I'm an experienced journalist/corporate writer. While I love to write about science and medicine, I also enjoy penning lifestyle pieces, dog-themed articles and writing about people who do cool stuff.
Scientists have figured out how to coax copious amounts of oil from duckweed, one of nature’s fastest-growing aquatic plants. Converting such plant oil into biodiesel for transportation and heating could be a big part of a more sustainable future.
For a new study in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, researchers genetically engineered duckweed plants to produce seven times more oil per acre than soybeans—currently the most commonly used biodiesel-producing plant. Study lead author John Shanklin...
Ojmarrh Mitchell, an associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, who is not involved with the company, says what Recidiviz is doing is “remarkable.” His perspective goes beyond academic analysis. In his pre-academic years, Mitchell was a probation officer, working within the framework of the “well known, but invisible” information sharing issues that plague criminal justice departments. The flexibility of Recidiviz’s approach is what make...
I bought a school bus for $1,000 and turned it into a cozy Airbnb — and I've made enough money as a host to quit my 9-to-5
Will Sutherland owns a "skoolie" Airbnb — a bus he bought for $1,000 and turned into a bedroom.
Sutherland also hosts guests at a treehouse Airbnb he built himself.
Combined, he makes as much money on Airbnb as he did at his old job. Now, he's a host full-time.
DC takes its trivia very seriously. Very, very seriously. It’s as if those who frequent the District’s trivia bars haven’t been tested enough — throughout grade school, high school, college, grad school. After decades of SATs, AP exams, GMATs, LSATs and everything else, it appears that displaying Ivy League bumper stickers just isn’t enough to secure bragging rights.
“DC is so Type A, and everyone wants to win and be right all the time,” says Patrick Scott of DC’s intense trivia scene. Despit...
I built an Airbnb treehouse in my yard. I charge up to $250 a night — and I've already made enough money as a host to quit my job.
Will Sutherland owns a treehouse Airbnb on his property. It took him about six months to build. When he first got the idea, he thought it'd be a pipe dream he'd never be able to do.
Now, he makes $30,000 per year renting it out and gets to watch guests make memories in it.
Unwanted pregnancy can now be added to the list of preventions that antibodies may be fighting in the near future. For decades, really since the 1980s, engineered monoclonal antibodies have been knocking out invading germs — preventing everything from cancer to COVID. Sperm, which have some of the same properties as germs, may be next.
Not only is there an unmet need on the market for alternatives to hormonal contraceptives, the genesis for the original research was personal for the then 22-year-old scientist who led it. Her findings were used to launch a company that could, within the decade.
I perform vasectomies in Texas. I've had a huge increase in patients post-Roe — and a lot of them are young and childless.
Luke Machen. Micciche Photography
Urologist Luke Machen performs vasectomies in Texas, where abortions are banned.
Machen's requests began to increase with the Supreme Court leak that showed Roe v. Wade might be overturned.
"For too long, I feel like all the blame and responsibility has been shoved onto the partner who can get pregnant," Machen said.
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A new National Park Service program teaches young women to fight fires
From Asia to Europe to North America, wildfires this year tore through massive, record-breaking swaths of land. In the United States alone, 7 million acres have burned, nearly half of that in Alaska. In Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a larger region burned in summer 2022 alone than had burned collectively over the previous 72 years—from 1950 to 2021.
Bristol Bay is where 20-year old Sophie Kuehn, a “city kid” from Milwauk...
In Hawaii, doggy field trips allow travelers to spend a day with adoptable furry friends in paradise.
Lisa Rodriguez Holmgren had been to Hawaii’s Garden Island at least ten times, and she’d never, ever taken a shelter dog on a field trip. She didn’t even know it was a thing. She stumbled on the Kauai Humane Society’s Field Trips for Shelter Dogs program on a rainy day in May 2022 while doing a little shopping; the pamphlet she found talked about all the fun touristy things field trippers can...
For more than a century, the 3.5 million miles of rivers that snake across the U.S. were treated like open sewers and garbage cans, leaving them steeped in oil, paint, fertilizer, feces and other refuse. Fires that ignited riverine trash were widely considered an acceptable cost of industry, a sign of abundant jobs and economic growth. And there was a common (and erroneous) belief that “dilution was the solution to pollution,” meaning that waterways had an endless ability to absorb our waste ...
An engineer-turned-educator says cities get it wrong when they criminalize Black youth’s hobbies, rather than seeing them as an opportunity.
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On a quiet side street tucked back in an industrial section of West Baltimore, Damon Ray Harrison revs the engine of his red dirt bike. He sits askew, unable to reach the ground with both feet. The ...
There was a panic over pot in the 1930s.
When the movie Reefer Madness came out in 1936, the criminalization of marijuana was already in the works. The film fell into a popular 1930s genre called “exploitation movie.” Described by IMDB as a “cautionary tale,” the film portrays a group of innocent teens who become addicted to “reefer cigarettes,” with the blame falling squarely on three marijuana dealers. Under the influence, the teens hit and kill a pedestrian with a car, shoot and kill a fel...
When the Australian Institute of Sport started the “Talent Search Program,” its mission was to find teenagers who had specific physiques and could be trained as elite athletes in sports that matched their body types. They hand-picked Megan Still at 15 and a decade later, she brought home to Australia a gold medal for rowing at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.
The institute chose Still because she had what they considered the perfect physique for a rower — tall with long limbs and a long tor...