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Liza Gross

Liza Gross, a freelance science writer and senior editor at the biomedical journal PLOS Biology, channeled an early love of wildlife into a lifelong exploration of the numerous ways diverse species, including humans, interact in the natural world. She writes mostly about wildlife, conservation, and environmental health. Her stories reflect a deep curiosity about natural and social interactions and often highlight evolutionary relationships that remind humans of their place in, and responsibility to conserve, nature. Her article "Don't Jump!" published in Slate, won an ASJA award in the op-ed category. She's a visiting scholar at NYU, a 2013 recipient of NYU Reporting Award funding and a Dennis Hunt health journalism fellow.

Read her previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.

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Liza Gross's Latest Posts

Everything You Know about Cholesterol Is Probably Wrong

KQED Science | July 9, 2014 | 6 Comments

Everything You Know about Cholesterol Is Probably Wrong

Most of us have heard about good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. But it's not the cholesterol that causes harm, it's the particles that carry it. And routine blood tests don't measure them.

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Woolly Mammoth Fossils Raise Red Flags on the Road to Extinction

KQED Science | March 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Woolly Mammoth Fossils Raise Red Flags on the Road to Extinction

A surprising discovery in woolly mammoth fossils recovered from the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands suggests that inbreeding and harsh conditions plagued the ice age giants near the end of their reign on Earth.

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Rethinking Normal: An Exploratorium Exhibit Takes on Mental Health

KQED Science | January 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rethinking Normal: An Exploratorium Exhibit Takes on Mental Health

As scientists struggle to find better ways to diagnose and treat mental disorders, an Exploratorium exhibition, "The Changing Face of What Is Normal," experiments with a new way to encourage people to think about what is normal.

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Farming for Cranes: Can Agriculture Save an Ancient Migration?

KQED Science | October 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Farming for Cranes: Can Agriculture Save an Ancient Migration?

Every September, the majestic sandhill crane migrates by the thousands from their breeding grounds as far north as British Columbia to the San Joaquin Valley Delta to fatten up for the next breeding season. Their long-term survival depends on innovative collaborations between conservation biologists and farmers to manage agricultural land as high-quality habitat.

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The Real Vaccine Roulette: Missing Your Baby’s Scheduled Shots

KQED Science | September 9, 2013 | 15 Comments

The Real Vaccine Roulette: Missing Your Baby’s Scheduled Shots

Some parents are choosing to delay, space out or forgo their children's recommended vaccinations. But according to a new study, every shot parents choose to skip greatly increases their children's risk of getting a potentially fatal infectious disease.

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Rising Rates of Military Suicides Reveal Complex Effects of Service on Soldiers’ Health

KQED Science | August 14, 2013

Rising Rates of Military Suicides Reveal Complex Effects of Service on Soldiers’ Health

Since 2005, the incidence of suicide deaths in the U.S. military began to sharply increase. A new study shows that the same factors that influence suicide risk in civilian populations--including mental health problems and substance abuse--appear to play more of a role in military suicides than combat duty. But experts say the issue is far more complex than any single factor.

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Adapting to Stress: Early Exposure Gives Amphibians Higher Tolerance To Pesticides

KQED Science | July 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

Adapting to Stress: Early Exposure Gives Amphibians Higher Tolerance To Pesticides

Amphibians are going extinct faster than any other class of organisms in human history. Experiments suggest that some species might be able to tolerate certain pesticides in the short run. Whether that could give them enough of a cushion to adapt over the long run remains to be seen.

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Whooping Cough Staging Comeback in California

KQED Science | July 10, 2013 | 5 Comments

Whooping Cough Staging Comeback in California

Despite widespread vaccination, whooping cough continues to circulate among vaccinated populations, placing infants too young to be fully vaccinated at high risk of serious disease or death.

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An Environmental Catch-22: Fire Safety Chemicals in Insulation Pose Risks

KQED Science | June 26, 2013 | 8 Comments

An Environmental Catch-22: Fire Safety Chemicals in Insulation Pose Risks

Mounting research questions the safety and effectiveness of flame retardants used in consumer products. The chemicals are also used in the foam plastic insulation that improves energy efficiency in buildings. But a measure that just passed a Senate committee this week could pave the way for fire-safe, energy-efficient buildings without causing harm.

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Eucalyptus: California Icon, Fire Hazard and Invasive Species

KQED Science | June 12, 2013 | 42 Comments

Eucalyptus: California Icon, Fire Hazard and Invasive Species

After more than 150 years on the California landscape, eucalyptus trees have iconic status for some Californians. But the stately trees may not only disrupt the native ecology, but seem to have evolved special adaptations that allow them to thrive after intense fires.

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De-Extinction Debate: Should Extinct Species Be Revived?

KQED Science | June 5, 2013 | 5 Comments

De-Extinction Debate: Should Extinct Species Be Revived?

As conservation scientists struggle to stem the catastrophic loss of biodiversity, some synthetic biologists are working to bring extinct species back to life. Some believe it's the right thing to do to atone for driving species extinct. But many conservation biologists say it's far more important to save those still among us.

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Whooping Cough Remains a Formidable Opponent Against Vaccination

KQED Science | May 29, 2013 | 1 Comment

Whooping Cough Remains a Formidable Opponent Against Vaccination

The past few years have seen the worst outbreaks of whooping cough since the pre-vaccine days. A recent study adds to other research suggesting that though the newer aceullar vaccines have fewer side effects than the old whole cell versions, they don't last as long.

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A Mind for Animals: An Interview with Virginia Morell

KQED Science | May 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

A Mind for Animals: An Interview with Virginia Morell

In her new book Animal Wise, Virginia Morell challenges us to recognize the evolutionary roots of animal cognition and to see their rich intellectual and emotional capacities as shaped by natural selection.

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