Tina Hesman Saey

Senior Writer, Molecular Biology, Science News

Science News senior writer Tina Hesman Saey is a geneticist-turned-science writer who covers all things microscopic and a few too big to be viewed under a microscope. She is an honors graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she did research on tobacco plants and ethanol-producing bacteria. She spent a year as a Fulbright scholar at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, studying microbiology and traveling. Her work on how yeast turn on and off one gene earned her a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Washington University in St. Louis. Tina then rounded out her degree collection with a master’s in science journalism from Boston University. She interned at the Dallas Morning News and Science News before returning to St. Louis to cover biotechnology, genetics and medical science for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After a seven year stint as a newspaper reporter, she returned to Science News. Her work has been honored by the Endocrine Society, the Genetics Society of America and by journalism organizations.

All Stories by Tina Hesman Saey

  1. Planets

    The desert planet in ‘Dune’ is pretty realistic, scientists say

     Humans could live on the fictional planet Arrakis from Dune. But thankfully giant sandworms probably could not.

  2. Health & Medicine

    A new type of immune cell may cause lifelong allergies

    These special memory cells were present in people with allergies and absent in those without.

  3. Animals

    Tardigrades survive harsh conditions by almost dying. Here’s how

    Under stress, a chemical change signals these water bears to switch between live and mostly dead.

  4. Life

    Bacterial fossils exhibit earliest hints of photosynthesis

    Microscopic fossils from Australia suggest that some bacteria evolved structures for oxygen-producing photosynthesis by 1.78 billion years ago.

  5. Archaeology

    Ötzi the Iceman’s DNA reveals his looks and ancestry

    A reanalysis of the ancient guy’s genes shows he was balding and had dark skin. He also had an unusual amount of early farmer ancestry.

  6. Chemistry

    Creation of quantum dots wins 2023 chemistry Nobel

    The award honors three scientists who discovered and built quantum dots, which are now used in everything from TVs to medical tools.

  7. Health & Medicine

    RNA work that led to COVID-19 vaccines wins 2023 Nobel in medicine

    Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman overcame hurdles to using mRNA for medicine. This led to COVID vaccines — and maybe, one day, some for other infections.

  8. Tech

    A ‘mini cyclone’ helps detect coronavirus in the air

    A new device can detect from seven to 35 coronavirus particles per liter of air in minutes. That’s close to a PCR test’s sensitivity — but much quicker.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Humans might be able to hibernate during space travel

    Scientists are studying how animals hibernate and developing new technologies to help humans sleep through space travel.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Explainer: Why it’s easier to get sick in the winter

    Low humidity helps viruses survive, and cold weather blunts some of the body’s immune responses — making colds and other viral infections more likely.

  11. Health & Medicine

    An asthma treatment may also help tame cat allergies

    Adding a therapy used to treat asthma improved cat allergy symptoms for more than a year, a small study found.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Should we use a genetic weapon against mosquitoes carrying malaria?

    One gene drive to eliminate malaria seems to work in the lab. Now it’s time to ask local people if they want it released in the wild.