James Mitchell Crow

James Mitchell Crow

James Mitchell Crow is a freelance writer and editor.

James Mitchell Crow is a research chemist by training. He began his science journalism career at Chemistry World magazine, where he was shortlisted for several awards, including Features Writer of the Year at the UK Magazine Design and Journalism Awards. In 2009 he joined New Scientist in London as a features editor. In 2010 he moved to Australia and began working freelance, writing for publications including New Scientist and Nature. In May 2013, James joined COSMOS as deputy editor, where he still manages to slip in the occasional chemistry story.

  • Why synthesise a yeast genome?

    The Synthetic Yeast Genome Project – Sc2.0 for short – is a world-first attempt to build from scratch the genome of t...

    April 16, 2018
  • Inside the synthetic biology revolution

    Satisfying our material needs in a cleaner, greener way.

    Imagine a future where synthetic jellyfish roam waterways looking for toxins to destroy, where eco-friendly plastics ...

    April 16, 2018
  • Four beguiling organisms from beneath the waves

    Deep-sea submersibles equipped with highly sensitive video cameras capture a dazzling light show ...

    Comb jelly (Beroe cucumis).ALEXANDER SEMENOV / Getty Images1.    Comb Jellies Lights playing across the surface of th...

    December 5, 2017
  • Spring’s early arrival nothing to celebrate

    Shifts in the seasons have potentially dire consequences for finely balanced ecosystems. James Mi...

    For a fleeting few days each year in Japan, Kyoto blushes, turning a perfect shade of pink. Cherry trees burst into b...

    October 17, 2017
  • Four organisms living in extreme conditions

    What could they teach us?

    It doesn’t seem to matter how inhospitable an environment, there is an organism adapted to live there. Scientists ha...

    June 5, 2017
  • How high will global sea levels rise?

    Predicting the rate of Antarctica’s ice melt is tricky business as the rise in global sea levels ...

    In the low-lying Netherlands, floating houses such as these in Ijberg, a suburb of Amsterdam, are ready for higher se...

    April 18, 2017
  • What we have learnt by exploring Mars

    Filling in the gaps - but a long way to go.

    The Schiaparelli probe made headlines in October 2016 when it crash-landed on Mars. It wasn’t a disaster, though, it ...

    April 4, 2017
  • Did space weather just fritz your phone?

    Personal electronics are becoming increasingly vulnerable to damage by high-energy particles buzz...

    LOOPS7/Getty ImagesEver had your phone shut down in the middle of an important message, or your computer crash as you...

    February 21, 2017
  • Before the dinosaurs

    Welcome to the dawn of the Permian, 290 million years ago.

    Reptiles with waterproof skin and eggs are colonising the land. They are not dinosaurs, but synapsids: a group define...

    January 9, 2017
  • The mastery of convergent evolution

    Given the same problem, evolution arrives at the same solution

    Here’s looking at you, squid Look into the eye of an octopus and you’ll find yourself staring back at one not so d...

    October 2, 2016
  • Sorghum sows seeds of promise

    An ancient African crop could meet a very modern need: food plus biofuel.

    Blame it on the sugar. It’s early May 2015, the middle of southern India’s mercilessly hot dry season, and I’m shelte...

    October 2, 2016
  • A bird’s eye view of our planet’s nooks and crannies

    July 3, 2016
  • Polar lightshow

    It's just a stream of electrons and protons...

    The Northern Lights could be mistaken for an iridescent green mist until they dance across the sky, dipping and pirou...

    May 3, 2016
  • SpaceX lands a Falcon 9 rocket

    Reusable rockets are one step closer, after tests show the Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX returned s...

    On December 21 2015, SpaceX made history by successfully landing its Falcon 9 rocket, 10 minutes after lift-off from ...

    January 6, 2016
  • Dark matter uncovered

    Like rain drops on a spinning bicycle wheel...

