Author Biography

Leslie Mertz

Leslie Mertz (lmertz@nasw.org) is a freelance science, medical, and technical writer, author, and educator living in northern Michigan.

Author Articles

Reading Minds

When you see or think about an object, your brain engages in a unique pattern of activity tied specifically to that object. That’s how you know a cat is a cat, and not a dog or a house or a cloud.

Cover Story

Sharing Data to Solve the Riddle of Autism

Worldwide, at least one in 100 people have autism spectrum disorder. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number at one in 68. Despite the high prevalence and increased awareness of autism in recent years, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclarified.

Taking on the Obesity Epidemic

If obesity were tied only to too much food or too little physical activity, the cure would be a simple matter of counting calories or keeping track of steps with a pedometer. Unfortunately, obesity is much more complex.

New Advances Push Engineered Tissues Toward 3-D

Although doctors still cannot simply order new, functioning organs for patients who need replacements, researchers in labs around the world are making the important advances in tissue engineering that set the stage for regenerative medicine as well as make other biomedical technologies possible.

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Medical researchers increasingly regard tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as potential game changers when it comes to repairing damage from disease or injury and restoring function. To understand the progress made and challenges ahead for this combined field, IEEE Pulse sought out two experts: David

Brain over Brawn

As much as we know about the vitamins, minerals, and types of exercise important to promoting good muscle health, many fundamental questions remain about skeletal and cardiac muscle.

Turning the Unknown into Known

Taken as a whole, rare diseases are not very rare. Even though a rare disease by definition is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans or fewer than one in 2,000 Europeans at any time, when rare diseases are considered together, they affect some 350 million people worldwide.

Tech Fights Toughest Tumors

Ask any surgical oncologist, and you’ll hear the same thing: tumors are insidious. Removing them completely can be very difficult. Sometimes tumors are in hard-to-reach areas, and, in many cases, tumor tissue looks so much like normal tissue that surgeons cannot tell exactly what to excise and what to leave alone.