The science writer Carl Zimmer was 10 years old when his family moved to rural New Jersey. He quickly made a new friend whose father was the prolific science fiction illustrator John Schoenherr. Zimmer hadn’t read Dune, or seen Schoenherr’s unforgettable illustrations of sandworms. ...
In the days before anesthesia, surgery was about the worst ordeal you could endure. Patrick Purdon, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, gives producer Tim Howard a tour of Mass General Hospital’s famous Ether Dome, an operating theater that would have resonated with the screams of ...
Scientists recently determined that Páramos, small, high-elevation ecosystems in the Andes, are the fastest evolving places on earth. Science writer Carl Zimmer explains what makes these tiny mountainous enclaves—and their giant daisy trees—so diverse.
The inhumanly fast world of high-speed trading, an excruciatingly slow experiment, and a physicist plays Zeus.
Jad starts us off with some wishful parental thinking: that no matter how many billions of lines of genetic code, or how many millions of years of evolution came before you, your struggles, your efforts, matter -- not just in a touchy feely kind of way, but in ways that ...
Stories of nature and nurture slamming into each other, & shaping our biological blueprints.
Last week, a group of scientists in France released a study linking genetically modified food with cancer. Journalists who wanted to see an advanced copy of the research had to sign a confidentially agreement that ensured they wouldn't be able to get other scientists to weigh in on the study. Brooke speaks to science writer Carl Zimmer, who says the researchers were trying to manipulate journalists in order to skew the coverage in their favor.
Robert and Carl Zimmer teamed up tonight to moderate a brain mapping brouhaha live at Columbia University. The subject: does the brain's wiring make us who we are? The event has ended, but thanks to everyone who tuned in for the live webcast (and the lively web chat archived below).
While Jad was on paternity leave, Carl Zimmer told Robert and producer Soren Wheeler about the ecosystem inside each and every one of us. According to Carl, when we're in the womb, we have no bacteria in us at all, but as soon as we're born we start gathering up ...
A look at the messy mystery in our middles, and what the rumblings deep in our bellies can tell us about ourselves.
In the early 1980s, epidemiologists were racing to understand a mysterious disease that was killing young men in California. As we now know, that disease was AIDS. And it soon grew into one of the biggest global pandemics in human history. But back in 1984, no one knew what it ...
We hunt for Patient Zeroes from all over the map.
Carl Zimmer is one of our go-to guys when we need help untangling a complicated scientific idea. But in this short, he unravels something much more personal.
For two decades, scientists and doctors have relied on blood types to categorize patients. Depending on whether one is blood type A, B, AB, or O, doctors could alter their treatment to increase their chances of a successful procedure. But there's a new way for people to be categorized medically — gut bacteria. New research shows that there are three distinct ecosystems in people's guts that could have direct effects of people's heath. We talk with Carl Zimmer, science reporter for our partner The New York Times, who reported on this story in yesterday's paper.
Carl Zimmer, contributor to The New York Times' Science Times and author of Brain Cuttings: Fifteen Journeys Through the Mind, talks about developments in the research of smiling and what smiling means for our brains.
President Obama's smile was impressively consistent when he posed for photographs with 130 foreign dignitaries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009. Check out the video below, from Bus Your Own Tray blogger Eric Spiegelman.
Why do we smile? Not only do scientists believe they may have discovered the answer to that question, but also to how we perceive the smile. Carl Zimmer, science writer for The New York Times, has the details of this new study to be published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
In a brief snippet from a conversation Robert had with Richard Dawkins at the 92 Street Y in New York City, we learn that natural selection is often a brutal arms race, inherently full of suffering and cruelty. But if Darwin's big idea is really predicated on pain and selfishness, ...
If natural selection boils down to survival of the fittest, how do you explain why one creature might stick its neck out for another?
Tales of lethargic farmers, zombie cockroaches, and even mind-controlled humans (kinda, maybe).