The simple lab technique that changed everything How the discovery and validation of a simple lab technique called PCR by Kary Mullis and his team in the 1980’s helped science take a leap forward in understanding genetics and improved our society.

What do gene sequencing, catching criminals with DNA evidence, and “designer babies” all have in common? Forty years ago, these were all considered science fiction topics. Today, they are fields of serious study. All three of these fields, and many READ MORE

Black holes and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity How mathematician Roger Penrose’s black hole modeling in 1965 provided evidence for the Theory of Relativity and earned him the 2020 Nobel Prize.

As we settle into October, many start turning their attention towards the fall and Halloween. Scientists turn their attention to the announcement of the Nobel Prizes. This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jennifer Duoba and Emmanuelle Charpentier READ MORE

Laboratory methods behind the polio vaccine discovery In 1949, Harvard scientists established a few tissue culture tricks that not only allowed Jonas Salk to develop the polio vaccine, but also became standard practice when growing polio in the lab. His team was awarded a Nobel Prize.

Poliomyelitis is the name of the disease caused by the poliovirus, and it mostly affects children under the age of 5, causing paralysis in a small percent of cases. The disease had been around since the 1800s at low levels, READ MORE

Manipulating the forces of nature with gene editing This 2005 study explains the discovery of CRISPR-cas9, the tool used in gene editing. It has been used in research on agriculture, cancer, infectious disease, genetic disorders, and more.

When Dr. Ido from Jurassic Park said, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should,” he was referring to reviving the dinosaurs. On a grander scale, he was talking about the READ MORE

Why We Have Gadgets: Electromagnetism James Clerk Maxwell was the first person to finally prove the relationship between electricity and magnetism using math, unifying the two theories and allowing for much faster advancement.

James Clerk Maxwell may not have invented the first electromagnet. But, he was the first person to finally prove the relationship between electricity and magnetism using math, unifying the two theories and allowing for much faster advancement.

How did we discover the first virus? The recovery of the cause of tobacco mosaic disease by Dimitri Ivanovsky eventually lead to the discovery of the first virus.

As world news about the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, society’s collective knowledge and interest in viruses has increased. But who discovered the first virus? How did they know what to look for? Why are viruses so good at what READ MORE

Looking Back on Dyson Spheres It might be possible that civilizations eventually develop large spherical shells that can catch all of the light emitted from their stars - an idea famously credited to the late Freeman Dyson.

It might be likely that civilizations eventually develop large spherical shells that can catch all of the light emitted from their stars – an idea famously credited to the late Freeman Dyson.

O, the Drama! The discovery of oxygen How oxygen’s controversial discovery dismantled the phologiston era and changed science forever

This is the story of how scientists first discovered that oxygen was a thing, in the 1700s. One of our writers did some digging into the original French language publication as well as some other sources and pieced it together for your reading pleasure!