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Wudan Yan

Wudan Yan (@wudanyan) is a freelance science journalist based in Seattle, Washington. After studying biochemistry at Brown University and spending over six years doing cancer biology research, she is now using her scientific training to tell stories about science. She has traveled to the sewers of Boston, refugee health clinics at the Thai-Myanmar border, and the disappearing mangroves in Myanmar. Her work has appeared in The Daily Beast, Discover, Matter, Nature Medicine, The Scientist, The Washington Post, among others.

The Reason You Don’t Have to Grocery Shop Every Day

Food preservatives are a major part of how we live now. But who invented them?

What’s A Healthier Choice: A Big Mac or A Chipotle Burrito?

Consumers looking to make a healthier choice need to consider that "fast casual" restaurants aren't always better than fast food.

How Francis Crick Almost Didn’t Make His Huge DNA Discovery

British physicist-turned-biologist Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA 100 years ago. Crick had a convoluted route to this important discovery.

The Brain’s Memory Back-Up Plan

Neuroscientists have discovered how memory is stored–and backed up–in the brain.
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964)

Rachel Carson’s Lasting Legacy

On this day in 1907, Rachel Carson—one of the greatest ecologists and nature writers of our time—was born.

Why Blue Is Better Than Green At Beating the Blues

There might be a reason why being out in nature can put you in a naturally better mood. A new study researched the psychological benefits of ocean views.  

A New Use For Soy

When it comes to the relationship between people and soy—a replacement for animal proteins derived from soybeans—well, it's complicated.
Malayan Tiger at National Zoo Malaysia

Can Game Theory Help Save Our Forests?

How forests and endangered species might be saved by artificial intelligence and game theory.
Elder care

Let’s Talk About Dying Well

Physicians and family members still have trouble talking candidly about dying and what it means to die well.
Spiral of Plankton in Indian Ocean

The Effects of El Niño You Never Hear About

El Niño is a complex series of weather patterns that arises in the Pacific, influencing weather phenomena around the world. But what's it doing to plankton?
Sjögren syndrome

The Science of Secretions

Although secretions like saliva and digestive juices might have a high ick-factor, these bodily products are essential for us to function normally.
From left to right: W. Nernst, A. Einstein, M. Planck, R.A. Millikan and von Laue at a dinner given by von Laue

Who was Max Planck?

Max Planck was a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. 
Spring Blossoms

Why We Actually Need Our Allergies

Allergies may be annoying, but they might also protect us from environmental toxins.
Myanmar Mangroves

Why Myanmar Jailed Mangrove Activists

Activists in Myanmar took action against Mangrove deforestation. Why were they jailed?
Mycorhizae fungus

Climate Change, Fungal Change

Climate change is having an effect on the fungal communities in the soil that trees and other plants depend on. 
DNA double helix

DNA Law and Order: Logging Edition

Illegal logging is pervasive across the globe, occurring anywhere there are exploitable forests. The resulting timber is illicitly traded and ...
Honeybees pollenating pumpkin flower.

What’s In Your Honeybees?

Honeybees contribute an estimated $15 billion annually to the U.S. economy, but continue to be in very bad shape. 
Olduvai Gorge

The Prehistoric Secrets of Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge continues to reveal details about the lives of the hominids, some of them our ancestors, from more than a million years ago.
Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nh-pluto-in-false-color.jpg NASA

Planet or Not, Pluto is Amazing

Pluto might not be a planet, but the results of the New Horizons mission flyby tell it is still a pretty cool place. And cold!
Graphen

The Promise of Graphene

Graphene, the thinnest material known and a hundred times stronger than steel, could potentially treat bacterial infections.

Why Do We Tickle?

Why do we tickle, why are we ticklish? Why does it make us laugh even while we try to get away from it? It's a ticklish subject....
Organic vegetables

Is it Nutritionally Beneficial to Go Organic?

Research suggests that there are real nutritional differences between organic and non-organic produce, milk, and meat. 

The Secret Lives of Trees

Trees in the forest communicate with each other through underground networks shaped and assisted by ectomycorrhizal fungi. 
Doctor Death

Why Did the Plague Continue to Reemerge After the Middle Ages?

New research suggests alarming details about the plague, which repeatedly devastated populations across Europe, Asia, and Africa over the centuries. 
Wine tasting pino noir

The Science Behind What Makes a Great Pinot Noir Great

Four compounds have been identified that can help growers determine the best time to harvest their grapes.