Science Journalism

TEM of avian infectious bronchitis virus

The incredible diversity of viruses

They’re everywhere virologists look, and they’re not all bad. Scientists are beginning to identify and classify the nonillions of viruses on the planet and their contributions to global ecosystems.

Nature, July 1, 2021

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The mysterious microbes at the root of complex life

As scientists learn more about enigmatic archaea, they’re finding clues about the origin of the complex cells that make up people, plants and more.

Nature, May 20, 2021

Embryo, 8 cells

Life Force

Scientists are pushing forward their understanding of mechanical forces in the body, from embryo to adult.

Nature, January 14, 2021

Hear this story aloud on the Nature podcast.

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The Race to Deliver the Hypoallergenic Cat

Researchers are looking beyond allergy shots to help people whose pets make them sneeze.

Nature Outlook, December 2, 2020

I Got the Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine. Or Maybe Not.

OPINION: Many Americans say they won’t take a vaccine. As a trial volunteer, I am not one of them.

Knowable, November 10, 2020

The New Neuroscience of Stuttering

After centuries of misunderstanding, research has finally tied the speech disorder to certain genes and brain alterations—and new treatments may be on the horizon.

Knowable, September 2, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccines Get Biotech Boost

Advances in vaccine technology are accelerating the race to stop the coronavirus—and other pathogens, too.

Nature Technology, July 23, 2020

Barbed and Tanged Arrowhead

The FBI’s Repatriation of Stolen Heritage

When the bureau’s Art Theft Program teamed up with a cultural anthropologist to investigate one man’s private collection, they belong a yearlong project to return cultural objects and human remains to their rightful homes.

Sapiens, June 24, 2020

Baby wearing hat and babygrow

Survival of the Littlest

Babies born before 28 weeks of gestation are surviving into adulthood at higher rates than ever. What are the consequences, in later life, of being born so early?

Nature, June 4, 2020

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Manipulating Memory

Strategies to make lab animals forget, remember, or experience false recollections probe how memory works and may inspire treatments for neurological diseases.

The Scientist, May, 2020

Chromosome X

The Great Escape

Genes that avoid X inactivation have roles in cancer and autoimmune disease.

The Scientist, March, 2020


Regeneration: The Amphibian’s Opus

Certain salamanders can regrow lost body parts. How do they do it? And could people someday do the same?

Knowable, January 29, 2020

The Unexpected Diversity of Pain

It comes in many types that each require specialized treatment. Scientists are starting to learn how to diagnose the different varieties.

Knowable, January 16, 2020

Feel the Force

After decades of puzzling over how cells sense touch and pressure, scientists are zooming in on the proteins responsible.

Nature, January 9, 2020

Staghorn coral

Hope for Coral Reefs

The ocean is warming and reefs are fading. But optimistic marine scientists are working to keep some corals alive until the climate stabilizes.

Nature, November 28, 2019

Cells Nibble One Another

Trogocytosis—a word derived from the Greek for “gnaw” or “nibble”—entails one cell nipping bits off another. Researchers are seeing it in a diverse set of organisms and processes.

PNAS Front Matter, September 3, 2019

Loom Israel

Threads of Time

Archaeologists are learning how ancient clothing, shrouds and even Viking sails might have been made.

Science News, August 31, 2019

Trichomonas Giemsa DPDx

A Tricky Parasite

Trichomonas vaginalis enlists helpers to battle the immune system.

Science News, April 27, 2019

I discuss this story on the Scienced! podcast.

Night Visions

Many animals once thought to have poor sight in low light use nervous-system tricks to see brilliantly in the dark.

Scientific American, May 2019 (paywall)

The Pain Gap

After decades of assuming that pain works in the same way in all sexes, scientists are finding that different biological pathways can produce an ‘ouch!’.                                       

Nature,  March 28, 2019

I discuss this story on the Nature podcast.

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Blowin’ in the Wind

Scientists have documented forests’ resilience to big storms, but they wonder if climate change will outpace the ecosystems’ adaptations

The Scientist, February, 2018

Shell Games

Microbes, traditionally thought to lack organelles, get a metabolic boost from geometric compartments that act as cauldrons for chemical reactions.

The Scientist, December, 2018

If Mammoth Tusks Could Talk

Five new things we’re learning about the extinct animals and their ancient kin.

Knowable, November 17, 2018

Jack-o-lantern from sweden

How Halloween Has Traveled the Globe

Whether trick-or-treating in the United States or costume play celebrations in Japan, Allhallows Eve has taken many forms as its traditions travel the world.

Sapiens, October 26, 2018

Truffles black Croatia

The Mysterious Parentage of the Coveted Black Truffle

It’s a mystery with major implications for farmers, chefs, and foodies enamored with the pungent, expensive black truffle.

PNAS Front Matter, October 9, 2018

Smile for the Camera

Use interviews to promote your science, raise your profile and practise your media skills.

Nature Careers, October 4, 2018

Protein Time Machine

Scientists resurrect proteins from the past to answer today’s evolutionary questions and inspire tomorrow’s bioengineered molecules.

The Scientist, July/August, 2018

Cistern Spring (27003381992)

The Ancient Ones

Identification of new archaeal species elucidates the domain’s unique biology and its relationship to eukaryotes.

The Scientist, June, 2018

Uncovering Ancient Clues to Humanity’s First Fires

How and when our ancestors mastered the use of fire remains a hotly debated question. Researchers are hunting for answers buried in ancient ash and baked soils.

Sapiens, June 14, 2017

© Amber Dance 2016