatively on the pathway leading into the Philadelphia zoo. Hearing kids yelling


I’ve always been a big fan of science communication and the ability to tell compelling stories through alternate forms of media- especially video. Gloop, by videographer Gaby Bastyra, is one of my favorite examples of the ability to get a poignant message across in a visually stunning way. Gloop from gaby bastyra on Vimeo.

Some still attack Darwin and evolution. How can science fight back? | Jules Howard

AN Wilson’s ‘exposé’ is the latest in a long line of attempts to undermine evolutionary biology. Now scientists must decide how best to counter them I can save you the effort of reading AN Wilson’s “exposé” on Darwin, which did the rounds...Show More Summary

Only One of These is Ramen Noodles

Nothing says college breakfast of champions more than the salty, stale goodness of Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup. We’ve all been there…where Ramen is life…some of us might still be there…it’s okay friend. Which is why those visiting the California coast for summer vacation might be slightly confused on who dropped the Ramen in the ocean? […]

Luxturna: A Giant Step Forward for Blindness Gene Therapy – A Conversation with Dr. Kathy High

Three years ago, at a fundraiser near Philadelphia for the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation, I stood, dumbstruck, as young teen Christian Guardino took the stage and belted out Don’t Stop Believing. Christian had recently undergo...

The harrowing life of the violet snail

  For a long time when I thought of the violet snail I thought of hopelessness. I first learned about it after moving to a new town in a new state, knowing almost no one. I sat in my living room full of boxes, with my too-small lamp lighting the too-big desk, an evening blizzard raging […]

Can CRISPR Conquer Huntington’s?

I set a high bar for writing about mouse studies. I don’t include them in my textbooks or news articles, and only rarely blog about them. But when experiments in mice shine a glimmer of

Stealth Saga #62

6th Generation Fighters:Japan has teamed with Britain to study its next generation fighter.The penetrating counter air system may be fast tracked and only a small number bought. The PCA program under the Trump budget was $143 million. Show More Summary

This Mesozoic Month: April 2017

Not the roller coaster that March was, but April's been another nifty month in matters paleontological, and that's no foolin'! In the News Edmontosaurus lovers, heads up. The cranium of E. regalis is the subject of a new paper in PLoS One. Show More Summary

Peak Poke? (Or, Our Choices Have Consequences)

One of my favorite urban myths is that at any point in time you are never more than six feet away from a rat.  Turns out that the reality is more like 164 feet away, but that’s just splitting rat hairs.  The point stands that where you find people, you find a lot of rats.  […]

This Mesozoic Month: March 2017

Well. That was a month, eh? Before we dive into this wild lunar cycle of paleontological action, I'll put out one more call: if you are a paleoartist and you haven't taken the 2017 Survey of Paleoartists, do it! It's easy and won't take too long. Show More Summary

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