Read more articles from Knight Science Journalism Tracker
In April, I wrote that *Time* magazine had violated advertising standards 
by placing an ad for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center right in the middle of a
story that extolled M.D. Anderson. Time assured me that it had not violated
standards, even though the evidence was there for all to see.
Now *The Times* in the UK has jumped on this money-making trend. A recent
story  on the discovery of Prince William's Indian ancestry featured a
company called BritainsDNA, which did the genetic analysis. As *Roy
Greenslade* of *The Guardian* reports , the
In a post on May 5, 2013, several days after the launch of the new science
magazine *Nautilus*, I reviewed the magazine's website and its first issues
. I wrote that I thought it was a flashy and promising debut.
The magazine was established with a grant from the John Templeton Foundation
, which funds a variety of projects on science and religion. *John
Steele*, the publisher, would not tell me the amount of the grant, except to
say it could keep Nautilus running for two years. My repeated requests to the
foundation were met
The sharp-eyed *Antonio Regalado* at *Technology Review* noted that* *the
*Wall Street Journal* accompanied its story on the Supreme Court
gene-patenting decision with a giant picture of DNA--backwards:
The Journal's right-tilted editorial page should be deeply offended that the
picture shows a progressive, /left-handed/ DNA. As any proud conservative
should know, DNA spirals to the right, like a right-handed screw, making it,
I suppose, a deeply conservative molecule.
Perhaps the Journal got the picture from another publication with a
right-leaning editorial stance, Forbes, which veered left a couple of
There is a kind of
The twin-barrelled strategy for dealing with global warming has for
decades not only included mitigation, as in not emitting nearly so much
greenhouse gas, but also adaptation by armoring, retreating, economizing, and
broadly learning to live on an increasingly unfit planet. For most of that
time mitigation got top billing from technical experts and the general media.
Many have felt that a spotlight on adaptation is a perilous step toward
resignation, surrender, and steep decline for our species along with many of
the rest of them here with us.
But it gives
The Supreme Court's decision to deny patents on genes but allow patents on
synthetic genes was perhaps not as clever as many commentators seemed to
On the surface, it makes sense: Patents shouldn't be awarded to genes any
more than they should be awarded to a block of wood. Genes were not invented
by anyone; they exist in nature. The other part of the decision seems to make
sense, too: If researchers synthesize something in the laboratory, it's an
invention, and it is as deserving of a patent as Edison's light bulb.
But did researchers