If you aren’t yet concerned about antibiotic resistance, you should be. With totally resistant TB and nearly resistant gonorrhea and certainly other incredibly resistant pathogens, the implications are clear: we are circling back toward the pre-antibiotic age. In today’s highly traveled and far more populated world, when infection can spread around the globe in a […]

No superbug

You take your yowling preschooler to the doctors. She is tugging on her ears. The doctor swipes the back of her throat to rule out strep. Check. But still there’s the ear thing. Is it bacterial? Viral? And if bacterial what kind? The doc takes her best guess and sends you off with a prescription […]


(Cross posted from Island Press Field Notes.) Chernobyl’s explosion in 1986 was the largest nuclear accident ever. In terms of radiation release, it exceeded Hiroshima by a long shot. And although the hulking ruin continues to threaten today, still hot under its cement and lead cap, nature is reclaiming what was once hers—before humans stripped […]

Western Corn Rootworm

And another one bites the dust. Corn rootworms, once the scourge of corn growers, stymied by corn engineered to produce Bt toxin (a crystalline toxin that basically pokes holes in the guts of these worms) are back. No matter how you feel about bioengineering, this is bad news because it can only lead to increased […]


Here’s the skinny: evolution is happening all the time, all around us. Living things are like one roiling mass of DNA. OK, so that’s a little over the top. But DNA is far more dynamic than once believed, and our use of toxic chemicals — from antibiotics to pesticides — is making this abundantly clear. […]


This week at our local Toastmaster’s meeting the word of the day was bumfuzzled. The challenge is to use it as much as possible that night.  As I struggled to give my two minute “Table Topic” an impromptu presentation about the paint color Tart Green – it was enough just to try and tell an […]

human height from Nature

As I am nearing the closing chapter (I hope) of my book on rapid evolution in a chemical world – I am struggling to understand what this means for humans. If you search rapid evolution and humans, you will find all sorts of excitement in the popular press about how traits enabling humans to drink […]


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