Posts by David Warmflash

David Warmflash

David is an astrobiologist and science writer. He received his M.D. from Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, and has done post doctoral work at Brandeis University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Johnson Space Center, where he was part of the NASA's first cohort of astrobiology training fellows. He has been involved in science outreach for more than a decade and since 2002 has collaborated with The Planetary Society on studying the effects of the space environment on small organisms.

(15) results in Blog

July 3, 2017

Preserving specimens in situ for future researchers

There’s an old joke that there were five paleoanthropologists for every hominin fossil. It’s based partly on truth, which should give you an idea of the rarity of such finds. A major part of what we...

Biosphere 2

March 28, 2017

Human Mars Expeditions: Psychiatric Emergency Could be a Significant Danger

At center stage in any type of space colony is the issue of the human mind. Who is most likely to remain mentally healthy and for how long and what stressors, or series of events, can...

Venus exploration

March 14, 2017

Colonization of the Venusian Clouds: Is ‘Surfacism’ Clouding Our Judgement?

A 1969 Star Trek episode features a floating sky city called Stratus, whose residents believe they are superior to people who live down on their planet’s surface, but real humans advocating for off-world colonization today may...

Habitable zone

February 28, 2017

Goldilocks and the Seven Dwarfs: Exoplanet Discovery is a Sample of What’s to Come

Not 30 years ago, there was no evidence of any planet outside our Solar System and now over 3,400 such worlds have been confirmed. These include dozens of Earth-sized –many orbiting in the “Goldilocks zone” of...

February 21, 2017

Human Germline Modification: A Frontier for Biotechnology, or A Target for Prohibitions?

The prospect of human germline modification got a boost in mid-February, with a National Academies for Science and Medicine recommendation that genome editing to preventing genetic diseases in future generations should be permissible. The recommendation came...

December 21, 2016

Hazards of Mars exploration demand top-notch wilderness medicine capabilities

If you’re considering becoming an early Mars colonist, the National Geographic Channel’s new TV series MARS is a must to watch. That’s partly because it shows you that settlers will not inhabit lavish domes on the...

December 9, 2016

John Glenn 1921-2016: NASA astronaut, US Senator, medical guinea pig, all around cool person

2016 saw public criticism that candidates pushing their early 70s would be too old to serve as US President, but 18 years ago a man took on the grueling physical stress of space flight at the age...

Aedes aegypti mosquito

July 10, 2016

Gene drives: Application of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to combat insect-borne diseases

Lions and tigers and bears may be dangerous, but when it comes to killing humans the record goes to a much smaller animal. It’s the mosquito and it’s got public health officials pretty worried this summer...

Streptococcus pyogenes

July 3, 2016

CRISPR craze: Applications of genome editing

CRISPR-Cas9 genetic editing is in the news a lot, especially in connection with concerns that it will usher in an era of designer babies. The capability for editing the genome of human embryos for non-medical purposes...

June 12, 2016

Searching for Life on Other Worlds: Overview of Missions

Astrobiology is a cherished topic in the science news. Many people love considering questions of what extraterrestrial life might be like, what it might have in common with Earth life, and how it might be different....