Author Biography

David L. Chandler

David L. Chandler was a science writer for the Boston Globe for 20 years, and has also written for Nature, Wired, New Scientist, Smithsonian, Astronomy, Technology Review, the Atlantic, and many other publications. He is the author of “Life on Mars” as well as portions of other books. He currently works for the MIT News Office and is also a freelance writer.

Author Articles

Discovering Cancer Earlier

According to the National Cancer Institute, 4 million people die of cancer worldwide every year—almost 500 every hour. But the most shocking thing about that statistic is this: more than a third and possibly even the vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented through sufficiently early detection. Now, a new competition aims to turn that situation around.

The Eye as a Window to Health

The idea is a compelling one: a device that looks and feels like an ordinary contact lens but that can continuously monitor a variety of health indicators. For a diabetic, such a lens might update blood glucose levels and, using a built-in flashing LED indicator light, signal when a condition needs attention.

Cover Story

Biomedical Materials Learn to Heal Themselves

Maintaining sterility in emergency and operating rooms can be challenging, especially in cases of highly infectious disease outbreaks or toxic spills. A simple nick in a surgical glove could have deadly consequences. But, now, a variety of promising new materials in development may lead to everything from self-healing gloves and bandages to bone, blood vessel, and muscle scaffolding implants that could repair themselves the way tissues do.

Discovering Ways to Mend Growing Bodies

Some babies are born with a rare condition known as esophageal atresia, in which part of the connection between the throat and stomach is missing or nonfunctional. While this was once untreatable and fatal, in recent years surgeons have developed a method using traction to