What dictates how leopards get their spots? What can forensics teach us about the Vikings? Could gold help researchers edit genetic damage out of the DNA of mice? How can society use science to reduce gun violence?
These questions may seem very different, but you can find the answers in one place — PLOS Blogs.
The site is home to blogs that cover a variety of scientific topics. The Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a nonprofit publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journals. Besides blogs written by its staff members, it hosts independent blogs written by scientists. The result is information about everything from genomics to scientific controversies, biology to paleontology.
Often, the blogs tie current events to science. In geneticist Ricki Lewis’s DNA Science Blog, for example, the recent anniversary of Kristallnacht is explored through the lens of genomics. She discusses how the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic events created population bottlenecks that can be detected in the DNA of people with Ashkenazi ancestry.
Obesity researchers Peter Janiszewski and Travis Saunders, in Obesity Panacea, focus on the latest weight-loss gimmicks, plumbing questions such as whether Instagram fitness gurus inspire people to become more active. Other blogs mine the latest research published in PLOS journals, including a study that asks about the effects of climate on koalas’ and kangaroos’ chompers.
The selection may be wide, but the blogs themselves are deep. They’re updated at different intervals and have varied styles and subject matters, but they all bring scientific research to life. Whether you get your toes a little wet or take a deep dive into one blog, it’s valuable reading for anyone interested in science’s many big (and small) questions.