Ancient genes hide in Tibetan DNA

It’s no secret that Tibetan people are supremely well-adapted to high-altitude living. However, the origin of the genes that make them so has proved a mystery. Now, scientists have traced one important gene back to an extinct group of early human relatives, the Denisovans. Learn more in my story for the LA Times.

Hey Mars, here we come

When NASA launched the Curiosity rover in 2011, it was the heaviest thing they could possibly land on Mars. Engineers knew they needed something bigger and better to ferry even larger loads — and someday, people — to the Red Planet. Thus was born the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, which NASA successfully tested in the stratosphere over Hawaii … More Hey Mars, here we come

Journey through a geologic wonder: LA’s La Brea Tar Pits

La Brea’s Tar Pits hold the most complete record of ice age fossils on Earth. Their collection includes mastodons, dire wolves, and saber-toothed cats, among others. Meet the volunteers who dedicate their time to exploring the tar and take a journey through this amazing place, hidden right in the heart of Los Angeles, in my … More Journey through a geologic wonder: LA’s La Brea Tar Pits