I had the wonderful opportunity to do some in-person reporting at the Elwha Delta on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, about how beavers are likely connected to the chinook salmon recovery there. Here’s the article on National Geographic, and check out some of my pix from reporting the story below!
This was a fascinating story to report and I added to my knowledge of artificial intelligence and its uses in medicine.
“Researchers at DeepMind Health, a subsidiary of Google’s artificial-intelligence company DeepMind, and their colleagues…designed an artificial-intelligence algorithm to identify factors that suggest someone is at risk of AKI—and to predict it 48 hours before it happens. The algorithm predicted overall AKI cases with 55.8 percent accuracy, but in cases severe enough to later require dialysis, the figure was 90.2 percent. The work was described in a study published Wednesday in Nature.”
Really happy to share a positive, optimistic and (hopefully) interesting conversation I had with Nils von Heijne for his podcast. We talked about “Nature and the Future of Humanity.” You can listen here.
Pleased to share my second article for National Geographic: This one came about because during a trail run with a big German Shepherd I was caring for, we came across a long-toed salamander. I didn’t recognize this species since I grew up in New York and this is a west-coast-only type of sal. I moved her off the road we were crossing and then Instagrammed the picture I took.
A month later I was talking to a Forest Service scientist about amphibians and wildfire and she mentioned the long-toed salamanders. I got excited as I had just learned about them from my post-trail-run research and I said I was learning about them and she said “did you know they can grow fangs and turn into cannibals?” I did not! And so a story was born.
Friend and fellow journalist Jim Motavalli thought my trip across the US in an $850 van he helped my buy in Connecticut and drove to Washington state was worth an article, and here it is! (You’ll have to read why I did such a thing—which led my friends in Connecticut to call me “eccentric”— in the piece itself.
Pleased to have an honorable mention in this list of Best Short-form Science Writing!
I’ve been working on this article for years (in my head), so it’s amazing to finally see it in print! This is for Medium’s new science section, “Elemental” and it’s about how women are just as physically strong as men, and maybe stronger.
If you disagree, read through the science I put together here, and think about how we have always defined what physical strength is—as those things men have. Whereas the things women are bodily powerful in don’t “count.” Why would that be?
For those of you who knew my grandma, she makes several appearances here!
What a fascinating piece to research and report.
From the article:
“Would-be organ printers previously have been stymied by the complexity of certain organs. Our lungs and livers, for example, contain physically and biochemically entangled networks of blood vessels and airways (in the lung) or bile ducts (in the liver). Being able to recreate this vasculature—and make the fluid dynamics work so blood and other fluids flow properly—has been an ongoing challenge.
Now, a team of researchers from the University of Washington and Rice University say they have produced functional tissue models using a 3-D printing technique called projection stereolithography. This method exposes thin layers of liquid resin to blue light, which solidifies them into intricate arrangements of hydrogels—gels made up of tangled strings of polymer molecules.”
For my first article National Geographic, a positive human-wildlife story!
This story highlights a brand-new wildlife crossing on I90 east of Snoqualmie pass (my rainy-day pic, above) which unites animals from the north and south Cascades regions so their populations aren’t cut off from each other by a hazardous road. There are beautiful underpasses too. Read the story for more on this good news accomplishment that will help elk, deer, black bear, lynx, and little guys like pika and even bulltrout!
“Studies that looked at a cross-section of native species’ deaths on highways in Florida, bandicoots and wallabies in Australia, and jaguars in Mexico, just to name a few, all show that wildlife crossings save money and lives, both human and animal. ‘You can get reductions of 85 to 95 percent with crossings and fencing that guide animals under or over highways,’ Ament says.”
Travel is good for your health—mental and physical. I wrote about the research behind that simple, irrefutable fact.