Erika Engelhaupt

Erika Engelhaupt is a freelance science writer and editor based in Knoxville, Tenn. She began her blog, Gory Details, while she was an editor at Science News. She continues the blog at National Geographic, where she was online science editor and managed the Phenomena science blog network. Her work has also appeared at NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Story Collider podcast, and in other newspapers and magazines. 

All Stories by Erika Engelhaupt

  1. Psychology

    Your fear is written all over your face, in heat

    Thermal images of bank clerks who’ve been robbed reveal a cold nose can be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

  2. man throwing stone
    Science & Society

    Stone throwers might toss fingerprints into police hands

    An Israeli police lab is studying methods to develop fingerprints on rock to identify stone throwers.

  3. Tour de France

    Attractiveness studies are hot, or not

    Studies that link attractiveness to other traits are often misinterpreted, including recent studies of nose bacteria and of cycling ability.

  4. ear wax

    What your earwax says about your ancestry

    Both armpit and ear wax secretions are smellier in Caucasians than in Asians, thanks to a tiny genetic change that differs across ethnic groups.

  5. Science & Society

    Alternatives needed to do-it-yourself feces swaps

    Three researchers are calling for the FDA to regulate feces as a human tissue rather than a drug to make it easier for doctors to perform fecal transplants.

  6. Animals

    Why was Marius, the euthanized giraffe, ever born?

    The problem of ‘surplus’ zoo animals reveals a divide on animal contraceptives.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Introducing the first bank of feces

    A new nonprofit called OpenBiome is hoping to do for fecal transplants what blood banks have done for transfusions. It’s a kind of Brown Cross.

  8. Life

    Some animals eat their moms, and other cannibalism facts

    A new book surveys those who eat their own kind, revealing some surprises about who’s eating whom.

  9. nuclear testing
    Science & Society

    In a nuclear attack, there’s no avoiding the brutal math

    Knowing a few key numbers could help save your life if a nuclear bomb drops.

  10. black widow spider female and male

    Animals were the original twerkers

    From black widow spiders to birds and bees, shaking that booty goes way back.

  11. Psychology

    The most (and least) realistic movie psychopaths ever

    A forensic psychologist spent three years watching 400 movies to trace portrayals of psychopaths.

  12. Microbes

    Gut bacteria respect diets, not borders

    Malawian and Guahibo gut microbiomes resembled those of herbivorous mammals, while American guts were more similar to carnivores’.