Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Courtesy of Sruthi Pinnamaneni; Natalie Conn/Courtesy of Peter Andrey SmithSruthi Pinnamaneni and Peter Andrey Smith   The worst thing about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the debilitating progress of the disease, which eventually leaves patients locked in their own bodies, aware of their decline but unable to move or talk. The FDA... more
What is DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ? Is it an incidental abnormality that only became recognized as screening mammography became more widespread and sophisticated? Or, is it a pre-cancer that gives doctors a head start in treating breast cancer before it spreads? These are questions that nearly 60-thousand women are faced with each year in... more
NBC Nightly News wants you to know this: “Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for heartburn and other stomach conditions. It’s a powerful alternative treatment, backed with plenty of scientific evidence” What other conditions? Apparently, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis,... more
COMPLETELY REWRITING THE HISTORY OF OUR SPECIES? It was big news, the announcement in Nature Communications that mitochondrial DNA recovered from a German Neandertal thigh bone believed to be more... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Just four days ago, the New York Times reported, “Is Alcohol Good for You? An Industry-Backed Study Seeks Answers.” Because it was the day before the July 4th holiday, the story may not have received the attention it deserves, so we shine a spotlight on it here. Excerpts: Now the National Institutes of Health is starting a $100 million... more
Like presumably many of my fellow Austin, Texas residents, I follow the Austin American-Statesman newspaper on Facebook because I want news–not sponsored advertorial content masquerading as journalism. But that’s indeed what I got recently when I checked my phone and this popped up: Because of the familiar blue logo and masthead symbol, I... more
A Voodoo Lily that surfaces unexpectedly in her yard moves a potter to make shiny purple pitchers that won’t pour, and bumpy, leaky mugs. A child treasures an autumnal butterscotch leaf; its mother refrains from revealing that “when beauty speaks it doesn’t hang around for an answer.” “Deep in a cave, life distills to one question — Which way now... more
If you’re a runner you might be drawn to a headline like “Turns out running may actually be good for your knees: Running lowers knee inflammation and may even protect against arthritis, according to a new study.”  You might even scan the article then file the information away for future reference, like when you notice your knees... more
As we head into Independence Day weekend, it’s a time for Americans to reflect on the many things we have to be proud of in this country. But we also have things that need to be fixed. Some problems — like our health care delivery system — are daunting, complex, and arguably urgent. It’s often said, “you can’t... more
JOHN OLIVER IS ANTI THE ANTI-VAXXERS Blogging commentary about John Oliver’s take on the anti-vaccine movement last Sunday (June 25) was, of course, nearly all positive. The comedian devoted... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]