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I write on biomedical research, climate adaptation, information technologies and other topics of interest. Among my day jobs, I was associate director for communications and public affairs at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, founding editor in chief of MIT’s and executive editor at Contact:, 857.231.0483, @ebender00, 86 Greenlawn Avenue, Newton, MA 02459 USA


Stem cells scaled up
Therapies based on induced pluripotent stem cells are hard enough to grow at a small scale. How will they be mass-produced for the clinic?
Nature, 2021

What survives the storm
StEER engineers flock into the site of natural disasters to support first responders and learn from the destruction.
Hakai, 2021 (also picked up by Smithsonian, The Atlantic)

The case for ocean optimism
With the health of the ocean under threat, a rallying cry for marine conservation goes global.
Knowable, 2021 (also picked up by Smithsonian)

Creating T cells to guard against autoimmune disease
Biotechnology companies are engineering regulatory T cells to help protect the body from friendly fire.
Nature, 2021

A $26-Billion Plan to Save the Houston Area from Rising Seas
Lawmakers are poised to decide the fate of a massive project to protect the coast around Houston from rising sea levels.
Undark, 2021 (also picked up by Popular Science, Salon, Wired, others)

Accelerating the diagnosis of epilepsy with computer modelling
The start-up Neuronostics is using the brain waves of large numbers of people to assess an individual’s risk of seizure disorders more quickly and accurately.
Nature, 2021

Getting a Covid-19 vaccine — quickly and safely
Researchers around the globe are working with unprecedented speed to find the vaccines we need to find our way through the pandemic. What’s the bar for safety and effectiveness?
Knowable, 2020

Forkhead BioTherapeutics: developing a diabetes pill
Scailyte: simplifying difficult diagnoses
Candidates for the Spinoff Prize.
Nature, 2020

Arming immune foot soldiers against cancer
Natural killer cells are born ready to attack the disease. Biologists are developing ways to make these cells tougher and more targeted.
Knowable, 2020

Will a test to detect early pancreatic cancer ever be possible?
The cancer is often only found after it has spread and when treatment options are limited.
Nature, 2020

Could a bacteria-stuffed pill cure autoimmune diseases?
Researchers are investigating how the community of microbes living in the gut might help people with multiple sclerosis, lupus and type 1 diabetes.
Nature, 2020

Unpacking the black box in artificial intelligence for medicine
Deep learning will radically change aspects of our medical care. How well do we need to understand how AI tools work?
Undark, 2019

Breaking out of the egg
Can the latest techniques speed up the dangerously slow production of flu vaccines?
Nature, 2019

Now in development: off-the-shelf stem cells
Their potential as universal donors promises to make regenerative medicine more broadly practical.
Knowable, 2019

Biotechs race to develop stem cell treatments for diabetes
Insulin-producing cells grown in the lab could offer a functional cure for the disease.
The Scientist, 2019

Regulating the gene-therapy revolution
The medical regulatory authorities ride a wave of clinical studies for gene therapies.
Nature, 2018

Getting cancer drugs into the brain
Before they can get to work, treatments for brain cancer must bypass a formidable obstacle — the blood–brain barrier.
Nature, 2018

Cost of cancer drugs: something has to give
Many patients are being priced out of treatments that could save their lives.
Managed Care Magazine, 2018

Cancer immunotherapy
(Lead editor)
Nature, 2017

With storms intensifying and oceans on the rise, Boston weighs strategies for staying dry
A multi-billion-dollar seawall is among climate adaptation options under consideration for the iconic coastal city.
Ensia, 2017

Putting digital health monitoring tools to the test
Fitbits and smartphone apps can aid in managing chronic conditions–but only if people stay engaged.
Undark, 2017

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