Helen Thompson

Associate Digital Editor, Science News

Helen Thompson is the associate digital editor at Science News. She helps manage the website, makes videos, builds interactives, wrangles cats and occasionally writes about things like dandelion flight and whale evolution. She has undergraduate degrees in biology and English from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and strong opinions about tacos. Before Science News, she wrote for Smithsonian, NPR.org, National GeographicNature and others.

All Stories by Helen Thompson

  1. Animals

    Peacock spider’s radiant rump comes from teeny tiny structures

    Male peacock spiders have highly colored hind ends that they shake to attract females. Scientists have now figured out the physics responsible for those hues.

  2. Health & Medicine

    U.S. to outlaw antibacterial soaps

    Soaps with germ-killing compounds promise cleaner hands. But manufacturers couldn’t show they offer any safety advantage. Now the U.S. government is banning them.

  3. Animals

    Singing lemurs sync up — until one goes solo

    The indri lemurs of Madagascar sing in chorus to mark their territory. But young males sometimes solo, which may help them attract a mate.

  4. Animals

    Snot may be key to dolphins’ tracking of prey

    Dolphins produce clicking noises that bounce off of prey, like sonar, showing where they are. Mucus in the animals’ nasal passages may make that ‘sonar’ work.

  5. Animals

    Male peacocks twerk it to bring in the hens

    Scientists recorded peacocks with high-speed video cameras to learn the basic mechanics behind the shows they put on for peahens.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Why Paralympic sprinters have trouble with curves

    Whether an artificial leg is on the right or left side of the body may affect how fast runners can take a turn.

  7. Environment

    Enormous natural-gas leak polluted L.A. air

    A massive methane release from a single leaky underground well spewed as much of the greenhouse gas into the air as a mid-sized European country does in an entire year.

  8. Animals

    News Brief: Bees prefer caffeine-spiked nectar

    Bees usually alert friends to sources of especially sweet nectar. But a new study finds caffeine is every bit as appealing to them as the sugar is. And that could compromise the quality of their honey.

  9. Animals

    News Brief: Tiny songbird is mega-flier

    With no pit stops for refueling, this tiny bird wings it from Canada to South America.