health & science writer



What Happens When Hearts Attack

A Genetic Test Could Someday Predict Your Heart Attack Risk

Forget Dieting. Here’s What Really Works to Lose Weight

The Difference Between Dieting and Lasting Lifestyle Changes

Mysterious Gut Taste Buds Might Inform Your Diet

Aging is Still One of Biology's Greatest Mysteries

Should You Try an At-Home Genetic Test for COVID-19?

What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Procrastinating on Pregnancy: How Long Can Women Wait to Have a Baby?

Gastric Bypass - We're Still Understanding the Benefits of Weight-Loss Surgery

Turmeric for Joint Pain and Inflammation: Does It Really Work?

Does Acupuncture Really Work?

How Parents Can Help Children of the Pandemic Cope

What Genetic Tests Really Say About Your Cancer Risk

UV Light Wands Are Supposed to Kill Viruses. But Do They Really Work?

Yes, CBD Creams Relieve Pain. But Science is Still Learning About the Benefits and Risks

Strange Glass Spheres Found in Ancient Florida Clams Point to Meteor Strike

The Familiar Plants and Animals That Invaded America’s Landscape

A Large Genetic Study of Anorexia May Begin Yielding Clues to Treatment

Genome-Based Cancer Treatment: A Q&A with Elaine Mardis


Lights, Camera, Infection

Genetics: A Clearer View


What's in the Bag?

Single-Cell Technologies Highlight Heterogeneity among Cells

All aboard: Will molecular tumor boards help cancer patients?


Rural Social Worker Develops Internationally Known Anti-Frailty Program

How Essential Tremor Is Diagnosed and Treated


Here's what you need to know about home DNA kits


Food that boosts gut microbes could be a new way to help malnourished kids

Penicillin allergies may be linked to one immune system gene


Is your state legislature waiting for you to get cancer?


At 100 My Mom had Dementia and Needed Hospice Care Getting it was Nearly Impossible

You're never too old to exercise. A 98-year-old shows us why.

Who Says 60 is Too Old to Figure Skate


Telltale Hearts  


Each year, tens of thousands of young people worldwide die suddenly after their hearts stop beating for no apparent reason. Genetic testing for inherited heart rhythm disorders can potentially offer grief-stricken family members an explanation for the loss of their loved ones and provide actionable diagnostic information to help them avoid the same fate. And yet, such 'molecular autopsies' are rarely performed by the forensic experts who investigate unexplained deaths. Jeanne Erdmann meets the medical professionals who are trying to change that. READ MORE

Trace Elements  


Pathologist Lawrence True sat in an autopsy room at the University of Washington in Seattle, reading over notes and trying to get a sense of the man who had just died from prostate cancer. The body was about to arrive. True and a urology resident looked over the patient's recent scans, searching for places, other than bone, to which the cancer might have spread. They had begun to prepare for the imminent procedure only a few hours earlier, after a page from a family member of the deceased individual alerted them to the death. READ MORE

How Old Are Your Knees?  


Allyson Jackson is 31, but she walks on the knees of a senior citizen. Years of playing sports, followed by weight gain and a boxing injury, stressed her joints until they needed a surgical fix. Now, she sometimes ices her knees up to six times a day.

Allyson's experience is part of a growing—and scary—trend: Osteoarthritis (OA), a progressive joint disease, is increasingly striking young women, most commonly in the knees. In 2000, just over 53,000 women ages 20 to 39 saw a doctor for a diagnosis of OA. READ MORE

The Story of You  


Somehow, in the one-stoplight town of Melbourne, Arkansas—population 1,500, a secret was kept. And not just for a few years, but more than three decades. 

But that secret began unraveling four years ago when Ronicia Smith, 35, was searching for a special Christmas present for her father, Ronnie. She decided to create a family crest for him by digging into his genealogy, giving him a DNA kit to confirm what she learned online. While she was at it, Ronicia ran her own DNA. And that's when things got confusing. READ MORE