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Category Archives: Story Idea

Random bits of news stories that might make good writing prompts.

CTDL 213: Tasmanian Park

Michael Crichton is rolling over in his grave… or not.

A fragment of DNA from the Tasmanian tiger has been brought back to life.
Australian scientists extracted genetic material from a 100-year-old museum specimen, and put it into a mouse embryo to study how it worked.
It is the first time DNA of an [...]

CTDL 199: Fungi to the rescue

I’ve got visions of radioactive mushroom monsters roaming the countryside eating stray dogs… but aside from that it sounds like an interesting idea.

Dundee University researchers have found evidence that fungi can “lock” depleted uranium into a mineral form.
This would make it more difficult for the heavy metal – used in armour-piercing shells – [...]

CTDL 160: Morlock and Eloi? or Adam and Eve?

Maybe H.G. Wells did have a time machine, but got confused as to when he was.

Ancient humans started down the path of evolving into two separate species before merging back into a single population, a genetic study suggests.
The genetic split in Africa resulted in distinct populations that lived in isolation for as much [...]

CTDL 154: Good thing I don’t have a boring job

Or at least my job isn’t “critical.” (in the “crash the plane” sort of way… it’s pretty critical to paying my bills and I like to think it’s critical to my employer).

Boring jobs turn our mind to autopilot, say scientists – and it means we can seriously mess up some simple tasks.
Monotonous duties [...]

CTDL 109: Artifacts from the skies

I’m a bit of an aviation buff, and I find this story in the latest Air & Space magazine to be endlessly fascinating. In addition to the notes by a pilot mentioned below, there are tales of shell casings found and all sorts of things. This is historically interesting, and also seems a great source [...]

CTDL 050: This article on synthetic life just screams “Michael Crichton Book Idea”

Some of the possibilities are interesting (bacteria to chew up CO2 for instance), but I’m most struck by my expectation that Crichton will write a book based on this.

[From BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Synthetic life 'advance' reported]

CTDL 041: Darn, there goes my brilliant plan

Why don’t we drop medical waste and nuclear waste into active volcanoes?

CTDL 039: Cue the Mad Scientist laugh please

On a regular basis these days, I think of Frank Herbert’s, oft overlooked in the shadow of “Dune”, book “White Plague”.  In it the protagonist’s family is killed by terrorists and he creates an engineered plague that is fatal to women, but only transmitted by men.

CTDL 001: OCD Mice

I came across the following story on Boing Boing and can’t decide if it’s a breakthrough that might help the people in my life who happen to have OCD tendencies. Or, if it’s just the basis for a great story idea.
The basic premise is that they’ve genetically engineered mice to have OCD [...]