follow me on twitter: @RinaWrites

I'm a science journalist, former epidemiologist, and recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz's Science Communication program. I'm currently working for the DOE's Joint Genome Institute, writing about plant genomics and bioenergy. I've interned at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's "Stem Cell Agency",  the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the science radio show, Big Picture Science and at the Stanford Medical School's Office of Communications. 

I write about science topics that cover the range from exoplanets to deep sea animals and environmental biology. But my background is in health and biology and that's what I like to cover. 

I worked for many years for the California Health Department, mostly working on vaccine-preventable disease control. I earned my bachelor's in Biology from UC Riverside in 1994 and my MPH in epidemiology from San Diego State University in 1997.

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Highlights - recent stories

Bombs and Bones Science Notes - using a signature from decades of nuclear tests can help solve forensic mysteries

Researchers study dynamics of workers at poultry farms and markets to track bird flu  Inside Stanford Medicine - how networks of people can spread bird flu

Defective garbage disposal cells in brain may explain Alzheimer's toll CIRM research blog - a missing protein in brain immune cells may be key to a devastating disease

Pumping iron: new way of tracking transplanted stem cells uses anemia drug  CIRM research blog -  using ferumoxytol to tag stem cells inside a living body

Cadavers make a comeback San Jose Mercury News, Jan 14, 2013 - Anatomy classrooms are getting back to basics, but where do the cadavers originate?

Extreme Exoplanet-Hunting Telescope to Go Online This Fall WIRED Science, Feb 23, 2013 - The Gemini Planet Imager will make the Gemini telescope in Chili most powerful exoplanet hunter we've got, revolutionizing how scientists study planets orbiting other stars.

Cell phones help decipher malaria transmission in Kenya  Mongabay.com, Nov 19, 2012 - Scientists are taking advantage of burgeoning cell phone use in Africa to track a killer.

Q&A with Bandana Kaur, head of EcoSikh  Mongabay.comHarnessing religious teachings to save the environment in Punjab 

Shelter from the Snowball  AGU's GeoSpace Blog - Dec. 6, 2012 - If an global ice age gripped the earth 600 million years ago, how did photosynthetic bacteria survive?

MBARI researchers discover diet of vampire squid Santa Cruz Sentinel - turns out they're nothing like we expected.