Douglas Dluzen, PhD, is a senior science writer and editor at the NIMHD. He is a geneticist and has previously studied the genetic contributors to aging, cancer, hypertension, and other age-related diseases. He loves to write science and science fiction while sitting on the couch with his wife Julia (who has immeasurably helped him fact-check and edit his work), son Parker, and daughter Cedar.


Douglas F. Dluzen, PhD has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

COVID-19 and the Mental Health Crisis

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 185 – February 2022

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic changed perceptions about mental health, including my own. Suddenly, during lockdown, I was extremely restless at night, dreaming up worst-case scenarios for my family and community: What if my two-year-old son developed long COVID What if I lost my job? What if society completely fell apart? These worries have […]

Navigating the Storms of the Mind

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 182 – November 2021

The first time my four-month-old daughter Cedar spasmed, I had no idea I was witnessing a seizure. I had seen seizures in adults before, but this looked entirely different. Babies do strange stuff all the time, I thought, and this had been a brief thing. I dismissed the possibility that anything was wrong. But my […]

The Human Genome Disparity

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 166 – July 2020

The sequence of the human genome is a living document that catalogs the history of migration, mutation, and environmental stressors that have shaped who we are and how we came to be. Sprinkled throughout the 3.1 billion DNA bases that comprise our genome are tens of thousands of protein-coding genes, regulatory regions that stipulate when, […]

Reshuffling Evolution

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 160 – January 2020

In February 2001, a draft version of the human genomic sequence, over three billion DNA base pairs in length, was completed. Knowing the sequence of the human genome encouraged the development of biotechnology that has advanced personalized medicine, biomedical research, and catalyzed provocative discoveries in human evolution and migration. Yet, perhaps the most fascinating discovery […]

Talking Cells: Deciphering the Messages in Our Blood

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 151 – April 2019

The average human has between 4.7 to 5.7 liters of blood, all traveling throughout nearly 100,000 kilometers (approximately 60,000 miles) of arteries, veins, and capillaries that form the circulatory system. We’re quite familiar with the functions and purposes of many of the larger biological components found in our blood. Recently, scientists have discovered that our […]

The Mighty Feats of the Everyday Microbe

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 149 – February 2019

“The Martians—dead! . . . slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.” —The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells, 1897 Just about everywhere you look an invisible (and humble) presence lurks, a horde of single-cellular organisms that is found on every surface of […]

The Modern Search for the Fountain of Youth

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen, PhD in Issue 147 – December 2018

Please forgive Juan Ponce de Leon, but the secrets to human immortality don’t reside in Florida. He should have traveled west to Southern California, near present day Loma Linda, or south to the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. Or, instead of crossing the Atlantic altogether, he could have set sail to the more familiar Mediterranean […]

How and Why CRISPR Will Change the World

NON-FICTION by Doug Dluzen in Issue 144 – September 2018

There is a silent war that is waging on every surface of the planet, in every droplet of water, and on the skin and within the bodies of everyone you know. It’s hypothesized by some that this war began near the dawn of life on Earth. Almost certainly, we have that war to thank for […]

The Effects of Space and Other Worlds on the Human Body

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen, PhD in Issue 141 – June 2018

Our success at establishing a permanent Moon colony or brushing gloved fingertips through Martian soil is intimately tied with how our bodies handle extended periods of living in non-Earth gravitational environments. If the human body can’t adapt to these conditions, it will be impossible to further explore the heavens until our spaceships can support sustained […]
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