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

    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.

  2. Genetics

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Animals

    Why was Marius, the euthanized giraffe, ever born?

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Animals

    Animals were the original twerkers

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

  9. Psychology

    The most (and least) realistic movie psychopaths ever

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

  10. 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’.

  11. Ecosystems

    New Yorkers should relax about new roach species

    Japanese roaches may be able to survive in the cold, but the added competition and their decreased allergic potential may mean the roaches’ arrival isn’t all bad.

  12. Animals

    A gory 12 days of Christmas

    Insects and spiders are among the biggest gift-givers, often as part of mating, and anything from cyanide to a wad of saliva can be a present.