Author Archive

The Fastest Woman on Earth

Running through the countryside of Limpopo on dirt roads, Caster Semenya dreamed of being a champion. In 2008, Semenya took her first step onto the world stage of athletics, winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth

Golden Rice

It all began in 1984 over beers at an international agricultural meeting in the Philippines. Gary Toenniessen of the Rockefeller Foundation asked a group of plant scientists this question: how can we use the new technology of

The Mysterious Case of Childbed Fever

The greatly pregnant young woman slowly climbed the stairs of the most modern hospital in Austria, the Allgemeines Krankenhaus, or General Hospital, of Vienna. Her destination was the maternity ward. She was in labor and soon

The “Infidelity Gene”

John and Mary Smith met in college and married soon after graduation. They were lucky enough to find good jobs in the same area, bought a condo, and settled into a comfortable life.

Eventually John and Mary

The Only Living Man with a Hole in His Head

September 13, 1848, was a lovely autumn day in Cavendish, Vermont. Phineas Gage, a sturdy 25-year-old man, led a crew in the dangerous task of blasting through boulders and rock ledges to clear the path for

The Sun’s Deadly Potential

Thirteen-year-old Jeff Markway finally got around to showing his mother the golf ball–sized lump on his right arm. He demonstrated for her how the lump would move up and down when he wiggled his right thumb.