Sibylle Hechtel received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Irvine. She taught the Biology of Aging at the University of Michigan while researching mitochondrial DNA evolution and later worked as a faculty research fellow at Caltech studying repetitive DNA. After several years of working 60 to 70 hours weekly in labs with no windows, she quit academics to work as a writer. Her work has been published in New Scientist, Red Herring, Reuters Health and others. She wrote a book on rock climbing due out in 2007.