Entries by Marc Defant

Diamond rush

A few lucky souls have stumbled on diamonds in glacial debris around the Great Lakes and further north into Canada for centuries.  Geologists have known that the sources of those diamonds represented a vast wealth of hidden treasure somewhere in the frozen tundra of northern Canada, but it was not until the late 1980s that a […]

Plowing through the political morass to understand global warming

Disinformation has become a hallmark of companies and religious sects interested in undermining science.  Please note that I have used disinformation instead of misinformation because these organizations have purposefully spread wrong or bad information to mislead the public and cloud issues discovered by science.  The most famous example comes from the tobacco industry.  Richard Kluger’s […]

Exterminating invasive species with gene drives

I can’t rave enough about Jennifer Kahn’s recent TED talk entitled Gene Editing Can Now Change an Entire Species.  The talk summarizes the new power of gene drives to eradicate malaria, dengue and yellow fever, and other dangerous diseases spread by insects.  It is truly a brave new world.    CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short […]

Loss aversion

Daniel Kahneman I was struck by the vagaries of the lottery while watching a report on ABC News.  A wiley reporter asked several people if they would sell their Powerball ticket for $4 doubling the $2 they paid for it.  Each person refused the offer and seemed quite incredulous that the reporter would even ask. […]