Dan Samorodnitsky

Biochemistry

Carnegie Mellon University

My name's Dan. I'm a biochemist. I used to work on DNA-binding proteins (similar to Cas9, but not Cas9). After that I worked on prion diseases, like Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting Disease. Now I work on sea urchins, studying how they grow skeletons. If youโ€™ll just let me fumble with this easel for a moment Iโ€™ll explain.

Dan has contributed to 3 reports

Massive Science Report โ„– 3

You Are What You Meat

We worked with scientists in the field to explain how weโ€™re growing meats in labsโ€”and when you can eat them. It's your introduction to the next agricultural revolution.

Massive Science Report โ„– 2

Opening Our Minds

Join five scientists as they explain the research behind new psychedelic treatments for mental illnesses

Massive Science Report โ„– 1

You Don't Know GMOs

We've gathered a team of geneticists, biologists, and environmental scientists to bring you the most up-to-date report on the science, history, and safety of genetically-modified organisms.

Dan has authored 14 articles

Meet Annie Easley, the barrier-breaking mathematician who helped us explore the solar system

She overcame life-long racial discrimination to complete a long and impactful career at NASA

Genetically modified crops are way more common than you'd think

It's not just about what you eat โ€“ GM crops make their way into everything

Carl Zimmer explores the mysteries and contradictions of genetics

In 'She Has Her Mother's Laugh,' Zimmer reveals the lawlessness of our genes

Charles Darwin, made flesh and tedious

A new book humanizes the legend, but few will want to read it

Should peer review stop being anonymous?

Prominent researchers can take the gamble, but junior scientists risk retribution

Comment 4 peer comments

Will genetic choice make sex obsolete?

Anyone hoping to shop for blemish-free, farm-to-crib babies with no diseases and a poetโ€™s soul will be disappointed

Henry Greely, bioethicist and attorney, on why genetic tech isn't so scary

'I probably wouldnโ€™t regulate anything except possibly parents'

Science brawls, explained by a scientist

Here's what scientists are feuding about online this week

Genes are like the cosmos: the more we discover, the more we have to explore

"I don't know how to keep the air in my chest thinking about the scale and size of the unknown"

The Republican tax plan would hurt students and young people. We can't let it pass

Making tuition waivers taxable would keep students out of the middle class the proposal claims to protect

Scientists found an entire herpes virus genome hiding out in fish DNA

Researchers have made a bizarre discovery involving transposons, parasitic DNA found in fish (and humans)

Comment 2 peer comments

Dear Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT: don't patent CRISPR

Everyone should benefit from this once-in-a-lifetime discovery

Diabetes is a much stranger disease than I realized

We don't really know what causes diabetes, but it involves these misshapen proteins infecting each other

Dan has left Comment 2 peer comments

Should peer review stop being anonymous?

Prominent researchers can take the gamble, but junior scientists risk retribution

Comment 4 peer comments

Scientific knowledge is drowning in a flood of research

A comic about the problems with the -omics, illustrated by Matteo Farinella

Comment 4 peer comments
Dan has shared 2 notes

External Link USDA and FDA announce that they'll both regulate cellular agriculture, but at different stages

In the US, food regulation is split in two. As they put it, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates most "food or food additives" in the US, including the production, packaging, labeling, and sale of food besides meat and poultry. Meat and poultry are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA regulates the production, slaughter, and sale of all meat and meat products. These agency's joint decision on cell-based meats will treat these new products as different things at different points along the process of turning cells into meat.

The FDA will oversee the growth and production of cells. At harvest time, when the cells are collected to be turned into meat, regulation will transfer to the USDA. The decision can be seen as a win for the companies that make cell based meat, which advocated for a similar set up in a letter to the White House in August.

To learn more about the growing field of cellular agriculture, read Massive's free report on the state of this research.

Researchin' with urchins

Purple sea urchins are eating all the kelp in California. But in Pittsburgh, hundreds of miles from the ocean, we order them in the mail.

They arrive wrapped in wet newspaper with pieces of seaweed to snack on. We keep them in tanks, next to some sea star buddies, and study how they grow skeletons. When we're done, we bleach them (the university considers them a biohazard) and save them as extremely fragile decorations.

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