Dark Matter Is in Our DNA
Sometimes the collision between physics and the cultural unconscious drops us into vast landscapes of the mythic. Nowhere is the cross-pollination more potent than the discovery of the Dark Universe.Photograph by MagzhanArtykov / Wikicommons Family Physics” may be the best episode of Public Radio’s long running show, This American Life. Its premise was simple. Import […]
If You Were a Secret Message, Where in the Human Genome Would You Hide?
Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) uses the VLA (Very Large Array) to look for alien signals. But that’s not the only way. Warner Brothers When people think about SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, they imagine messages sent via radio—Jodie Foster tuning antennas, hoping to pick up signals from the “billions and billions” of star systems […]
Evolution’s Contrarian Capacity for Creativity
The easily confused willow tit and black-capped chickadeef.c.franklin via Flickr / Brandon Keim One of my favorite pastimes while traveling is watching birds. Not rare birds, mind you, but common ones: local variations on universal themes of sparrow and chickadee, crow and mockingbird. I enjoy them in the way that other people appreciate new food […]
Your Genetic Privacy Is Probably a Lost Cause
Any cup you sip from could provide a sample bearing your DNA. dohtoor via Shutterstock Almost everywhere you go, you leave a bit of yourself behind—a hair, a fingernail clipping, a bit of skin, a few skin cells from your lips on a drinking cup. For a long time, that trace of you was little […]
Creating Life As We Don’t Know It
Genetics:Scientists are changing the rules for how DNA works.
My Family’s Decade in Genetic Limbo
Genetics:Personal DNA testing may yet deliver on its promise.