    Most of the matter in the Universe consists of stuff we can’t see. It is dubbed “dark matter” and we know it must be ...

    November 9, 2015
  • The secret life of gemstones

    James Mitchell Crow uncovers one photographer's glimpse of otherworldly spaces.

    These toffee mountains are tiny shards of rutile in quartz. – Danny Sanchez Los Angeles-based artist Danny ...

    November 2, 2015
  • Ancient Japanese art boosts solar cell efficiency

    When engineers apply kirigami paper-cutting techniques to solar cells, performance increases dram...

    The ancient Japanese paper-cutting art of kirigami has inspired a simple rooftop solar cell design that can track the...

    September 28, 2015
  • Charting the molecular diversity on human skin

    New anatomical maps are shining a light on the skin’s microbial and chemical diversity. James Mit...

    Theodore Alexandrov The surface of our skin is a chemical wonderland. That’s what Pieter Dorrestein at the ...

    July 13, 2015
  • Dye crystals up close

    Biochemist Linden Gledhill creates art to dye for. By James Mitchell Crow.

    Allura Red AC food dye, imaged using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy – Linden Gledhill ...

    June 29, 2015
  • Moving a robot arm with your mind

    Paralysed patients with a neural implant can now use their thoughts to control bionic limbs. Jame...

    Erik Sorto, the first person in the world to receive a neural implant that allows him to control a bionic arm just by...

    June 1, 2015
  • Oldest stone tools ever found

    Stone tools made 3.3 million years ago have been found in Kenya. James Mitchell Crow reports.

    A chance find in the Rift Valley of northwest Kenya sheds new light on the history of our species.Archaeologists have...

    May 25, 2015
  • Comets paint Mercury black

    The riddle of Mercury’s dark complexion is almost solved. James Mitchell Crow explains.

    NASA’s Messenger probe to Mercury is heading for a violent end. In a few weeks from now, when its fuel tanks empty, M...

    April 13, 2015
  • Wasps turn ladybirds into zombies

    Parasitic wasp larvae deploy biological weapons to enslave ladybirds. James Mitchell Crow reports.

    A female wasp injecting an egg - and a neurologically active virus - into a ladybird's soft underside. The virus forc...

    March 2, 2015
  • Why sodium explodes in water

    Czech scientists make a discovery after revisiting a basic chemistry experiment.

    There’s nothing like an explosion to help you learn chemistry. Remember when your high school teacher dropped a lump ...

    February 9, 2015
  • Language and tool-making might be connected

    An experiment suggests that language evolved to pass on the skill of stone tool-making. James Mit...

    Our ancestor, Homo habilis used stone tools to butcher prey. Could language have developed as a means of passing on m...

    January 29, 2015
  • The man who built organs on chips

    Don Ingber is a disruptive influence, which is what the Harvard-based Wyss Institute wants in a d...

    Ingber has a track record in setting off scientific revolutions. – Harvard’s Wyss Institute Does Donald In...

    January 19, 2015
  • From the frontline: Dating the ancient past in tiny bites

    Careful carbon dating has revealed our stone-age ancestors were surprisingly adept dentists, and ...

    A tooth in this Neolithic jawbone contained tiny traces of a beeswax filling. – PLOS one A dusty old piece ...

    January 12, 2015
  • From the frontline: Live prawns and gamma detectors

    Nuclear techniques provide powerful insights into the health of aquatic ecosystems. James Mitchel...

    Image of radioactive cadmium within the gills of a freshwater prawn. The scale represents the intensity. – ANSTO ...

    January 12, 2015
  • Neutron beams reveal innermost secrets

    3D imaging of everything from rocks to jet engines.

    Aircraft engineers and palaeontologists might not seem to have much in common but both sets of scientists are set to ...

    November 10, 2013
  • Inside Syria – the search for sarin

    When the world weighs up whether to go to war, a lot rides on the accuracy of tests for chemical ...

    A UN chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, inspects one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in ...

    October 13, 2013

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