Author Archives: Emily

Bacteriophages to the Rescue

[First published in The Scientist] Earlier this year I gave a presentation to public-health students undergraduates about options for controlling pests and pathogens that didn’t depend on industrial-age chemicals such as antibiotics and pesticides. When I asked if they’d ever heard of phage therapy—the use of bacteria-attacking viruses to fight infection—I was met with blank stares. […]

Fireworks “fun” facts or not so?

[Cover image source: Dave on Flickr] Who doesn’t love fireworks? (Aside from our dog, our kids when they were little, and apparently birds – although no surprise there really). It’s also likely that those who are responsible for ensuring water quality have mixed feelings when the sparks start flying. I don’t want to be the kill-joy, but […]

When the facts can’t speak for themselves

Originally posted on Evolution in a toxic world:
My generation of scientists, and those before us, were trained to stay in the lab. To publish in scientific journals. We learned to speak the language of science. A language that would show other scientists – we get it. We are now part of this somewhat exclusive…

Can machines that can learn save us from ourselves? Or get us into more trouble?

We are technological toddlers. We have been a bit out of control. Within the past century as we changed the world to better suit our needs, we blissfully ignored the beastly things until they came back to bite us: the chemicals that brought good things into our lives spread across this earth contaminating every nook […]

Drug Interactions: more common than you might think

[I wrote this back in 2007, but after my son called to tell me about his most recent injury — bone bruise – and remedy: Aleve in the AM and possibly a few beers in the PM, I thought it’s worth a repost since the basic message Be Careful What You Mix is still relevant. Please […]

Mr Pruitt, what are your intentions with our environment?

Dear Mr. Pruitt, thank you for your response to my earlier letters. I have to admit, however, I have a hard time taking your responses (OK two form letters with digital signatures) very seriously. Your top priority is protecting our nation’s air, water and land? You want regulatory “certainty” so that industries will know exactly […]

Note to class: A time for Optimism

Note to last class: this is the time for optimism. So, we’ve been through twenty-two weeks of toxics. From mercury and lead to atrazine and BPA. Nanoparticles too. We’ve talked toxicity, and regulation (a little), and about this current administration’s roll-back of the latter. It is like the weather today, gloomy. And yes, the sun will […]