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Category: George Church

Thanks to a tweet by Matt Nisbet (@MCNisbet) I learned this morning of a remarkable reader of a yarn that that one of the nation's remaining heavy-hitter dailies ran yesterday:

  • Washington Post - Ariana Eunjung Cha:...

Thanks to a tweet by Matt Nisbet (@MCNisbet) I learned this morning of a remarkable reader of a yarn that that one of the nation's remaining heavy-hitter dailies ran yesterday:

  It's a good story, with caveats. However, it provided to me resolution of a little puzzle in journalistic tactical thinking that I'd chewed on a short time ago. More on the puzzle in a moment. The caveats are that the story's general theme is not new, and to those who follows GM and synthetic biology developments at all, few of the details are startling.  Eunjung Cha (just plain Cha? With a name so intriguing it'd be best to...

What reader could resist clicking on a headline about a mad scientist trying to find women to carry Neanderthal clones? It sounds like something from the old supermarket tabloid the Weekly World News, but this latest whopper is loosely based on a real statement by a real scientist.

In his book,...

What reader could resist clicking on a headline about a mad scientist trying to find women to carry Neanderthal clones? It sounds like something from the old supermarket tabloid the Weekly World News, but this latest whopper is loosely based on a real statement by a real scientist.

In his book, Regenesis, written with Ed Regis, Harvard researcher George Church really did say that it might be possible to clone Neanderthal babies using the Neanderthal genome sequence reconstructed with synthetic biology. And the kicker: A cloned embryo of our extinct cousin could be gestated by an “adventurous” woman. (On the plus side, the first volunteer would be shoe-in to get her own reality show.)

There wasn’t much reaction at first. The statement was buried pretty deep in the book, which was something of a slog to read.

But then the German magazine...

I meant to get this out for New Years, but it took longer than I thought. At least it’s been posted before the end of New Year's week.

Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt

I’ve been raving about this book since I read it last summer. Why Does the...

I meant to get this out for New Years, but it took longer than I thought. At least it’s been posted before the end of New Year's week.

Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt

I’ve been raving about this book since I read it last summer. Why Does the World Exist isn’t the kind of book that chronicles a scientist’s quest for something, and that’s fine since there are already plenty of those. This is a book that uses science to help answer a very human question.

Jim Holt, whose byline you might recognize from the New Yorker, seeks out philosophers and scientists to help us understand why the world exists. The scientists include physicists David Deutch and Steven Weinberg, and Holt’s conversations with these two are sophisticated and detailed without lapsing into jargon or concepts that aren’t widely understood. The science chapters show that it’s indeed possible...