Code for life

Strongest opponents of GM think they know best but actually know the least

Grant Jacobs Jan 17, 2019

A study just out shows that the strongest opponents of GM (genetic modification) think they know the subject well, but in fact know the least. What does this means for science communication? Especially contentious topics. Doubly so where deliberate misinformation is being offered. Similarly are their lessons for politicians? In New Zealand politicians seem too timid to try correct … Read More

Tired of flipping USB plugs over?

Grant Jacobs Jan 10, 2019

If you’re anything like me, flipping USB plugs over is irritating. It’s not as if it takes much time, just that you have to do it at all. Here’s a tip I stumbled onto a few years ago: (advertising) logos face up. When you put the cable or device in, keep the advertising logo face up. I can’t guarantee that … Read More

Making a list of books to share? Link to review or author sites, not that company

Grant Jacobs Dec 08, 2018

It’s that time of year that people share lists of books that others might like to read. Often book lists offer a link to where a reader might get the book. Please don’t link to companies. Link to review or author sites. If you’re like me, you love to see new reading ideas. Even if they make your wallet wince… … Read More

Neti pots to brain infections

Grant Jacobs Dec 08, 2018

A few years ago I posted this startling picture. I’ll admit using neti pots looked pretty potty to me then. It still does. I thought it looked like the sort of thing someone would do for a party trick. Y’know: eww, look at the water come out my other nostril. A quick look around the internet revealed it has … Read More

Genome-edited babies – what’s the worry? (#1)

Grant Jacobs Dec 03, 2018

He Jiankui’s[1] experiment has brought the world’s first deliberately gene-edited babies into the world, twins nicknamed Nana and Lulu. He edited the DNA of their embryos, hoping to make them resistant to infection by HIV. I see a lot of people writing comments like, “Genome-edited babies – what’s the worry? We’re going to start it sometime. We can start here.” … Read More

Human gene-edited babies: hold the horses

Grant Jacobs Nov 28, 2018

Time moves on; this story has too. Readers might like to try my more recent piece, Genome-edited babies – what’s the worry?, which covers the biological aspects of what was done. For those following the news that a Hong Kong-based researcher claims to have brought to term human gene-edited babies: hold the horses. I’ve been trying to put a story on … Read More