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. Health & Medicine

    Chickens spread latest deadly bird flu

    A new bird flu virus threatens to spread outside of China. Experts traced the germ to markets where live chickens are sold.

  2. Health & Medicine

    How hot peppers can soothe pain

    Peppers can burn the tongue, but soothe sore tissues. Scientists have now sleuthed out how, and the answer shows a role for stretch sensors on cells.

  3. Animals

    Penguins? How tasteless

    Penguins may look all dressed up in tuxedo-wear, but their taste buds are the bare minimum. This means that the birds will never sense more than a hint of their meals’ true flavors.

  4. Microbes

    Cold noses nurture colds

    The common cold infects the nose. Scientists long have known the virus grows better there, but not why. Now, a study finds the body’s defenses simply don’t work as well under the nose’s slightly cooler temperatures.

  5. Microbes

    Record Ebola epidemic strikes

    A record outbreak of the deadly disease has already claimed nearly 1,000 lives in West Africa. Scientists suspect bats or eating some other wild animals may have triggered the epidemic.

  6. Genetics

    Newfound DNA ‘enhancer’ behind many natural blonds

    Some snippets of DNA other than genes play a role in giving some people of European a golden crown of hair.

  7. Genetics

    Where Native Americans come from

    All tribes seem to derive from the same Asian roots, DNA indicates.

  8. Microbes

    Arctic thaw is spreading wildlife diseases

    Polar animals are encountering new, killer parasites as melting ice unlocks their access to new hosts.

  9. Genetics

    Blue eyes in the Stone Age

    Genes from an ancient skeleton suggest that dark-skinned people may have been the first to evolve blue eyes.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Nobel goes for studying ‘school buses’ in cells

    A trio of scientists who studied how cells transport materials — think of buses moving kids to and from school — will share a 2013 Nobel Prize.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Camels linked to mystery disease

    A mysterious and deadly virus has sickened 94 people — killing 46 — in parts of the Middle East, Europe and northern Africa. A new study finds that camels (the one-humped type) may have introduced the new disease to people. The germ responsible is a virus that lives in people’s lungs, throats and noses. Scientists recently named the disease it causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.

  12. Microbes

    Hitting the redo button on evolution

    Scientists are experimenting with bacteria to see if evolution plays out the same way every time.