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Steve Nadis, Rebecca Skloot, Karen Hopkin


In his 20-odd years as a science writer, Steve Nadis, (“Roboman,” p. 32) has seen meteor craters, strange deep-sea creatures, and intestine-crawling robots. But he wasn’t on top of the latest in genome technology until robotics wizard Kevin McKernan gave him a crash course at the Whitehead Institute. Nadis was a 1997-1998 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. His articles have appeared in Nature, Scientific American, Popular Science, Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., where he is often found playing handball, volleyball, and three-card gut.

Rebecca Skloot (“Blowin’ and Goin’,” p. 34) is a freelance science and medical writer who specializes in bioethics and the history of science and medicine. She contributes to a variety of publications, including San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Portland Tribune, and Hopkins Magazine. Before going freelance, Skloot was the assistant editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and PittMed magazine. She is writing a book on the history of the HeLa cell line.

“When I was their age, I was selling my bone marrow to make the rent,” says Karen Hopkin, who interviewed the now rather wealthy founders of Neomorphic for “Metamorphic Men,” p. 29, and Spotfire CEO Chris Ahlberg ("Swede Success," p. 24) for this month''s cover story. A lab monkey-turned-science scribe, Hopkin, who holds a PhD in biochemistry, writes for such publications as Scientific American, New Scientist, Science, The Scientist — pretty much anything with “science” in the title, she says. Last year Hopkin took classes in computational genomics and pistol shooting as a Knight Fellow at MIT, and she’s currently writing a couple of chapters for Bruce Alberts’ textbook “Molecular Biology of the Cell.”

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.