Dr. Barry Starr

Dr. Barry Starr (@geneticsboy) is a Geneticist-in-Residence at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA and runs their Stanford at The Tech program. The program is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Stanford Department of Genetics and The Tech Museum of Innovation. Together these two partners created the Genetics: Technology with a Twist exhibition. You can also see additional posts by Barry at KQED Science, and read his previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.
I don't have time for this, I need to get back to writing grants!  Image courtesy of David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons.

Scrounging for Research Dollars

If you’re a scientist these days, getting the money to do your research is a lot like getting into Stanford or Yale. Assuming you aren’t rich or connected, being incredibly skilled, hardworking and accomplished isn’t enough. You need to get lucky too.

Someday we might be able to resurrect some of these long extinct species. The species depicted here have all become extinct since the mid 1700s and the colonization of the New World. Part of the painting GONE from 2004, 4'x3', oil on canvas painted by Isabella Kirkland, artist and research associate at The California Academy of Sciences.

Resurrection Biology: The Reality of Bringing Back Extinct Species

There has been a lot of buzz of late about bringing back extinct species like mammoths or passenger pigeons. While it might be a good idea to start thinking about these possibilities, we are years or even decades away from being able to actually pull this off with most long dead animals. The problem isn’t … Continue reading Resurrection Biology: The Reality of Bringing Back Extinct Species →

One day we may all be engineered so that we are immune to all viruses (including the HIV shown here).  Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Engineering a Virus-Free Future

I have been reading a book called "Regenesis" where in one part the authors propose a way to re-engineer the human race so all people are resistant to all viruses, known and unknown. This will theoretically be possible in the next few decades (or even sooner) and, if done right, is predicted to make us resistant for a very long time and possibly even forever.

Some of my ancestors (and maybe yours) before we wiped them out.

Knowing Neanderthals

One of the more interesting things to come out of all the cheaper, more robust DNA sequencing technology has been our deeper understanding of human history.

Scientists need to comment more on blogs.

Wanted: Scientist Comments

If you’ve ever talked to a scientist, you know they usually have pretty strong opinions that they are not shy about expressing. Except, apparently, in the comments section of general science blogs. Here the silence is scary and, depending on whether these comment sections matter or not, potentially dangerous.

We've bred these poor things to the point where they can't even reproduce anymore without our help.

Turkey Trouble: Genetics Gone Too Far?

No, this isn’t a blog about genetically modified organisms -- that has been argued enough lately! Instead, in honor of Thanksgiving, I want to talk about regular old selective breeding and the monsters it can create.