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. Giant Panda in the snow
    Animals

    Panda stalking reveals panda hangouts

    Scientists used GPS trackers to learn about the giant panda lifestyle.

  2. Chart of Nova Vul 1670
    Astronomy

    Enigmatic 17th century nova wasn’t a nova at all

    A nova observed in 1670 was actually two stars colliding, new evidence suggests.

  3. Merlot grapevines
    Life

    A vineyard’s soil influences the microbiome of a grapevine

    Vineyard soil microbes end up on grapes, leaves and flowers, study finds.

  4. orangutans
    Animals

    Why orangutans cup their mouths to sound an alarm

    Orangutans might use their hands to lower the pitch of alarm calls, a study suggests.

  5. cannibal shrimp
    Animals

    Parasites make cannibal shrimp hungry

    Parasites make sometimes-cannibalistic shrimp more cannibalistic, a new study suggests.

  6. slime tube opening in velvet worm
    Animals

    How velvet worms slime their prey

    Researchers have figured out the mechanics behind velvet worms’ wobbly slime jets.

  7. cyborg beetle
    Life

    Cyborg beetles reveal secrets of insect flight

    Remote controlled beetles swoop to the rescue in insect flight simulations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Pseudomonas fluorescens
    Life

    Superfast evolution observed in soil bacteria

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.