Stop eating your pet's food

Apparently people are eating their pet's food, and they're getting salmonella poisoning in return...

A scientific reference manual for US judges

Science and our legal system intersect frequently and everywhere - climate, health care, intellectual...

Rainbow connection

On the way to work this morning, I noticed people pointing out the train window and smiling. From...

Neutrinos on espresso

Maybe they stopped by Starbucks for a little faster-than-the-speed-of-light pick me up....

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Becky JungbauerRSS Feed of this column.

A scientist and journalist by training, I enjoy all things science, especially science-related humor. My column title is a throwback to Jane Austen's famous first line in Pride and Prejudice

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Rules for writing can vary from basic grammar principles to austere proverbs like Hemingway's "Write what you know!" In my previous article, I listed the first 12 rules of prose as delineated by freelance journalist (and science writer) Tim Radford. Here are the remaining 13. Enjoy!

13. Words like shallow, facile, glib and slick are not insults to a journalist. The whole point of paying for a newspaper is that you want information that slides down easily and quickly, without footnotes, serial caveats, obscure references and footnotes to footnotes.1
Little nuggets of (k)nowledge can often be the most simple and common sense ideas, but it takes someone else to put them into a coherent sentence. Tim Radford is a freelance journalist who has written for the Guardian, The Lancet, New Scientist and others, and even won the Association of British Science Writers award for science writer of the year four times. Awards do not a great writer make, but they're an indication that he does a decent job communicating, no?
While going through old boxes of miscellaneous detritus, I came upon several sheets of paper from my health journalism grad school days. The scribes packed a lot of wisdom into those articles and bullet points, and I'll share various nuggets of knowledge in upcoming articles.1
Thanks to his fearmongering, as Josh notes in his blog, the UK stripped Andrew Wakefield of his medical license.

Not only did Wakefield act unethically, dishonestly and irresponsibly, Britain's General Medical Council said, but he also diverted a lot of time and money that could have been spent researching treatments for autism instead into the anti-vaccine movement that was eagerly adopted by parents searching for answers.
Music is omnipresent and plays an enormous role in our everyday lives. It transports us, soothes us, energizes us, evokes memories instantaneously like few things in this world have the power to do (smell being an exception).

Music can bind us together and create shared experiences, or it can divide us (metalheads versus country fans). But why? Mark Changizi wrote an excellent article on the origins of music and four hurdles for a scientific theory of music, touching on these questions: why do we have a brain for music; why is music emotionally evocative; why do we dance; and why is music structurally organized as it is?
In medicine, physicians often present case histories or case reports of an interesting situation/patient, along with the outcome (typically a diagnosis) and discussion.1 On controversial cases, medical ethics can be invoked (although not quite to the expertise or depth of Dr. Pigliucci). Here's one I recently came across - whether to perform a kidney transplant for a middle-aged male with multiple co-morbidities - and I thought the implications were really interesting. I'll give you basic relevant facts and context and would like to know what you'd do.

Patient: A 50-year-old Caucasian male with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Type 1 Diabetes.