November 2, 2019

The facility lies midway between Munich’s city center and its international airport, roughly 23 miles to the north. From the outside, it still looks like the state-run farm it once was, but peer through the windows of the old farmhouse and you’ll see rooms stuffed with...

November 1, 2019

Getting sick with measles does not just result in a dangerous infection that causes itchy blisters. It can leave the immune system vulnerable to other infections for some time to come, a new study has found.

Although there had been earlier hints of such "immune amnesia,...

July 9, 2019

Watching Snowball the cockatoo dance to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” has long been one of the joys of the internet.

The four-minute video has been viewed more than seven million times, and it’s probably generated at least that many grins. But when a small group...

April 25, 2019

The Antarctic’s second-largest colony of emperor penguins collapsed in 2016, with more than 10,000 chicks lost, and the population has not recovered, according to a new study.Many of the adults relocated nearby, satellite imagery shows, but the fact that emperor pengui...

February 26, 2019

All serious butterfly collectors remember their first gynandromorph: a butterfly with a color and pattern that are distinctly male on one wing and female on the other.

Seeing one sparks wonder and curiosity. For the biologist Nipam H. Patel, the sighting offered a possi...

February 11, 2019

Whenever Eric Karl Oermann has to tell a patient about a terrible prognosis, their first question is always: “how long do I have?” Oermann would like to offer a precise answer, to provide some certainty and help guide treatment. But although he’s one of the country’s f...

February 10, 2019

A bird hopping outside the window lately is the strangest that Shirley and Jeffrey Caldwell have ever seen.

Its left side is the taupe shade of female cardinals; its right, the signature scarlet of males.

Researchers believe that the cardinal frequenting the Caldwells’ b...

It's the ultimate unanswerable question we all face: When will I die? If we knew, would we live differently? So far, science has been no more accurate at predicting life span than a $10 fortune teller. But that’s starting to change.

The measures being developed will nev...

June 29, 2018

BOSTON — Hoppy,  a young red panda, was the first patient of the day, carried —  and anesthetized — into the exam room so he could get a physical.

Then Mildred, a 24-year-old barnacle goose, wobbled painfully across the floor as veterinarians analyzed her gait. The...

June 20, 2018

Leonid Peshkin calmly strokes his father’s thin, white hair. He gently exercises the old man’s arms to acivate his muscles and get the blood flowing. He speaks, voice raised to reach him through the fog of age, poor hearing, and illness. “Papa,” he asks in their native...

Please reload

About me



journalist covering

the biological


Regular contributor to The

New York Times, The Washington Post, 

Scientific, WBUR radio and others. 

Journalism educator and book



Please reload

Recent Posts
  • Twitter Social Icon
Please reload

Search By Tags