Ask a Scientist

by Meghan D. Rosen Each year, the Science Communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz accepts 10 students and, for nine writing-intensive months, teaches them how to become better science journalists. This year, I am happy to say that I am one of the 10. My nine fellow classmates come from a wide…

A Gut Feeling

by Meghan Rosen Are you in the market for a healthy, stable, long-term relationship? Turns out you may not have to look further than your gut. Or, more specifically, the trillions of microbes that inhabit your gut. Yes, you and a few trillion life-partners are currently involved in a devoted, mutually beneficial relationship that has…

Strawberry Fields Forever

By Meghan Rosen Earlier this year, California became one of 48 states to legally allow the sale and use of the fumigant pesticide methyl iodide. Methyl iodide is the proposed replacement for methyl bromide, a chemical widely used in California’s production of conventional strawberries. (If you’ve ever driven by fields with rows and rows of…

Summer Reading

by Meghan Rosen 15 years ago, General Motors debuted the first fully electric vehicle for lease in the United States. The EV1 was silent, fast, and as aerodynamic as an F-16 fighter jet; but most importantly, it could run between 70 and 150 miles on a single charge. (Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid, for comparison, has…

An Unexpected Surprise

by Meghan Rosen Dear 3QD Readers: I had originally intended to post a review of Carl Zimmer’s latest contribution to the world of science writing, A Planet of Viruses, an excellent little book (just 94 pages from introduction to epilogue) that explores the vast realm and long history of some of Earth’s most fascinating life…

Lessons From Low-Income India

by Meghan Rosen One month ago, our new House of Representatives passed the long-awaited, much-heralded spending bill, H.R.1: Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011. Its name was bland but its purpose was bold. This was the bill that would usher in an era of fiscal restraint, rein in out-of-control government spending, and, in the words of…

Of Mice and Memory

Years ago, London neurobiologists discovered a way to visualize the structural dynamics of memory formation using just a laser, a microscope, and a window. To start, they vivisected the craniums of dozens of laboratory mice and surgically embedded tiny glass panels into the outer fleshy folds of the living, exposed brains. The researchers specifically targeted…