Jill U Adams

Science Journalist

Albany, NY

Jill U Adams

I write about health & medicine, nature & environmental issues, and the intersection of research & policy.



This Is Progress: Even Chick-fil-A and its Customers Want Antibiotic-Free Meat

In February, the fast-food chicken joint Chick-fil-A did a good thing. The company announced that every chicken breast its workers hand filet will come from an animal raised without antibiotics. The restaurant chain joins other companies that have made similar commitments—most notably Chipotle, which markets its products as “meat with integrity.”.

Trouble falling asleep? Prescription sleeping pills are popular, tempting — and risky.

Insomnia. “It’s a lifestyle thing; everybody’s got it,” says Gregg Jacobs, an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. More than half of American adults, when asked, report that they suffer from insomnia symptoms — trouble falling asleep or waking up during the night — a few times a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
The Washington Post Link to Story

Chasing Dragonflies and Damselflies

Birding and butterflying have long been popular. With the advent of easy-to-use field guides and common, colorful names like neon skimmer and thornbush dasher, the pursuit of dragonflies and damselflies is finally taking off. By Jill U. Adams/Scans by Forrest L. Mitchell and James L. Some birders travel to new places, even far-off countries, to add to their life lists.
Audubon Link to Story

The Knotweed Factor

Japanese knotweed at Garnet Lake. Photograph by Paul Rischmiller, courtesy of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program. “YOU GET A LITTLE BIT OF SHADE,” said Ryan Burkum, who was practically invisible in a clump of Japanese knotweed. He had wriggled in with a large squirt gun and was methodically injecting a prescription-strength pesticide into the stems.

In a Tiny NY Village, Bacteria Do a Big Job on Drugs in Wastewater

Partnership among university, community and microbes opens doors to a promising new approach to removing troubling pollutants from wastewater.

Talking on a cellphone while driving is risky. But simpler distractions can also cause harm.

Perhaps you’ve heard the claim that talking on the phone while driving is as risky as driving drunk. Indeed, a driving simulator study found “profound” impairments in both cellphone chatters and in people with a blood alcohol level of 0.08. But here’s the surprising thing: It doesn’t seem to make a difference whether drivers are using hand-held phones or hands-free systems.
The Washington Post Link to Story

When Overconfidence Backfires

A certain brashness has correlations to success. But how much is too much?
Entrepreneur Link to Story

Non-drug treatments for hypertension

“I don’t like to take drugs.”. And “What can I just do myself?”. Robert Brook, an internist at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, hears these two comments more than any...

TV ads for drugs can raise awareness but may not be right for you

I learned last week about two prescription drugs I’d never heard of before — not from my doctor, but from TV commercials. Axiron is applied like deodorant — under your arm. Well, under the arm...

A gray area over food dyes

Maraschino cherries, Cheetos, Gatorade and Froot Loops. The rainbow of colors in candies and decorated birthday cakes. The colors of these foods are not from nature — and depending whom you talk...

» Fish Ladders and Elevators Not Working

River dams control water flow and help generate electricity, but they're a daunting barrier to fish swimming upstream to spawn. Various structures called fish passages are designed to get fish past dams, and they dot rivers across the Northeast United States. But a new analysis suggests they aren't working like they're supposed to, and fish aren't making it to where they need to go.

Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs Go Wild

One of the most notorious and hard-to-treat bacteria in humans has been found in wildlife, according to a new study in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases . The researchers isolated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in two rabbits and a shorebird. Wild animals may act as an environmental reservoir for the disease from which humans could get infected.


Jill U Adams

Publication credits include Audubon, Discover, Ensia, Entrepreneur, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, the Washington Post, Science, and Nature.

Contributor to The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age.