Leprosy Patients Also Wish for Gift of Pain

While somewhat light on science, the recent New York Times Magazine cover story “The Hazards of Growing Up Painlessly” is a fascinating profile of Ashlyn Blocker, a girl who suffers from a rare, harrowing, and little-understood condition known as “congenital insensitivity to pain.” Although not mentioned in the article, one of the only other diseases that rob patients […]

STEM On the Playground

Designers of the new generation of innovative playgrounds contend that these collaborative free-form environments are inspiring the world’s future problem-solvers. My 7-year-old has a different spin: “Yeeeeeaahhhhhh!!!” Here’s my write-up on Designwire Daily about Rockwell Group’s latest Imagination Playground — the centerpiece of the National Building Museum’s “Play Work Build” exhibition, which opened last week. 

Enterprise Sails Her Last Voyage

 The USS Enterprise, that is, not the Starship Enterprise, although as a child I often got them conflated since my father logged many months — years, actually — on “The Big E,” the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, back in the 1960s and ’70s. Before returning to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., this week, the Enterprise […]

“Science is not sexy.”

“Science is too much coffee and Birkenstocks and bad hair, but that’s not what people want to hear.” That from bioethicist Debra Matthews, joking last night about the disconnect between the tedious work of sitting at a lab bench waiting for some cells to grow and then trying to get the public excited about the results […]