Helen Thompson

Helen Thompson

Associate Digital Editor

Helen Thompson is the associate digital editor at Science News. She helps manage the website, makes videos, builds interactives, wrangles cats and occasionally writes about things like dandelion flight and whale evolution. She has undergraduate degrees in biology and English from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and strong opinions about tacos. Before Science News, she wrote for Smithsonian, NPR.org, National Geographic, Nature and others.

All Stories by Helen Thompson

  1. Meteorite from Chelyabinsk, Russia
    Planetary Science

    The moon is about as old as we thought it was

    Meteorite heat signatures pinpoint the age of the collision that created the moon — confirming many previous lunar age estimates.

  2. geographic tongue
    Life

    ‘Geographic tongue’ creates unique topography

    A condition called ‘geographic tongue’ makes mouth organ appear maplike.

  3. Storm on Saturn
    Planetary Science

    Atmospheric water may be giving Saturn its spots

    Planetary scientists think that water in Saturn’s atmosphere could be driving the massive storms that appear every few decades in the ringed planet’s atmosphere.

  4. Illustration of a scavenging tyrannosaur
    Paleontology

    Tyrannosaurs fought and ate each other

    Evidence from a tyrannosaur skull and jaw fossils add to the argument that the ancient reptiles fought and weren’t above scavenging their own.

  5. Hungarian mummy
    Genetics

    Mummies tell tuberculosis tales from the crypt

    Hungarian mummies contracted multiple strains of tuberculosis at the same time, researchers find.

  6. Crowd of Dutch people
    Humans

    Natural selection may be growing taller Dutch people

    Over the past 200 years, natural selection may have driven the evolution of taller Dutch people, researchers posit.

  7. Reef at Sodwana Bay
    Animals

    Distinct voices fill the fish soundscape at night

    Researchers find that fish sound frequencies overlap more during the day and are more distinct at night.

  8. Seashell Fossils
    Oceans

    UV light reveals hidden patterns on seashell fossils

    Under UV light, fossil seashell color patterns glow, a researcher finds.

  9. Seashell Fossils
    Animals

    Fossilized seashells’ true colors revealed

    To the naked eye, fossilized seashells lack the colorful patterns of their living counterparts. But ultraviolet light can reveal some of their unique hues.

  10. Texas Brown tarantula
    Animals

    Heat makes scuttling tarantulas less coordinated

    On hot days, tarantula run faster, but their may be harder to bend and flex at high speeds, researchers find.

  11. Blackpoll warbler
    Animals

    Songbird crosses the Atlantic in a nonstop flight

    Using light-sensing geolocators, researchers confirm an iconic songbird’s impressive transoceanic migration.

  12. Cornwall Beach
    Microbes

    Some superbugs lurk in Britain’s surf

    In Great Britain’s coastal waters, surfers and swimmers are exposed to low levels of drug-resistant E. coli, a new study finds.