“Oomph” & Origin of Life at Hydrothermal Vents

Article – Suzan Mazur

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as “black smokers,” were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who … Read more »

University of Illinois Channels Carl Woese for All

Article – Suzan Mazur

Author Isaac Asimov once told me he did his best thinking in his underwear. Asimov might have appreciated the convenience of MOOC-style learning, that is, the free “massive open online course” experience being offered by the University of Illinois, … Read more »

An Interview with Jack Szostak

Article – Suzan Mazur

There is a certain hush when the name Jack Szostak is mentioned in science circles. Yes he’s a Nobel Laureate, but the pause seems to be more for a man people trust. He’s also a handsome man, with fine Polish features (his paternal grandfather was … Read more »

Matt Powner: Making a Protocell

Article – Suzan Mazur

Protocell pioneer Matthew Powner has the fresh-face good looks of an athlete you’d expect to show up at World Cup 2014, and a voice reminiscent of the “British Invasion” (he’s from the north of England). But the relaxed focus he projects signals something … Read more »

Jack Szostak: “Life in Lab” In 3 – 5 Years

Article – Suzan Mazur

“You heard it here first,” announced World Science Festival moderator and astrophysicist Mario Livio as Harvard biologist and Nobel laureate Jack Szostak told a “Search for Life” gathering of 50 on Saturday afternoon in New York that he expected to make … Read more »

Jaron Lanier: Stop Online Human Exploitation

Article – Suzan Mazur

Great minds think alike — that is, late Saturday Night Live comedic genius Michael O’Donoghue and Jaron Lanier, the “father of virtual reality” and author of the book, Who Owns the Future? Read more »

“Beit Noam-Ize” America’s Batterers?–Kit Gruelle

Article – Suzan Mazur

I’ve been thinking about domestic violence partly because of the film Private Violence recently shown at Sundance and other film festivals and now scheduled for an October run on HBO — featuring women’s advocate Kit Gruelle, among others, and with Gloria … Read more »

The Whereabouts of the Dorak Treasure Monograph

Article – Suzan Mazur

Arlette Mellaart has died, the beloved wife of the late British archaeologist James Mellaart — who gave us the fabulous story of the Dorak Treasure. Although I’ve seen no notice in the media about the passing of Mrs. Mellaart, her son Alan told me by … Read more »

Darling, Which of Us Is the Robot? — Slawek Nasuto

Article – Suzan Mazur

Cyberneticist Slawomir Jaroslaw Nasuto has a radiance that can only be Polish. He was born in eastern Poland, in Lublin, during the Soviet years (Stalin was embraced by the post-WWII provisional Polish government headquartered there) and is now doing … Read more »

Robots and the 1% — Vincent Müller Interview

Article – Suzan Mazur

Philosopher Vincent Mller has been to the mount. To the peak, of Mt. Olympus that is, many times, as a mountaineering enthusiast who now calls Greece home. These days Mller thinks a lot about how Artificial Intelligence will — pro and con — impact … Read more »