Epstein graduated from Columbia University in 2002 with a . in environmental science and astronomy, and holds master’s degrees in journalism and environmental science from the school. In addition to SI, Epstein has worked as the overnight crime reporter on the city desk of the New York Daily News and covered higher ed (particularly science funding policy) for the online publication Inside Higher Ed . Prior to becoming a journalist, he worked as an ecology researcher above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, and once served on a seismic research vessel that was mapping the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean. (He didn’t sleep much, because his room was on the D-deck, which is where the water hits and the sonar pings and the seismic air guns rattle the hull like a tin can.) In addition to Sports Illustrated, his broadcast work has appeared on This American Life and BBC Panorama , and his articles have appeared in the The New York Times, Discover , Scientific American , Slate , The Washington Post, British GQ, National Geographic, The Atlantic and The Guardian , among other publications.
There have been few studies on the substance's effect on people and athletes in particular. In 2003 the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism published a study that followed 38 male subjects through a three-week period of strength training. Nearly two thirds of the subjects took the deer antler supplement either in powder or extract form. While there was a slight increase in knee strength and endurance for those who took the powder form, the study did not find that, overall, there were significant benefits to taking the supplement and that further research was needed.