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What Happens When You Put 500,000 People's DNA Online

November 7, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Every big, ambitious project has to start somewhere, and for U.K. Biobank, it was at an office building south of Manchester, where the project convinced its very first volunteer to pee into a cup and donate a tube of blood in 2006. U.K. Biobank would go on to recruit 500,000...

The Genomic Revolution Reaches the City Crime Lab

September 25, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Lisa Ziegert disappeared from the gift shop where she worked on April 15, 1992, and her body was found four days later. From then until this past Monday, her murder remained unsolved. Then on Monday, the local district attorney’s office in Massachusetts announced the arrest of a 48-year-old man for...

The Genomic Revolution Reaches the City Crime Lab

September 24, 2017 Lisa Ziegert disappeared from the gift shop where she worked on April 15, 1992, and her body was found four days later. From then until this past Monday, her murder remained unsolved. Then on Monday, the local district attorney’s office in Massachusetts announced the arrest of a 48-year-old man for...

What 35 Inches of Rain Can Dredge Up

August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit Corpus Christi, Texas, late on Friday, and that will just be the start of it. Over the next four or five days, the slow-moving storm could dump up to 35 inches of rain over the hardest-hit areas of Texas. Looking at a NOAA forecast...

Grand Canyon National Park Gives In to Creationist Suing for Religious Discrimination

July 3, 2017 Back in May, Andrew Snelling sued Grand Canyon National Park officials after a failed, years-long attempt to get a research permit to collect rocks in the park. Snelling trained as geologist and he is young-Earth creationist who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible. In his view, the Grand...

How a Usually Harmless Bacteria Ended Up Killing 18 People in Wisconsin

May 25, 2017 The long scientific names of bacteria often tell a story of their discovery. Over time, however, the names can get a little awkward in light of new revelations. Consider Elizabethkingia anophelis—a largely unremarkable microbe named after the pioneering microbiologist Elizabeth O. King, who discovered the genus, and the Anopheles mosquito,...

What to Make of the Tunnel Collapse at the Hanford Nuclear Cleanup Site

May 10, 2017 On Tuesday morning, workers at the Hanford Site, a Cold War-era plutonium-production facility turned nuclear-waste cleanup project in Washington, discovered a giant hole in the ground. A tunnel had collapsed. Because “tunnel collapse” and “nuclear waste” are two phrases you don’t want to see in the same sentence, the news...

What to Make of the Tunnel Collapse at a Nuclear Cleanup Site

May 10, 2017 On Tuesday morning, workers at the Hanford Site, a Cold War-era plutonium-production facility turned nuclear-waste cleanup project in Washington, discovered a giant hole in the ground. A tunnel had collapsed. Because “tunnel collapse” and “nuclear waste” are two phrases you don’t want to see in the same sentence, the news...

Nevada Fights the Latest Attempt to Give It the Nation’s Nuclear Waste

April 26, 2017 On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s environment subcommittee took up a draft bill to revive the long-delayed and long controversial plan to store the nation’s nuclear waste under Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Several of the subcommittee’s members—Democrats and Republicans alike—represent districts where nuclear waste is...

The Government's Weed Is Terrible

April 20, 2017 For years, researchers have been complaining: This is some schwag. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, scientists who want to study the drug in their labs have to get it from a government-licensed facility at the University of Mississippi. Such has been the arrangement for decades. And in...