Rob Stein

Rob Stein is a correspondent and senior editor on NPR's science desk.

An award-winning science journalist with more than 25 years of experience, Stein mostly covers health and medicine. He tends to focus on stories that illustrate the intersection of science, health, politics, social trends, ethics, and federal science policy. He tracks genetics, stem cells, cancer research, women's health issues and other science, medical, and health policy news.

Before NPR, Stein worked at The Washington Post for 16 years, first as the newspaper's science editor and then as a national health reporter. Earlier in his career, Stein spent about four years as an editor at NPR's science desk. Before that, he was a science reporter for United Press International (UPI) in Boston and the science editor of the international wire service in Washington.

Stein is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He completed a journalism fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health, a program in science and religion at the University of Cambridge, and a summer science writer's workshop at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

Stein's work has been honored by many organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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Shots - Health News
12:14 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Seasons May Tweak Genes That Trigger Some Chronic Diseases

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 2:26 pm

The seasons appear to influence when certain genes are active, with those associated with inflammation being more active in the winter, according to new research released Tuesday.

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Shots - Health News
4:49 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

DNA 'Printing' A Big Boon To Research, But Some Raise Concerns

Cambrian Genomics says that what it calls a DNA printer is essentially a DNA sorter — it quickly spots and collects the desired, tailored stretch of DNA.
Courtesy of Cambrian Genomics

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 6:21 pm

Here's something that might sound strange: There are companies now that print and sell DNA.

This trend — which uses the term "print" in the sense of making a bunch of copies speedily — is making particular stretches of DNA much cheaper and easier to obtain than ever before. That excites many scientists who are keen to use these tailored strings of genetic instructions to do all sorts of things, ranging from finding new medical treatments to genetically engineering better crops.

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Shots - Health News
2:10 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 7:56 pm

Federal health officials Monday changed the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962, cutting by almost half the maximum amount of fluoride that should be added to drinking supplies.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommended 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water instead of the long-standing range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.

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Shots - Health News
8:45 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Critics Lash Out At Chinese Scientists Who Edited DNA In Human Embryos

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:34 am

For the first time, scientists have edited DNA in human embryos, a highly controversial step long considered off limits.

Junjiu Huang and his colleagues at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, performed a series of experiments involving 86 human embryos to see if they could make changes in a gene known as HBB, which causes the sometimes fatal blood disorder beta-thalassemia.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Do Mosquitoes Like To Bite You Best? It's In Your Genes

Mmm. Smells just like your identical twin.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:19 am

A study that asked a few dozen pairs of twins to brave a swarm of hungry mosquitoes has revealed another clue to the cluster of reasons the insects are more attracted to some people than others: Genes matter.

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