Author Archive | Kim Smuga-Otto

credit Shaury Nash (Flickr)

Sequenced and Confused

Dear Scicom Slug, A few years ago I paid $99, spit into a tube and signed up for 23andMe, a direct to consumer DNA testing service. Through their site I learned my genes gave me a low chance for most cancers, a higher chance for diabetes (not much of a surprise given that both my…

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Mom may look like she's taking a break, but she's not. Photo courtesy of Mike Baird <> at via Flickr, Creative Commons License.

Tough life for otter moms

Parenthood is both a universal and deeply personal experience. With my science background, I’m always contrasting what I understand as a biologist and what I feel as a mother. Sometimes the latest evolutionary/genetic/cognitive behavioral/comparative biology discovery reinforces my experiences (for example positive benefits of co-sleeping.) Other times it jars me out of a prejudice I…

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picture of yellow green gourd

Mystery Fruit

Last weekend we made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch. While my kids scoured the field for their future jack-o-lanterns, I pursued a box of gourds, marveling at the variety. They were yellow, orange, green, white, round, bottlenecked, squat, elongated, smooth, undulated, and bumpy, in every permutation. I went for a twisty, warty, mostly…

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