Tidings from the world of Science Journalism

Its been a month of inactivity on my blog, but I have been far from free (at least for most parts of it). I recently started a Science Journalism internship at Biotechniques magazine, which as the name suggests covers the latest biology research. Its been a fun journey: I love completely diving into a topic for a few days, reading and re-reading an article thoroughly until I have understood it well enough to explain it SIMPLY, and then moving on to the next one.

Additionally, learning about the science journalism aspect has been quite an educative and absolutely enjoyable experience. Although they seem quite alike, science writing and science journalism — I figured out now — differ in an important aspect. Science writing can be purely about the science, but journalism in any form is about the people. I have mainly been learning to interview authors and other scientists to convey their feelings about their/or their peer’s work. Contrary to my expectation, I realized that including the author’s voice in the article makes a huge difference. Suddenly, the results stop being just data spit out of some machine in the lab, and bring forth the person behind them; someone who was ecstatic on accidentally discovering something useful or perplexed at the initial challenges! Basically, it humanizes the science, making it more relatable. My bonus happy moments are when I come across an scientist who can describe his/her work so well that I am awestruck, and at the same time slightly worried that my role would soon become obsolete.

That’s pretty much the long and short of my journey so far. Below are links to the articles that I have written in the past two months. I have tried to cover a wide range of topics, so there’s (hopefully) something for everyone.

1. The Perfect Lab Technician is a Robot
Playing with LEGO bricks and robots could end the pipetting woes of researchers. Learn more..

2. Three Non-blind Mice
Researchers prevented blindness in mice using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated therapy. Learn more…

3. Lights, Stimulate, Measure!
Stretchable implants record electrical signals in the spinal cords of freely moving mice, paving the way for advanced prosthetics that patients can control with spinal cord stimulation. Learn more…

4. An Immortal Debate of Ethics
Are the current policies for cell research from human samples stringent enough to protect us from unwanted immortality? Learn more…

5. The Science March: Is Resistance Futile?
The recent Science March drew large crowds to the streets in support of science. Is this resistance among scientists a passing phase or a long-term movement that will impact future policies? What do the march organizers and participants think? Find out…

6. Time for a Makeover, Says Zika
Zika virus infection causes extensive remodeling in mammalian cells. Learn more…


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