Carolyn Wilke

Carolyn Wilke

Staff Writer, Science News for Students

Carolyn Wilke is a 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. right whales
    Animals

    Southern right whale moms and calves may whisper to evade orcas

    Mother-calf whale pairs call to each other quietly to stay in touch while avoiding attracting the attention of predators, a study suggests.

  2. smoke stacks
    Climate

    CO2 emissions are on track to take us beyond 1.5 degrees of global warming

    Current and planned infrastructure will exceed the level of emissions that would keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a new analysis finds.

  3. a photo of a crocodile with its mouth open
    Animals

    Some ancient crocodiles may have chomped on plants instead of meat

    Fossil teeth of extinct crocodyliforms suggest that some ate plants and that herbivory evolved at least three times in crocs of the Mesozoic Era.

  4. distance runner
    Microbes

    Gut microbes might help elite athletes boost their physical performance

    Veillonella bacteria increased in some runners’ guts after a marathon, and may make a compound that might boost endurance, a mouse study suggests.

  5. tree finch
    Animals

    Parasites ruin some finches’ songs by chewing through the birds’ beaks

    Parasitic fly larvae damage the beaks of Galápagos finches, changing their mating songs and possibly causing females to pick males of a different species.

  6. Europa
    Astronomy

    Table salt may be hiding in Europa’s underground sea

    Observations of Europa by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the moon’s ice-covered ocean may hold sodium chloride, or common table salt.

  7. Odaw River
    Ecosystems

    Many of the world’s rivers are flush with dangerous levels of antibiotics

    Antibiotic pollution can fuel drug resistance in microbes. A global survey of rivers finds unsafe levels of antibiotics in 16 percent of sites.

  8. bat
    Animals

    Bats are the main cause of rare rabies deaths in the U.S.

    In the United States, bats are mostly to blame for rabies deaths, while rabies transmitted by overseas dogs comes in second.

  9. dragonfish teeth
    Animals

    Tiny structures in dragonfish teeth turn them into invisible daggers

    The teeth of deep-sea dragonfish are transparent because of nanoscale crystals and rods that let light pass through without being scattered.

  10. compostable food containers
    Environment

    Chemicals in biodegradable food containers can leach into compost

    PFAS compounds from compostable food containers could end being absorbed by plants and later eaten by people, though the health effects are unclear.

  11. Pteris vittata ferns
    Environment

    How one fern hoards toxic arsenic in its fronds and doesn’t die

    To survive high levels of arsenic, a fern sequesters the heavy metal in its shoots with the help of three proteins.

  12. vaping liquid
    Chemistry

    Vaping the sweetener sucralose may produce toxic chemicals

    Sucralose in e-liquids can break down, increasing toxic aldehydes in vapors and producing harmful organochlorines, including a potential carcinogen.