It’s the million-dollar question that has perplexed every individual, regardless of education, geography, and economical status: What does it mean to be human? (more…)

Editors aren’t Borgs. Honest. But we often stress that resistance to saving multiple versions of the same document is futile. This practice might seem redundant and unnecessary, but when an entire manuscript becomes corrupted (as happened a few weeks ago), we are ever so grateful for that precious backup copy. It’s second in value only to coffee.

Yet if you were to ask an evolutionary biochemist, she might say that multiple copies (or redundancy), at least with respect to genes, is an example of waste. (more…)

 

A few weeks ago a group of our small staff set sail on RTB’s second Alaska Cruise Conference. If you missed the boat, fear not. For the next few weeks, I’ll connect with some of the key players at this year’s conference in hopes of giving us land lubbers a small glimpse of what went down on the ms Zuiderdam. First up is Fazale “Fuz” Rana. (more…)

Why people are compelled to couple a hopeful word like “Spring” with a laborious task like “cleaning” I’ll never know. But alas, it’s time once again to hear that oxymoronic phrase and perhaps even (gulp) consider partaking in the dreadful suggestion.

Recently I’ve heard RNA biochemist Patricia Fanning talk about a different kind of spring cleaning. (more…)

It’s a peculiar thing to be surrounded by people and feel all alone. Yet such was my predicament last week. With a few hours to spare before IAM’s Encounter 11 began, I wandered, in solitude, the streets of Tribeca. The city’s pace and air brisk, as I, shivery and slow, sought adventure in this foreign land. (more…)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Invisibility? The ability to fly? Have stretchy limbs? How ‘bout heal yourself?

Well then, run at an incredible speed to the nearest costume store because recent research shows that we do—in a sense—have the ability to heal ourselves. (more…)

My plans that day were simple: do as little as possible. Committed to that goal, I sauntered over to the couch with casual conviction.

Oh! Young Frankenstein is on, I thought, as I scrolled through the channels. A serendipitous discovery considering I was vegging in preparation for the hectic schedule of editing a book about scientists’ efforts to create life in the lab. (more…)