Carolyn Wilke

Carolyn Wilke

Carolyn Wilke is a freelance science journalist and former staff writer at Science News for Students. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Northwestern University, where she studied how light plays into the chemistry and toxicity of different types of nanoparticles under environmental conditions. Her experience as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow at The Sacramento Bee convinced her to leave the lab to write about science instead. Carolyn is a former Science News intern and has also reported on the life sciences for The Scientist. She enjoys writing about materials science, chemistry, microbiology and all things related to the environment.

All Stories by Carolyn Wilke

  1. illustration of a small, banded device in partial light and shadows

    A new device can produce electricity using shadows

    Even under low light, this new technology exploits the contrast between light and shade to produce a current that can power small electronics.

  2. Acropora corals in New Caledonia

    Neon colors may help some corals stage a comeback from bleaching

    When some corals bleach, they turn bright colors. Stunning hues may be part of a response that helps the corals recover and reunite with their algae.

  3. a marine parchment tube worm glows blue against a black background

    Here’s a clue to how this tube worm’s slime can glow blue for days

    Mucus oozed by a marine tube worm can glow for up to 72 hours. New results suggest that the light may sustain itself through some clever chemistry.

  4. anchovy ancestor

    Saber-toothed anchovy relatives hunted in the sea 50 million years ago

    Unlike today’s plankton-eating anchovies with tiny teeth, ancient anchovy kin had lower jaw of sharp spikes paired with a single giant sabertooth.

  5. fruit from the plant Chrozophora tinctoria

    Ancient recipes led scientists to a long-lost natural blue

    Led by medieval texts, scientists hunted down a plant and extracted from its tiny fruits a blue watercolor whose origins had long been a mystery.

  6. airplane bathroom sign

    Airplane sewage may be helping antibiotic-resistant microbes spread

    Along with drug-resistant E. coli, airplane sewage contains a diverse set of genes that let bacteria evade antibiotics.

  7. Congolese giant toads

    Congolese giant toads may mimic venomous snakes to trick predators

    If Congolese giant toads mimic venomous Gaboon vipers, it would be the first reported case of a toad imitating a snake.

  8. shredded star

    A supermassive black hole shredded a star and was caught in the act

    Astronomers have gotten the earliest glimpse yet of a black hole ripping up a star, a process known as a tidal disruption event.

  9. a photo of a person smoking marijuana
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists warned of marijuana’s effects on the unborn

    In 1969, scientists warned about prenatal marijuana exposure. Researchers today are still untangling drug’s effect on fetuses.

  10. plastic revolver
    Science & Society

    3-D printed ‘ghost guns’ pose new challenges for crime-scene investigators

    Researchers are analyzing the ballistics of 3-D printed guns and the plastic they leave behind to help forensic scientists track these DIY weapons.

  11. koala

    Fecal transplants might help make koalas less picky eaters

    Poop-transplant pills changed the microbial makeup of koalas’ guts. That could allow the animals to adapt when a favorite type of eucalyptus runs low.

  12. money and marijuana
    Health & Medicine

    Marijuana and meth are getting more popular in America, but cocaine has declined

    In 2006, drug users spent more on cocaine than on heroin, marijuana or methamphetamine. By 2016, marijuana expenditures had exceeded the other drugs.