Amy Standen

Amy Standen (@amystanden) is co-host of #TheLeapPodcast (subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!) and host of KQED and PBSDigital Studios' science video series, Deep Look.  Her science radio stories appear on KQED and NPR. Email her at
H. pylori has lived in our stomachs for 200,000 years. (Photo: Yutaka Tsutsumi)

In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

Now that scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another, a key question will be whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome.

The famously vigorous HeLa cell is such a common contaminant of other cell lines that many laboratories refuse to work with it. (Image courtesy of ATCC)

The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

Under a microscope many cancer cells look the same. And since cell lines used in cancer research are anonymous, often shared informally between labs, the only way to definitively know where they came from is with DNA. But many scientists don't do this.


What Are Richmond Residents Breathing?

Chevron's Aug. 6 fire re-ignited questions many Richmond residents have asked for years. What does it mean to live next to the largest refinery on the West Coast? What are people living in the city breathing?


In Livermore, Still Waiting on Nuclear Fusion

The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, has been called a modern-day moon-shot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles." NIF, as it's known, is a five-billion dollar, taxpayer-funded super laser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion – a tiny star – inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened.

the 2012 NewME founders at Demo Day. (Photo by Josh Cassidy)

Diversity in the Valley: The NewME Accelerator (Part Two)

This week we’re back in Silicon Valley, with a program called NewME, or New Media Entrepreneurship. It’s designed to encourage women and minorities to found technology companies. Seven participants from around the country shared a house in San Francisco for three months, got coached on their business plans and attempted to perfect the art of the pitch.