Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Articles

November 24, 2014

by Karam Sheban | 

In March of this year, a group of researchers announced they had detected gravitational waves produced during a tiny instant as the big bang got under way. BICEP2, a telescope located on the South Pole, had produced the most detailed analysis to date of the cosmic microwave background—the big bang’s leftover radiation, still suffusing the universe. The results were clear: the universe had, in that moment, expanded to a vast size from a single point.

November 04, 2014

By Debamita Chatterjee | 

You’ve always felt bad after fighting with your spouse, but perhaps you brushed it off as a commonplace, harmless part of life. In fact, evidence suggests that marital discord is not harmless at all. 

October 31, 2014

By Kara Manke | 

Alán Aspuru-Guzik is building facial recognition software—for molecules. 

Aspuru-Guzik, a professor of chemistry at Harvard University, uses computers to explore chemical space—the near-infinite array of molecules that can be created by joining tens or hundreds of atoms together into different shapes. With the help of quantum chemistry calculations, he and his team sift through millions of virtual molecules in search of promising new materials for solar energy generation and storage.

October 28, 2014

By Bethany Bella | 

"Imagine this: What if you could drive a car that is so intelligent that you never, when driving in a city, come across a red traffic light? But this is possible." 

At the ScienceWriters2014 conference in Columbus, Ohio, Giorgio Rizzoni of Ohio State University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering entertained the idea of automative technologies in future transportation vehicles, while also discussing the importance of sustainable transportation in megacities around the world.

October 23, 2014

By Karam Sheban | 

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are notoriously difficult to discuss. The underlying technology transfers genetic material from one organism to another or, in a more recent development, "edits" a target organism's genes. The aim is often to create animals and plants for agriculture that produce better yields, are more resistant to disease, or tolerant to pesticides.

October 23, 2014

By Kara Manke | 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is changing the face of head and neck cancer. 

Once caused primarily by heavy tobacco or alcohol use, the majority of new head and neck cancers in the United Stated result from infection with HPV, a common sexually transmitted disease known for causing cervical cancer in women. As a result, head and neck cancer is increasingly being found in younger patients—especially men. And rates of diagnosis are on the rise. 

October 23, 2014

By Cassie Kelly | 

They weigh next to nothing, they move at more than 99 percent the speed of light and they have no electric charge. They can go straight through planets, usually without leaving a trace.

October 23, 2014

By Crystal Garner | 

The link between human acts of violence, lack of empathy and time spent with graphically violent video games and films is so consistent that denying it is like “denying gravity,” an Ohio State University psychologist said Sunday, Oct. 19.

In a report on dozens of studies involving thousands of student subjects over decades, Brad Bushman said meta-analyses of the results continue to confirm a significant relationship between aggressive impulses and violent video game use.

October 23, 2014

By Olivia Miltner | 

Tools that would give scientists the ability to limit the spread of diseases, give creatures new traits, and even bring back extinct animals seem possible soon, thanks to ever more powerful and precise genetic editing tools that redesign specific parts of an organism’s DNA.

October 23, 2014

By Kelly Fisher | 

If someone calls you a “bird brain,” count yourself praised, not insulted. 

Neurobiologist Erich Jarvis can tell you just why this is so. 

For instance, why are parrots able to say “Polly want a cracker” with ease? But a supposedly smarter chimp cannot?