Erin Garcia de Jesús is a staff writer at Science News. She holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Washington, where she studied virus/host co-evolution. After deciding science as a whole was too fascinating to spend a career studying one topic, she went on to earn a master’s in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her writing has appeared in Nature News, Science, Eos, Smithsonian Voices and more, and she was the winter 2019 science writing intern at Science News.

All Stories by Erin Garcia de Jesús

  1. A photo of a raccoon dog looking over its should at the camera while it stands in a field of tall grass.
    Health & Medicine

    How raccoon dog DNA fits into the COVID-19 origins debate

    Did the virus that causes COVID-19 come from animals or a lab? Evidence hints at animals. Either way, we should be prepping for the next pandemic.

  2. A photo of a remotely operated vehicle exploring the Mariana Trench. It appears as a cube hovering over a lighter blue patch surrounded by darkness.

    50 years ago, researchers discovered a leak in Earth’s oceans

    An analysis of oceanic rocks hinted that ocean water drains into Earth’s mantle. How much makes it back into the ocean remains unclear.

  3. A photo of a dead pelican laying on a beach in Lima, Peru while a flock of other birds fly in the background.
    Health & Medicine

    Bird flu can jump to mammals. Should we worry?

    Reports of bears and sea lions infected with H5N1 have sparked fears about the pandemic potential of bird flu. Experts are keeping a close eye on its spread.

  4. A photo of several plants in brown pots sitting on a large table.

    Plant/animal hybrid proteins could help crops fend off diseases

    Pikobodies, bioengineered proteins that are part plant and part animal (thanks, llamas), loan plant immune systems a uniquely animal trait: flexibility.

  5. A photo of the Golden Record and its cover from the Voyager spacecraft.

    50 years ago, Earth’s chances of contacting E.T. looked slim

    In 1973, a researcher calculated that it could take millions of years to contact aliens. But that hasn’t stopped scientists from trying.

  6. A photo of several transparent crustacean larvae swimming around on a white background.

    Glassy eyes may help young crustaceans hide from predators in plain sight

    Nanospheres in the eye reflect light that matches the color of the surrounding water, possibly making the animals invisible to nearby predators.

  7. a photo of two giraffes where the male (seen from the side) has curled lips and the female (seen from the back) is peeing

    Why male giraffes drink potential mates’ pee

    In giraffes, an organ that detects pheromones has a stronger connection to the mouth than the nose. That’s different from many other mammals.

  8. A photo of a white cockatoo flying towards a clear glass box with a cashew hiding behind a thin piece of paper.

    Cockatoos can tell when they need more than one tool to swipe a snack

    Cockatoos know when it will take a stick and a straw to nab a nut in a puzzle box. The birds join chimps as the only known nonhumans to use a tool kit.

  9. A microscope image of an adult sea spider made a full recovery after its back half was amputated.

    Some young sea spiders can regrow their rear ends

    Juvenile sea spiders can regenerate nearly all of their bottom halves — including muscles and the anus — or make do without them.

  10. Three Halteria ciliates shown on a blue background

    Scientists have found the first known microbes that can eat only viruses

    Lab experiments show that Halteria ciliates can chow down solely on viruses. Whether these “virovores” do the same in the wild is unclear.

  11. A line of people wearing masks wait in line behind a sign for free COVID-19 vaccines.
    Health & Medicine

    Here’s what you need to know about COVID’s XBB.1.5 ‘Kraken’ variant

    XBB.1.5, an offshoot of the coronavirus’s omicron variant, can hide from parts of the immune system, but vaccines and some treatments still work.

  12. A close up photo of a fossilized male katydid

    Katydids had the earliest known insect ears 160 million years ago

    Fossils from the Jurassic Period show katydid ears looked identical to those of modern katydids and could pick up short-range calls.