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Liz Tracey

Liz Tracey teaches microbiology and studies genetics in Cleveland, OH.

A composite image of a grey squirrel and a red squirrel

Can CRISPR Save Tufty Fluffytail?

The native red squirrel population in the UK has been decimated by the encroachment of its American cousin, an invasive species. Could a "gene drive" help?
An octopus

Stuck in the Midden with You

A midden is, among other things, a refuse site outside an octopus' home. (Release the Køkkenmødding!)
Mussels

When Cancer Spreads Between Species

The exchange of cancerous cells between organisms is rare. Scientist studied how it happened across species of mussels.

What’s in a (Planet) Name?

Planet names must be 16 letters or less, preferably one word, non-offensive, and not too similar to an existing one.
Molecular model of Penicillin by Dorothy Hodgkin, c.1945

We’re Living in a Post-Antibiotic World

A new CDC report warns: “Stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era—it’s already here.” Contrast that to a 1944 article on the promise of penicillin.
A smart toilet

Smart Toilets: The Jetpack of the Bathroom

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are envisioning a toilet that can analyze urine for indicators of disease.
brass sundial

Sundials, Sentiments, and S-Town

The immensely popular podcast S-Town features some memorable sundial inscriptions. But where did the slightly morbid tradition come from?
His Girl Friday

Rory Gilmore: The New New Woman

Recently, Netflix brought us the Gilmore Girls revival–Rory, Lorelei, and Emily 10 years on, able to “end” the show as its creator intended.
Vespasian

The Rise and Fall of Pay Toilets

Vespasian's most useful contribution to history may well have been creation of pay toilets.
Roanoke baptism

Our Long Roanoke Nightmare

The sixth season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story focuses on the mysterious lost colony of Roanoke.
Blake's "Newton"

Does Science Destroy Wonder?

Tom Wolfe's new book accidentally rehashes an age-old question: does scientific progress nullify beauty? What's the relationship between science and art?
Stranger Things title

“Stranger Things” and the Psychic Nosebleed

Where did we get the idea that using psychic or telekinetic powers makes a person's nose bleed?
genetic manipulation

Genetic Manipulation: The Next Big Thing

The CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR) method of genetic manipulation enables scientists to insert, delete, and edit genes in organisms from lowly microbes to monkeys.

“Stupidity Virus?” Not Quite

No, researchers did not find a so-called stupidity virus.
Dr. Eugene Porter Walking Dead

Walking Dead: The Science Behind the Zombies

Walking Dead: the science behind the zombies.