Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Science, Health and Environment Journalist

United States

National Geographic
Ancient Alcoholic Drink's Unusual Starter: Human Spit

You never forget your first fermented spit drink. In the rainforest of Peru, locals chew yuca and spit the masticated root into jars for fermentation. The resulting alcoholic beverage is a local staple called masato, and a few weeks ago, I was offered my first cup.

National Geographic News
Beaver Butts Emit Goo Used for Vanilla Flavoring

Just in time for holiday cookie season, we've discovered that the vanilla flavoring in your baked goods and candy could come from the anal excretions of beavers. Beaver butts secrete a goo called castoreum, which the animals use to mark their territory. The U.S.

Scientific American
Fortified by Global Warming, Deadly Fungus Poisons Corn Crops, Causes Cancer

Last year's drought increased the spread of a carcinogenic mold called aspergillus ( Aspergillus flavus), a fungal pathogen that poisons cattle, kills pets and has infected the 2012 corn crop, rendering significant portions of the harvest unfit for consumption. Whereas the deadly organism mainly affects countries like China and developing African nations, many U.S.

National Geographic
Deforestation Threatens Peru's Food System, Environment

Biting the head off a four-inch grub comes with a unique set of challenges. These wrinkly white insects-offspring of the Rhynchophorus palmarum beetle-have viscous guts the consistency of melted butter and stringy skin that sticks in your teeth like cooked celery. In the rainforest cities of Peru, locals call this grub suri and consider it a delicacy.

Scientific American
Climate Change Is Bad News for California Children with Asthma

In the middle of the night, Casandra Cabrera stopped breathing. She doubled over in bed, gasping for air. In the panic that followed, her lungs constricted. Her eyes filled with tears. The asthma attack continued for 10 long minutes. "I keep an inhaler with me everywhere.

Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato
Massive and tasty, the white sturgeon's numbers are dwindling in the Delta

Published: Lodi News-Sentinel, 2010 The wardens carry guns, their chests bulging a bit more than normal, a telltale sign of the snug bullet-proof vests they wear beneath their regulation khaki shirts. There are eight of them, all dressed in green cargo pants and heavy boots. One carries a search warrant.
Freezing Nerves May Relieve Chronic Pain

Before the end of the day, Dr. William Moore had stabbed three people. Dr. Moore, a radiologist at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York, specializes in cryoablation - a procedure that uses frozen needles to numb the nerves that cause chronic pain.