Bethany Brookshire

Staff Writer, Science News for Students, 2013–2021

Bethany Brookshire was the staff writer at Science News for Students from 2013 to 2021. She has a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in philosophy from The College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is also a host on the podcast Science for the People, and a 2019-2020 MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow.

All Stories by Bethany Brookshire

  1. a balloon being filled with helium
    Science & Society

    50 years ago, the United States wanted to deflate the helium stockpile

    An attempt to dismantle the Federal Helium Reserve in 1971 failed. Fifty years later, the U.S. government is still determined to run out of gas.

  2. street light in a suburban neighborhood
    Animals

    Dim lighting may raise the risk of a West Nile virus exposure

    Dimly lit nights increased risk of West Nile virus exposure in chickens. Artificial light proved a better predictor of risk than population or paving.

  3. archaeological structures from ancient city of Çatalhöyük
    Archaeology

    A tour of ‘Four Lost Cities’ reveals modern ties to ancient people

    In the book 'Four Lost Cities,' author Annalee Newitz uses cities of the past to show what might happen to cities in the future.

  4. an illustration of a Brontosaurus
    Animals

    50 years ago, scientists made the case for a landlubbing Brontosaurus

    In 1971, a scientist argued for a landbound Brontosaurus instead of a swampy swimmer. Recent evidence comes from studies of its ancient environment.

  5. sea fireflies
    Climate

    Ocean acidification may make some species glow brighter

    Ocean organisms use bioluminescence for hunting, defense and more. A new analysis shows that declines in water pH might change who glows and how much.

  6. a microscopic image showing the sickle curved shape of blood cells
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, urea showed promise as a sickle-cell treatment

    In 1970, scientists found the first treatment for sickle-cell disease. 50 years later, they’re trying to cure it with CRISPR.

  7. woman inside wearing mask
    Neuroscience

    Lonely brains crave people like hungry brains crave food

    After hours of isolation, dopamine-producing cells in the brain fire up in response to pictures of humans, showing our social side runs deep.

  8. Tuatara
    Animals

    ‘Phallacy’ deflates myths about the penises of the animal kingdom

    By touring nature’s many penises, Phallacy author Emily Willingham puts the human organ in its place.

  9. Teacher reads to children
    Health & Medicine

    Five big questions about when and how to open schools amid COVID-19

    Researchers weigh in on how to get children back into classrooms in a low-risk way.

  10. Student looking into a microscope
    Science & Society

    College biology textbooks still portray a world of white scientists

    Despite recent efforts to include more women and people of color, it will be decades — or even centuries — before textbooks reflect student diversity.

  11. Animals

    The ‘ratpocalypse’ isn’t nigh, according to service call data

    A new study shows that rat-related reports in New York City went down during COVID-19 lockdowns compared with previous years during March and April.

  12. Two yellow labs
    Animals

    Calculating a dog’s age in human years is harder than you think

    People generally convert a dog’s age to human years by multiplying its age by seven. But a new study shows the math is way more complex.