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. Splashing coffee
    Physics

    Why lattes are less prone to spills than regular coffee

    Foam dampens liquids’ sloshing, keeping keeps lattes and beer from spilling so easily, researchers find.

  2. rock pigeon
    Animals

    How pigeons bob and weave through obstacles

    When navigating an obstacle course, pigeons weigh energy efficiency against the danger of collision, research finds.

  3. Pseudomonas fluorescens
    Life

    Superfast evolution observed in soil bacteria

    Natural selection resurrects flagella in soil bacteria in just four days.

  4. toddler playing on a tablet
    Health & Medicine

    A little tablet time probably won’t fry a toddler’s brain

    Good or bad, the effects tablet and smartphone use among toddlers demand more research.

  5. Wisdom Teeth
    Health & Medicine

    Stem cells from wisdom teeth could help repair corneas

    A study points to a potential new treatment for corneal blindness: Stem cells extracted from pulp from pulled wisdom teeth.

  6. red fly agaric mushrooms - Amanita muscaria
    Life

    Gene study digs into partnership between fungi and plants

    Fungal genes for symbiotic relationship with plants evolved a few times, and relatively recently, a study suggests.

  7. Bed bug sex
    Life

    To deal with sexual conflict, female bedbugs get flexible

    Female bed bugs evolved an elastic underbelly to tolerate violent mating, a new study suggests.

  8. ladybug
    Animals

    Wasps may turn ladybugs into zombies with viral weapons

    Parasitic wasps may use a neurological virus to make ladybugs their minions, a study posits.

  9. 3-D image of fossilized wolf skull
    Paleontology

    Ancient wolf skulls challenge dog domestication timeline

    A 3-D analysis of two ancient canine skulls from Russia and Belgium suggests the fossils were of wolves, not dogs.

  10. wasp faces
    Animals

    Tropical wasps memorize friendly faces

    A social wasp species uses sight and smell to keep intruders from hijacking their nests.

  11. Newton's journal
    Plants

    Isaac Newton’s theory of how water defies gravity in plants

    A passage in one of Isaac Newton’s journals reveals that he may have theorized basic plant hydrodynamics long before botanists.

  12. Norther bald ibises flying
    Animals

    Migrating ibises take turns leading the flying V

    During migration, ibises flying in a V formation cooperate and take turns flying in wake to save energy, a new study suggests.