Why read about Science?

This post is about why should anyone bother to write about science, to ‘do’ science writing. But really I’m interested in two other things here, consider this post a conversation starter. Firstly, you, the reader, why do you read about science? Or if you don’t, what would it take for you to do so? (Also, how did you get here?) And secondly, science writers, why do you think science writing is important? Why should people write about science? What do I mean by science writing? Firstly, I guess it applies equally well to ‘science communication’ in general, but I want to focus on science writing here. Not actual scientific papers and journals, I’m more thinking of anything that takes that kind of information in one end and squirts out something more accessible to a non-specialist at the other end. It can be anything along the spectrum from blogging and social ...(Read More)

Cholera’s Spring Loaded Nano-dagger

Bacteria have a number of tools to fend off foes or attack competitors, but now a new method can be added to the list: a spring-loaded dagger Research published in Nature by scientists at the Harvard Medical School and the California Institute of Technology investigated the structure of a mechanism used by the bacteria vibrio cholera to kill both competing bacteria and human cells, called the Type VI Secretary System (T6SS) in the cholera bacterium. It’s known that T6SS can deliver toxic proteins into nearby cells, but until now the exact mechanism was not known; now it appears T6SS could be using a poison tipped dagger to deliver this killing blow. “People aren’t surprised that animals have really interesting ways to hurt each other – snakes have venom, bears have claws,” says Grant Jensen, professor of biology at Caltech and co-leader of the study. “But they might be surprised that ...(Read More)