By Jeff Danner Jeff has worked in both the chemical and biotech industries and is the veteran of thousands of science debates at cocktail parties and holiday dinners across the nation. In his Common Science blog, Jeff aims to make technological and scientific concepts accessible to all.
  • Missing Microbes Part II: The Plague of our Times

    July 12, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    This is Part II of my four-part series reviewing the key issues covered in Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling our Modern Plagues, by Martin J. Blaser, MD. In Part I, I explained that the human body has co-evolved with slate of resident bacteria, collectively our microbiome, which performs a number of […]

  • Missing Microbes Part I: A Partnership

    June 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    This is the beginning of a four-part series about the most interesting and troubling book I have read in many years, perhaps ever. I am hopeful that reading these columns will inspire you to do two specific things: ask different questions of your doctors, and share these columns with your friends and family. The book […]

  • What Makes Science Writing Compelling?

    June 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    I am traveling this week, so this is a short column about an issue I have been pondering of late. Those of us who report on science in public fora such as this, are motivated by the hope that our efforts will have an impact, at least indirectly, on the setting of public policy. Unfortunately […]

  • Should I Get the Shingles Vaccine?

    June 7, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Late the other night, I saw a TV commercial for Zostavax®, the vaccine for shingles. It opened with a picture of a man’s stomach emblazoned with large and grotesque pustules, allegedly from shingles. (The make-up crew for the commercial really outdid themselves.) Readers of Common Science® will know that I’ve never met a vaccine I […]

  • Single Stream Recycling

    May 31, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Long time readers may be aware that my father, Ron Danner, is an emeritus professor of Chemical Engineering at Penn State University. This is the second of two columns that we are co-authoring, both of which are pertinent to issues right here in the Southern Part of Heaven. Last week we addressed the choice between […]

  • Paper or Plastic?

    May 17, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Long time readers may be aware that my father, Ron Danner, is an emeritus professor of Chemical Engineering at Penn State University. I am pleased to announce that for the next two weeks he and I are co-authoring two Common Science columns, both of which are pertinent to issues right here in the Southern Part […]

  • Sturgeon, The Living Fossil

    May 10, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    During the time I lived in Philadelphia, from 1989 through 1993, just across the Delaware River, the waterfront of Camden, New Jersey was undergoing a significant revitalization. One of the centerpieces of this effort was the New Jersey State Aquarium, which opened on February 29, 1992. The aquarium was owned and operated by the New […]

  • Kelp To The Rescue?

    May 3, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Yesterday I read an article on the Huffington Post entitled “Seaweed Might Have The Power To Make The Oceans Less Acidic.” The article explained that the increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution from 280 to 400 parts-per-million (ppm) – an increase of 43% – had indirectly driven […]

  • Radon, A Fracking Risk I Previously Overlooked

    April 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Earlier this month, researchers from Johns Hopkins University published a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives detailing the increase in radon concentrations in homes in the state of Pennsylvania since 2004, particularly in those near to fracking operations. This is a serious issue that deserves more attention. I will explain why after providing the […]

  • Common Science Fourth Anniversary

    April 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    This week is the fourth anniversary of Common Science®. I published my first column, An Introduction to Your Host, on April 25, 2011 and last’s week’s column was my 200th. This means I have averaged 50 columns per year! Since persistence and reliability are characteristics I strive towards, I take a good measure of satisfaction […]