On Earth Day, 2017, hundreds of thousands of people marched in major cities around the world in support of science. And as for me? I was asked to write a guest post for the March for Science’s blog highlighting the importance of fundamental research; in particular, I focused on model organisms, those humble creatures from dung-eating gnats to beer-making yeast on which so much of biology is based. Check it out to learn more about why we care about these seemingly lowly—and honestly, often kind of gross—creatures!
Do you live in a house made of mushrooms? This reality may be closer than you imagine! Discover the future of fungi in the latest article by my friend and colleague Sonia Travaglini and learn how mushrooms are a growing technology for renewable building materials, textiles, and more.
My latest feature for the Berkeley Science Review, Color by numbers, takes readers on a journey through the nanoscale phenomena that make our visual experience so vibrant. By exploring the fundamental science behind color — from quantum physics to evolutionary biology — as well as applications inspired by this science, such as solar cells and futuristic displays, I invite readers to take a new perspective on our colorful world.
What if we could eradicate mosquito-borne illnesses with a simple trick of molecular biology? Human-engineered gene drives have been getting a lot of media attention lately because some hope they will allow us to do just that. But will gene drives live up to the hype? My latest article for the Genetics Society of America addresses this issue. I interviewed experts in population genetics to get a better understanding of how gene drives might work in the wild, and what I learned left me with an even stronger appreciation of the power of evolution.
Many new articles are in the works, so hold tight!
At the moment, I’m writing another feature for the Berkeley Science Review and several more posts for the Genes to Genomes blog, trudging along toward my doctorate . . . and planning my wedding, which is in less than a month. Now that I think of it, I need to get back to work!
The paradox of protein folding
It’s difficult to imagine a future in which the general public doesn’t question scientific findings. For the most part, this skepticism is a good thing: it spurs debate, fosters discussion between the public and the scientific community and ultimately increases public understanding of science. But when these inquiries are based on ideological judgments or fear, as is the case with the widespread apprehension about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), both scientists and science communicators must carefully craft public statements to prevent dangerous misinterpretations.