When I was about four, my mother started making me copy pictures of paramecia, amoeba, volvox, complete with organelles, on pieces of 8x11 paper. She'd make me copy them until I had everything drawn and labeled correctly. Until I was about 10, I swear I thought that people walked them around on leashes, like Pomeranians. That can't help but have a warping effect on a girl.
It seems to me that people tend to venerate biology or despise it - cloning! mad cows! drug companies! life on Mars! - but if you really get biology, if you really see how living things work, it's neither monstrous nor perfect. It's just weird. I mean, as a biologist you spend most of your time directly or indirectly obsessing about sex or death - that's weird. Beautiful, but weird.
Somewhere in the course of my so-called adult life, I've acquired one of those nifty interdisciplinary anthro-genbio-humanbio-botany type college degrees, an M.A. in medical ethics, an M.D., and a Ph.D. in philosophy of science. I've been a doctor, a philosophy professor, a clinical ethicist, and now a science writer but basically these are all ways to indulge my obsession with all things biological.
If you came here to get basic facts about basic biology, there are lots of really good places to get them (see the Links page) but this probably isn't it. If you've come to plagiarize a high school or college paper, forget it - I only write about weird stuff, anyhow, and it'll stick out like a sore thumb. Medical science is definitely one of my obsessions, but I don't give medical advice - even if it were ethical (Bill Frist may think it's cute to diagnose by video, but he needs his head, or maybe his neck, adjusted) it's unlikely to be good advice; anyone who tells you he can provide a diagnosis over the internet having never seen/smelled/heard/felt you is just dicking you around.
Q and A about moi:
Pets? Don't get me started
Favorite food? Oh, dear, don't get me started about that, either
Religion? Jeez. Is there anything I can talk about?
Other obsessions? Motorcycles, Nebraskan steak, Edna St. Vincent Millay, surrealist fiction, original modern art, Jane Austen, prairie sunrises and moons, David Bowie, Georgette Heyer, fuchsia, space travel, the Thin Man movies, my spouse, weird clothing, Prince, good graphic design, and opera
Heroes? Stephen Gould, Elizabeth Lloyd, Lore Sjöberg, Susie Bright, my mothers-in-law, Richard Lewontin, Robert Plant and Lucky Jim
Most annoying habit? Overuse of commas
Writing style? Yes, this really is how I write. Sometimes. Biology makes most things beautiful and my writing ponderous. (Life. Don't talk to me about life.)
Anyhow, make yourself at home,
Drop me a note if you've got any weird biology you're obsessing about -