This week, we present two stories about original ideas and creative solutions in science -- from a Rube Goldberg machine to using hookworms to treat an illness. Part 1: In the ninth grade, Adam Ruben and his friends create a Rube Goldberg machine for a school project. Part 2: Science writer Leah Shaffer discovers an interesting way to manage her chronic illness -- hookworms. Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. He has appeared on the Food Network, the Weather Channel, the Travel Channel, Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR, and he currently hosts Outrageous Acts of Science on the Science Channel. Adam is a two-time Moth Story Slam winner, a teacher with Story District, and a producer of Mortified. Adam has spoken and performed at shows, universities, and conferences in more than 30 states and 6 countries. He writes the humor column "Experimental Error" in the otherwise respectable journal Science and is the author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School and Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball. Adam has a Bachelor's degree from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in molecular biology and is the Associate Director of Vaccine Stabilization and Logistics at Sanaria Inc. Learn more at adamruben.net Leah Shaffer is a freelance science writer based in St. Louis whose stories have appeared in Wired, The Atlantic and Discover magazines. She writes about biology, medicine, and the weird critters inside and outside the human body. You can read about her complaints and schemes on Twitter as @LeahabShaffer
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