Laura Sanders

Neuroscience, Senior Writer, Science News

Laura Sanders reports on neuroscience for Science News. She wrote Growth Curve, a blog about the science of raising kids, from 2013 to 2019 and continues to write about child development and parenting from time to time. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied the nerve cells that compel a fruit fly to perform a dazzling mating dance. Convinced that she was missing some exciting science somewhere, Laura turned her eye toward writing about brains in all shapes and forms. She holds undergraduate degrees in creative writing and biology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she was a National Merit Scholar. Growth Curve, her 2012 series on consciousness and her 2013 article on the dearth of psychiatric drugs have received awards recognizing editorial excellence.

All Stories by Laura Sanders

  1. Microbes

    How ‘brain-eating’ amoebas kill

    When people infected with a “brain-eating amoeba” die, their own immune systems might be to blame.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Sugar makes mice sleepy

    Sugar may amp up sleep-promoting cells in the brain, a new study in mice finds.

  3. Genetics

    Altered gene leaves people totally painfree

    That’s not a good thing for these people. Still, it could lead to a new class of drugs to help people who now suffer from chronic pain.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Catching ZZZs may retrieve lost memories

    Forgetful? Maybe you’ve forgotten to get enough shuteye. A study in fruit flies suggests that a good sleep can boost their ability to remember things.

  5. Brain

    Trip to Mars could damage astronauts’ brains

    Experiments in mice suggest the high-energy particles that would zap astronauts on a mission to Mars could leave the explorers with brain damage.

  6. Brain

    Nobel goes for finding brain’s ‘GPS’

    The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to scientists who discovered how the brain maps our place within our environment.

  7. Brain

    Your sleeping brain is listening

    Most people think that sleep is when the brain turns off to rest. But a new study finds that even as people get their zzz’s, their brains remain alert. At least they stay alert enough to sort information as though they were awake.

  8. Brain

    Why boys face higher autism risk

    Boys develop autism at four times the rate seen in girls. Girls’ genes are better protected from the mutations linked to this brain disorder, data now suggest.

  9. Brain

    Memory lessons from a forgetful brain

    Scientists have just begun probing the preserved tissue from “H.M.” Even five years after he died, this man’s brain continues to offer lessons on how people make — or fail to make — memories.

  10. Brain

    Inheriting fear

    Scared of something and don’t know why? Maybe your parents or grandparents passed along their fear to you, a new mouse study suggests.

  11. Brain

    Fear prompts teens to act impulsively

    A new study finds that teens may act impulsively in the face of fear. This might help explain high rates of violence among such adolescents, the authors say.

  12. Brain

    Video games: When granddad wins

    With some practice, people over 60 bested untrained 20-year-olds.