September 28, 2016

On the first Monday in April 1979, a wind blew south through a Siberian city called Sverdlovsk.

A few days later, people and sheep began to die. 

Government officials said the victims had eaten meat contaminated with anthrax or come into contact with animals sickened by...

A new drug trial that some researchers are calling the most promising yet in the fight against Alzheimer’s suggests it may be possible to clear the brain of the amyloid protein that is characteristic of the disease.

The study was small and researchers caution that it’s...

August 23, 2016

BOSTON — In the lobby of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a young boy stares at Will Lautzenheiser in his wheelchair. He tugs on his mom’s arm, pointing at Lautzenheiser’s metal legs.

But the observant boy misses what is truly remarkable about Lautzenheiser. It’s the arms...

In 2003, researchers declared Coral Castles dead.On the floor of a remote island lagoon halfway between Hawaii and Fiji, the giant reef site had been devastated by unusually warm water. Its remains looked like a pile of drab dinner plates tossed into the sea.

Research d...

BOSTON — Everyone was so sure the newborn would die that they didn’t even clean him off after birth. Nurses didn’t weigh him, or suction fluid out of his throat.

His parents had bought no baby supplies, other than a single onesie. They expected to bury him in it.

But Ben...

Q: Are whole grains as beneficial if they are ground up, for example, as in smoothies, or made into flour as in cereal?

A: Whole grains are good, whether served whole or ground up, experts say, but with a few caveats.

Some product labels will suggest that they contain wh...

The vast majority of antidepressants given to kids and teens are ineffective and potentially dangerous, according to a new study in The Lancet.

Of 14 regularly prescribed drugs, only one — Prozac — proved effective enough to justify giving to children and teens, the res...

Muhammad Ali died Friday with the Parkinson’s disease that helped define his life for the last 32 years.

Boxing may have contributed to his illness, but genetics was likely a bigger factor, experts said. “It’s bad luck on top of genetics,” said Ole Isacson, a professor...

Researchers who discovered a molecular “scissors” for snipping genes have now developed a similar approach for targeting and cutting RNA. The new cutting tool should help researchers better understand RNA’s role in cells and diseases, and some believe it could one day...

The unthinkable happened to Prudence and Jon Marsh. Twice.

The couple’s first child, Teagan, lived only two hours. She died before her parents could hold her. A fast-moving infection, the hospital staff said.

A year later, their son Jackson was born. His mother held him...

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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



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