I write about the fascinating, bizarre, and exciting science that comes fresh out of the lab every day.
As a freelance writer, I focus on stories relating to health and science—the weirder the better—with a special interest in the brain. I've written about extreme measures to stop the aging process, electrically shocking the brain to improve memory, what eating the hottest chili pepper on earth does to your body, finding treatments for incurable diseases using CRISPR and stem cells, and using neuroscience to predict the next NBA champions. My work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Scientific American, Vice, Fast Company, Popular Science, Discover, Lifehacker, and Undark.
I also help universities and research organizations tell their stories of scientific discovery, the realities of lab life, and the personalities who make the magic happen. For several years, I worked at the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco, translating and promoting life science research to the public.
Before transitioning to a career in science writing, I was a research scientist and completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. There, I studied drug addiction and binge eating disorder using cognitive testing and functional neuroimaging.
Neuroscientists Make a Case against Solitary Confinement
How Marijuana Harms a Developing Baby’s Brain
Big Data Gives the “Big 5” Personality Traits a Makeover
An Entirely New Type of Antidepressant Targets Postpartum Depression
Global Warming Linked to Higher Suicide Rates across North America
The Placenta Is Now a Suspect In Heightening Schizophrenia Risk
Daydreaming May Help You Become More Socially Adept
At What Age Does Our Ability to Learn a New Language Like a Native Speaker Disappear?
Sound Awake: “Noisy” Neurons May Repeatedly Disrupt Your Sleep
Brain “Pacemaker” Could Help You Remember Only What You Might Forget
How to Hack an Intelligent Machine
Parents in a Remote Amazon Village Barely Talk to Their Babies—and the Kids Are Fine
Meet the Spiders That Completely Defy What We Know as Jet Lag
As Summers Get Hotter, Death Tolls Will Rise
Why Do We Think Tiny Things Are Cute?
Why Are Some Athletes Able to Compete into Their 40s?
New Tech Could Soon Let You Test Whether Your Lettuce Carries E. Coli
Pro Basketball Players' Synchronous Movements Might Help Us Predict the Next NBA Champ
This Is What Candy Crush Does to Your Brain
Spending More Time in the Dark Could Boost Hearing in Old Age
Cannabis and Memory Loss: Dude, Where's my CBD?
Drug Use, Decision-Making and the Blunders of Rob Ford
Are Oreos Really as Addictive as Cocaine?
Humans Can Smell 1 Trillion Scents
How a Pregnant Mother's Diet Could Change a Child's Brain
Anxiety About Certain Things Can Be Hereditary
Why Spend a Billion Dollars to Map the Human Brain?
New Diabetes Monitors Require Fewer Pricks, Less Guessing
Before You Try the Ketogenic Diet, Read This
Capturing the Sound of Depression in the Human Voice
Blood From Young People May Be a Secret to Fighting Aging
The Business of Fasting
University of California, San Francisco
To Better Treat COPD, Scientists Look to Tailored Approaches for Deadly Lung Disease
NIH Funds UCSF-led Initiative to Chart a Course Toward New Psychiatric Drugs
Body’s 'Natural Opioids' Affect Brain Cells Much Differently than Morphine
Scientists Discover How Gene Mutation Reduces the Need for Sleep
Genome Sequencing Uncovers Therapy for Rare Brain Tumor
Brain’s Immune System May Be Key to Better Treatments for Psychiatric Disorders
New Genetic Models of Autism Point to Cellular Roots of Disease
Study Reveals How the Songbird Changes Its Tune
Distinguishing Between Dementia and Depression with Neuroimaging
The Mysterious 98%: Scientists Look to Shine Light on Our Dark Genome
Uniquely Human DNA Sequences Control Brain Development
Conducting the Brain's Symphony
CRISPR Is Transforming Biomedical Research
Reflecting on the Discovery of the Decade: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Exploring Our Bacterial Ecosystem
Revealing How a Heart Becomes a Heart
Scientists Create Heart Cells Better, Faster, Stronger
Insulin-Producing Pancreatic Cells Created from Human Skin Cells
Old Drug Offers New Hope to Treat Alzheimer's Disease
Global Brain Health Institute
The Next Generation of Leaders Advocating for Brain Health
Using a drug-word Stroop task to differentiate recreational from dependent drug use
DG Smith, KD Ersche - CNS Spectrums, 2014
Overlapping decline in orbitofrontal gray matter volume related to cocaine use and body mass index
DG Smith, PS Jones, GB Williams, ET Bullmore, TW Robbins, KD Ersche - Addiction Biology, 2014
Enhanced orbitofrontal cortex activation and lack of attentional bias to cocaine cues in recreational stimulant users
DG Smith, PS Jones, ET Bullmore, TW Robbins, KD Ersche - Biological Psychiatry, 2014
Cognitive control dysfunction and abnormal frontal cortex activation in stimulant dependent individuals and their biological siblings
DG Smith, PS Jones, ET Bullmore, TW Robbins, KD Ersche - Translational Psychiatry, 2013
The neurobiological underpinnings of obesity and binge eating: A rationale for adopting the food addiction model
DG Smith and TW Robbins - Biological Psychiatry, 2013
Decision-making in children and adolescents: Impaired Iowa Gambling Task performance in early adolescence
DG Smith, L Xiao, A Bechara - Developmental Psychology, 2012