The second edition of the 6-chapter, highly readable Human Genetics: The Basics, will be published in December, 2016.

Ricki next to "The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It," 3/13/12, in a place called a bookstore.

Ricki and a pile of hippos on Martha's Vineyard


Never in a million years did I expect the election of Donald J. Trump to breathe new life into my long career as a science journalist. I’m also a PhD geneticist.

My life had fallen into a predictable rhythm of writing new textbook editions (human genetics, human anatomy & physiology) interspersed with other books. Parallel to my book writing, I’ve always published magazine articles. When those evolved into online forms, I became a blogger. Public Library of Science asked me to join their blog network in September 2012, and so I originated the DNA Science blog there, and have posted weekly ever since (http:/​/​​dnascience/​). I repost most of those entries here on my personal website.

Over the years I’ve carved a niche by telling the stories of how parents of children who have rare diseases pioneer gene therapy. But since the presidential election, my blog topics are turning towards explaining the faults behind boneheaded moves by an administration ignorant of not only science and medicine, but of the very nature of truth and facts. Here’s a sampling of DNA Science’s past few posts:

• Blinded by Stem Cells: Is Disarming FDA Smart?
• Saving GINA: Is Genetic Privacy Imperiled?
• Is Transgenic Identity Inherited?
• 12 Alternative Facts of Human Genetics

I also contribute to Rare Disease Reports and the Genetic Literacy Project, and have published hundreds of articles for Medscape Medical News. I am an adjunct professor of medical education at Albany Medical College where I teach “Genethics” online, a genetic counselor at CareNet Medical Group, and enjoy public speaking.

My narrative nonfiction book “The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It” (St. Martin’s Press, 2013) I hope will enjoy new life when the first gene therapy in the US is approved, possibly in 2017. And Routledge Press just published the second edition of my short, sweet, and cheap Human Genetics: The Basics.

Wonderful things are happening daily in genetics and genomics! I’ll never run out of material.

Selected Works

Project to engage students in helping families with rare genetic diseases
Book Club Reader's Guide
Many challenging questions to stimulate thought and discussion.
Instructor's Guide
38 discussion questions to get students thinking and talking about gene therapy, including the science, ethical issues, and the drug approval process.
Narrative science
The Forever Fix is the uplifting true story of 8-year-old Corey Haas, who was cured of hereditary blindness just 4 days after gene therapy.
College Textbooks
A spectacularly-illustrated, clearly written human anatomy and physiology textbook, used in pre-health profession programs throughout the U.S.
A highly engaging, clearly written, beautifully illustrated introduction to the science of human genetics for the non-scientist. Now in its 11th edition, 12th to be published in September 2018.
An ideal starting point for anyone who wants to know more about genes, DNA, genomes, and the genetic ties that bind us all.

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