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Oscillator

Oscillator

Notes, thoughts, and news on synthetic biology.

Goodbye

I’m leaving the Scientific American network, which is being “reshaped.” I’ll be returning to my original solo blog, which I left nearly five years ago, continuing to edit Method Quarterly, and writing for other outlets.

December 15, 2014 — Christina Agapakis
Method Quarterly

Method Quarterly

Over the past couple months, I’ve been working with Azeen Ghorayshi on starting a new publication for stories about science in the making.

November 12, 2014 — Christina Agapakis
Weird Biology Fact of the Day: Mirror-image Amino Acids

Weird Biology Fact of the Day: Mirror-image Amino Acids

In her fascinating and wide-ranging talk on multi-dimensional spaces and human consciousness, Tauba Auerbach briefly mentioned the fact that after an organism dies its molecules will gradually change "handedness" — from an entropy defying left-handed favoritism back to 50-50 over many thousands of years.

September 29, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

Fist Bumps Are For Germophobes

Fist bumps are back in the news this week after the publication of a study finding that fist bumps transfer fewer bacteria than the more customary handshake.

July 30, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

Four Great Scents from Outer Space

You don’t need your nose to know what something smells like. Perfumers and astronomers can detect and recreate scents based on the chemical signatures of the molecules in the air, even if that air is very very far away.

July 14, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

Through the Anthropocene Looking Glass

There’s no doubt that humans have drastically changed the Earth. The global scale impacts of humans on the environment has led many scientists, scholars, and environmentalists to use the term Anthropocene to describe our present geological period.

July 7, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

Biological Speculation

A great short talk by Drew Endy about the early history of synthetic biology and the motivations, hopes, and uncertainties of bioengineering.

June 17, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

If you wish to make a gene from scratch

According to the New York Times, synthetic biology is creating DNA out of thin air. A recent article about synthetic biology and consumer goods describes DNA synthesis as a process where “DNA is created on computers and inserted into organisms.” Computers are pretty cool and really useful in synthetic biology labs, but it takes a [...]

June 14, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

Which bacteria are in my poop? It depends where you look...

This is a guest post from my friend and former colleague Tami Lieberman. She’s a postdoc in the Kishony Lab in the Department of Systems Biology at the Harvard Medical School, and you follow her on twitter @conTAMInatedsci.

May 12, 2014 — Christina Agapakis

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