Jef Akst

Jef Akst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf Coast of Tampa and performing behavioral experiments at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, she left research to pursue a career in science writing. Jef edits the magazine’s Features and writes articles across the publication.

Articles by Jef Akst
University of Washington Pathology Professor Dies of COVID-19
University of Washington Pathology Professor Dies of COVID-19
Jef Akst | Mar 19, 2020
Stephen Schwartz, known for his work on the vascular system, is the first person associated with the university to succumb to infection with SARS-CoV-2.
RNA Extraction Kits for COVID-19 Tests Are in Short Supply in US
RNA Extraction Kits for COVID-19 Tests Are in Short Supply in US
Jef Akst | Mar 11, 2020
Manufacturing sites are ramping up production of reagents needed to isolate SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material—a key step in testing for the virus.
Publishing in English Presents Challenges for International Authors
Publishing in English Presents Challenges for International Authors
Jef Akst | Mar 10, 2020
When submitting manuscripts to Western journals, authors face issues that go beyond language barriers.
First Patient Receives In Vivo CRISPR Editing
First Patient Receives In Vivo CRISPR Editing
Jef Akst | Mar 4, 2020
Doctors in Oregon delivered the gene editing machinery behind the retina in hopes of treating an inherited form of blindness, according to the companies that developed the therapy.
Ancient Wheat Genome Reveals Clues to the Agricultural Past
Ancient Wheat Genome Reveals Clues to the Agricultural Past
Jef Akst | Mar 1, 2020
A museum sample of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian crop plant yields genomic information that helps researchers track the plant’s domestication and migration.
Solar Weather Linked to Gray Whale Strandings
Solar Weather Linked to Gray Whale Strandings
Jef Akst | Feb 26, 2020
When the sun’s atmosphere is stormy, more whales end up on the beach, according to a new study. Biologists speculate it may have to do with navigation or health.
Animal Welfare Records Return to USDA Website
Animal Welfare Records Return to USDA Website
Jef Akst | Feb 20, 2020
The inspection reports that had been removed a few years ago due to privacy concerns have resurfaced, pleasing animal rights advocates.
It Takes Less Than 30 Days to Compost a Human Body
It Takes Less Than 30 Days to Compost a Human Body
Jef Akst | Feb 17, 2020
In a small trial of deceased volunteers, a Seattle-based company called Recompose demonstrates that its method for “natural organic reduction” of a human body completely breaks down soft tissue.
Trump Proposes Significant Cuts to NIH for 2021 Budget
Trump Proposes Significant Cuts to NIH for 2021 Budget
Jef Akst | Feb 11, 2020
The president’s request for next year’s federal budget includes a 7 percent drop in funding for the National Institutes of Health and reductions for other science agencies.
Most Comprehensive Analysis of Cancer Genomes to Date
Most Comprehensive Analysis of Cancer Genomes to Date
Jef Akst | Feb 5, 2020
An interrogation of the whole genomes of more than 2,600 cancers yields clues about the genetic drivers of malignancy, how tumors evolve, and more.