Tag Archives: DNA

Four No Trump

Janet Mary Rogge Dugle In memoriam Jan Dugle was an American botanist. Black-spruce ecosystems were her special thing. I met her and her first husband David (whose trailblazing work with DNA I have mentioned) when I first arrived in North America. She soon sussed out my chief deficiency and set out to fix it: She […]

Designer Genes Getting CRISPR and CRISPR

Heads up! A new technology is transforming gene editing. It gets my vote for top science news of last year. It will affect us all more than we can imagine. And the most surprising news may be its inventor. Many things can change the code of DNA. Chemicals, X-rays, ultraviolet, cosmic rays, and mistakes during […]

Polishing an Anticancer Apple

Here’s a great DNA-detective story. It involves gene surgery in plants that will soon be saving lives. And it has a surprise ending. Many people owe their lives to the humble Himalayan mayapple. Its leaves contain a substance (podophyllotoxin) that inhibits cell growth. Would be great for stopping cancer but it is too toxic. However, […]

Science of Cancer Care

Good news for patients who need cancer radiotherapy about ways to devise more-effective and less-harmful cancer treatments using radiation. Also, good news for radiobiology researchers who design experiments to better understand and measure what is actually going on when radiation is used to kill cells. Both flow from a definitive book published by Canadian biophysicist […]

Kissing Cousins

Sex may be mostly private, but sometimes clues can tell you that a couple has got something going on. That’s not unusual. But here’s a story of ancient history coming to life that is unusual. It’s about an interspecies coupling of a Homo sapiens and a Homo neanderthalis forty thousand years ago, and of how […]

I’m from Missouri…Show Me!

Finding new drugs these days is largely done with quantum mechanics. Fifty years ago it was more like what the Brits (and the indie rock band Arctic Monkeys) call suck-it-and-see. So thousands of Americans don’t know that they have arms and legs and normal lives thanks to the courage of a Canadian—and American—physician. She says […]

Managing the Damage on the Beach

Last week we looked at how adopting smart sun habits―tan, but never burn―minimizes your risk of many cancers and of other serious diseases. Now let’s take a closer look at physics that is triggered when you catch some rays, because there’s something else that you may want to do. A solar UVB photon has enough […]

Fair Skin and the 737: Deadly Combination?

Fair Skin and the 737: Deadly Combination? It’s northern summer so let’s speak about the m-word: Melanoma. We evolved in a wide range of sunshine so it’s no surprise that our relationship with it is complex. Equatorial peoples have dark skins and can take (and need) lots of sun; high-latitude peoples take and need little. […]