Category Archives: History

First Human Embryos Edited in U.S. by Scientists

An eight-cell human embryo. Image courtesy Robert Wood Johnson Medical School IVF program.

For the first time in the U.S., scientists have genetically modified human embryos. The technique could help screen out heritable diseases, but many worry where it might ultimately lead.

As rumors spread in advance of the publication, the story sparked comparisons with films like Gattaca and books like Brave New World, with their themes of genetic discrimination, DNA-as-destiny and the social dangers of tampering with human heredity.

But the research’s most important — and, to some, troubling — aspect lies in the fact that it alters the hereditary DNA known as the germline.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
First Human Embryos Edited In U.S. By Scientists

The Foggy Future of Refrigerants

Freon tanks await recycling. Image courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stable, nontoxic refrigerants changed the world, transforming food storage, expanding Sun Belt populations, even helping early movie theaters succeed. But they also wrecked the ozone layer — Earth’s shield against harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Today, as stockpiles dwindle — and prices rise — due to phase-outs set by the Montreal Protocols 30 years ago,  the future of Freon and its successors remains in doubt.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Stockpiles Dwindle, Freon Prices Rise

Behind the Scenes at a Nuclear Generating Station Refueling

Every six months, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station southwest of Phoenix, Arizona shuts down one of its three reactors for refueling and maintenance.

Join me in this feature-length venture into the belly of the beast, from the storage casks to the open reactor itself.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
http://science.kjzz.org/node/472070

Beneath Downtown Phoenix, More Hohokam Finds

Photo courtesy City of Phoenix.

Archaeologists have uncovered more remains of a Hohokam settlement at the site of the next CityScape development in downtown Phoenix.

The site sits in the heart of downtown, near Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Hohokam Farm Found On Site of Future Phoenix Fry’s

Clock Ticking for Mexican Wolf and Recovery Plan

Photo Courtesy of the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team.

After 30-plus years of wrangling, wildlife managers have yet to agree on a revised recovery plan for the endangered Mexican wolf. As a November deadline looms, a study by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and British Columbia’s Wildlife Genetics International offers guidance for finding common ground.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Deadline Looms For Mexican Wolf Plan, Arizona Study Offers Guidance