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?

    A world-first attempt to build the genome of the yeast used by bakers.

    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 capture a dazzling light show beneath the waves.

    Comb jelly (Beroe cucumis). Credit: ALEXANDER SEMENOV / Getty Images 1.    Comb Jellies Lights playing across the su...

    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 in the extreme condit...

    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?

    Vulnerable to damage by particles in the atmosphere.

    Ever had your phone shut down in the middle of an important message, or your computer crash as you’re about to click ...

    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, arrived 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

    Ancient African crop could meet a very modern need.

    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

    One photographer’s glimpse of otherworldly spaces.

    Los Angeles-based artist Danny Sanchez is a photographer of alien landscapes. But the weird worlds he captures are no...

    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

    Anatomical maps shed light on skin’s diversity.

    The surface of our skin is a chemical wonderland. That’s what Pieter Dorrestein at the University of California, San ...

    July 13, 2015
  • Dye crystals up close

    Biochemist Linden Gledhill creates art to dye for.

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

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

    Patients with neural implant can now use their mind to control it.

    Erik Sorto, a 34-year-old quadriplegic in the US, can control a robotic arm with his mind: when he imagines making ce...

    June 1, 2015
  • Oldest stone tools ever found

    Stone tools made millions of years ago found in Kenya.

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

    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.

    Adult wasps are not to be messed with – but when they are mere larvae and pupae, they need to be protected from passi...

    March 2, 2015
  • Why sodium explodes in water

    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 may be linked

    Language evolved to pass on the skill of stone tool-making.

    Ever found yourself gesturing to bemused locals as you try asking for directions in a foreign city? It’s an inkling o...

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

    Don Ingber is a disruptive influence.

    Does Donald Ingber have the best job in science? He thinks so. He directs the Wyss Institute, a biomedical research c...

    January 19, 2015
  • Live prawns and gamma detectors

    Powerful insights into the health of aquatic ecosystems.

    Some research subjects can be very uncooperative. When Tom Cresswell started studying freshwater prawns to assess whe...

    January 12, 2015
  • Dating the ancient past in tiny bites

    Carbon dating has revealed ancestors were adept dentists.

    A dusty old piece of ancient human jawbone, stored for more than a century in a museum in Trieste, Italy, has given a...

    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

    A lot rides on the accuracy of tests for chemical weapons.

    Not all chemists wear white coats. Some wear flak jackets, heavy boots and military helmets. And this August, Åke Sel...

    October 13, 2013

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