How a Tiny Wasp May Save Your Life

Nature knows no real balance, just moments of apparent equilibrium before some rise or fall.

We are studying scale insects—a kind of immobile (scientists say “sessile”) animal that lives on plants and sucks at them until, in some cases, they die (and by we, I mostly mean one of my students, Emily Meineke, and her other […]

January 3rd, 2014|Articles, Scientific American|

Element Hunters

Last October 22, at 9:29 a.m., a bell rang in the main office of Yuri Oganessian’s lab in Dubna, north of Moscow. In a cramped warren partitioned by bookshelves and whiteboards, 12 nuclear physicists sat at desks stacked high with papers or strewn with snacks. Across the hall, a rebuilt but venerable cyclotron was flinging calcium […]

January 3rd, 2014|Articles|

Remembering Lynn Margulis

On November 22nd, 2011 Lynn Margulis died. Last week Carl Woese died. In their deaths, we lost two of the most radical visionaries of a generations, of several generations really. Last week I posted an updated section from my book, Every Living Thing, about the work of Woese. This week I’ve uploaded the companion story […]

April 17th, 2013|Articles, Book Section|

Chapter 8. Grafting the Tree of LIfe

When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. – Jonathan Swift
(excerpted–and updated–from Every Living Thing in honor of Carl Woese who died on 12/30/2012. Thank you Carl Woese. Thank you  for rearranging the evolutionary tree, that we might see, even if we just as quickly forget, our place in things.) […]

December 31st, 2012|Articles|