Jennifer Bails

Jennifer is a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine and the environment. She is a marine biologist-turned-scribe who now pens prose instead of counting cells. Jennifer loves digging into new research and figuring out why we should care. She lives in Squirrel Hill with her husband, Michael, and their daughters, Ilyssa and Sylvie.

Found in Translation

Come on, Ima, vamanos! That was the exhortation from my 3-year-old recently when she wanted me to hurry up and get out the play dough. Like now, Mommy—before I scream… Interesting, I noticed (after gritting my teeth), that a little girl still grappling with the complexities and pitfalls of English has begun to integrate words …

Found in Translation Read More »

Considering the Alternatives

In 1926, much of Pittsburgh was still bathed in gaslight, and in that warm, industrial glow, Jim Ferry saw a future for himself, his family, and the city. The gutsy young entrepreneur formed his own business with a $160 loan that his mother signed using her furniture as collateral. He found his first customers by …

Considering the Alternatives Read More »

We, robot

A decade ago, the Wall Street Journal gave Pittsburgh the moniker “Roboburgh” when compiling its list of the nation’s 13 hottest high-tech regions. The Steel City is living up to its 21st-century nickname, making new its rich history of engineering complex things. Scores of local robotics start-ups are driving economic growth by building innovative robots …

We, robot Read More »

Planetary Hollywood

First the lights dim. In the darkness, you feel the intense drumbeat and techno-pop rhythms of the synthesizer pounding deep in your gut. Next a fiery, red globe materializes above you like a cosmic disco ball of galactic proportions. Look left and a futuristic spacecraft emerges from the solar system beyond. It begins to circle …

Planetary Hollywood Read More »

Thomas Hales: The Proof of the Proof

The message went out without fanfare on a quiet summer morning. Thomas Hales finally was done—or so it seemed. Near collapse, he e-mailed his colleagues announcing that he had achieved the impossible. After more than a decade of work, Hales had completed a proof of the Kepler conjecture, a centuries-old conundrum about how best to …

Thomas Hales: The Proof of the Proof Read More »