“There are so many women in the world, so many fresh and young and virtuous women, so many good and kind women. Why have I been cursed with women who destroy the children in their own wombs?” So complains Hilary Mantel’s fictional version of Henry VIII – and this Sunday marks the date, 477 years [...]
LWON is a group blog run semi-anarchically by 12 science writers. If you think that sounds like a recipe for chaos, just contemplate SciLance, an even more anarchic group of 35 science writers. Usually, SciLance is just a discussion group, so the chaos is relatively subdued. But last week, the writers of SciLance published their [...]
We often lament hype in science journalism. But seldom do we worry about underhype – of downplaying the significance of a study. In March, I had reason to worry about this. Just after Nature published a story that I wrote about a massive cancer genetics project, I received an email from my editor: “Should we [...]
The emergence of the H7N9 bird flu virus has rekindled memories of our last flu pandemic – just as the United States is debating whether it can afford to prepare for the next one. Remember the H1N1 flu scare of 2009? I always will, because pregnant women were vulnerable to becoming severely ill or dying [...]
March 18 – 22 FOLWON* guest poster Brooke Borel introduces the world to the bed bug hockey stick graph. Read it and you will understand why data journalism is about to change the world. That’s highly relevant for Erika’s post, because as she tells us, you only have control over your data until you become [...]
Early in my pregnancy, a research assistant sat down next to me in the waiting room of my doctor’s office, where I was scheduled to undergo a routine checkup. She asked me if I wanted to take part in a research study and described the study’s goals, risks and benefits. After I agreed to join [...]
In which we ask our enlightened readers to solve a household mystery. Scene: The Check-Hayden kitchen. Erika (opens the refrigerator): Hm, this apple juice has been in here for a while. I should probably just finish it off.
Last year, after years of writing about research studies, I agreed to become a research subject myself. I agreed to allow a local medical center to use my tissue, health records, fluids, cells, and other “specimens” for research. Not only that – I also allowed the researchers to use the same types of information and [...]keep looking »