I am a freelance journalist in the science metropolis of Boston. Not being a beat reporter suits me because I can explore a range of topics and interests. I could be interviewing a MacArthur Genius, researching why asafetida fell out of favor in Europe, or looking at how tiny Singapore deals with its waste — all in one week.
I studied chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, a sylvan campus where spotted deer run alongside athletes and rhesus monkeys raid dorm rooms. For grad school, I went to Tulane University in New Orleans. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I was part of the finishing team on the Human Genome Project. These publications in peer-reviewed journals are a souvenir from my lab days.
- Quenching of 2,5-diphenyloxazole (ppo) fluorescence by metal ions J. Luminescence 75 (1997), pp. 205–211.
- DNA sequence of human chromosome 17 and analysis of rearrangement in the human lineage. Nature. 2006 Apr 20;440(7087):1045-9.
- DNA sequence and analysis of human chromosome 8. Nature. 2006 Jan 19;439(7074):331-5.
- Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog. Nature. 2005 Dec 8;438(7069):803-19.
Being part of a historic research project was exciting, of course, but analyzing strings of A, C, G and T all day – the four letters represent the nucleotides that constitute the DNA — could, and did, get mind-numbingly boring. To explore the full potential of the alphabet, I signed up for writing classes in the evenings. I enjoyed those classes so much, I enrolled in the Science Journalism program at Boston University. Ellen Shell and Douglas Starr are the program’s co-directors, mom and dad for the duration of three semesters.
Nowadays, I write for a general audience and you’ll find my work in journals you can buy at the news stand.