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. Congolese giant toads
    Animals

    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.

  2. shredded star
    Space

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. koala
    Life

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Life

    Big and bold wasp queens may create more successful colonies

    A paper wasp queen’s personality and body size could help predict whether the nest she has founded will thrive.

  8. person reading
    Neuroscience

    Imaging scans show where symbols turn to letters in the brain

    Scientists watched brain activity in a region where reading takes root, and saw a hierarchy of areas that give symbols both sound and meaning.

  9. Asian carp jumping
    Life

    A mussel poop diet could fuel invasive carp’s spread across Lake Michigan

    Asian carp, just a human-made waterway away from reaching Lake Michigan, could live in much more of the lake than previously thought.

  10. New Delhi water line
    Earth

    One in 4 people lives in places at high risk of running out of water

    An update to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas reveals that 17 countries withdraw more than 80 percent of water available yearly.

  11. skunk
    Chemistry

    A fungus makes a chemical that neutralizes the stench of skunk spray

    A compound produced by fungi reacts with skunk spray to form residues that aren’t offensive to the nose and can be more easily washed away.

  12. Fenrow Experimental Forest
    Earth

    Decades of dumping acid suggest acid rain may make trees thirstier

    Acidified soil loses calcium, which can affect trees’ ability to hang on to water.