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. cicadas
    Genetics

    Cicadas on different schedules can hybridize

    A new genetic study suggests that cicadas that emerge every 17 years have swapped genetic material with those that emerge every 13 years.

  2. pig
    Health & Medicine

    A new coronavirus is killing pigs in China

    Genetic evidence identifies a previously unknown coronavirus that’s causing problems in pigs.

  3. fishing net washed ashore
    Environment

    The great Pacific garbage patch may be 16 times as massive as we thought

    The giant garbage patch between Hawaii and California weighs at least 79,000 tons, a new estimate suggests.

  4. wolf pup
    Animals

    How oral vaccines could save Ethiopian wolves from extinction

    A mass oral vaccination program in Ethiopian wolves could pave the way for other endangered species and help humans, too.

  5. illustration of early Earth
    Planetary Science

    How a vaporized Earth might have cooked up the moon

    A high-speed collision turned the early Earth into a hot, gooey space doughnut, and the moon formed within this synestia, a new simulation suggests.

  6. fossil footprints
    Paleontology

    Fossil footprints may put lizards on two feet 110 million years ago

    Fossilized footprints found in South Korea could be the earliest evidence of two-legged running in lizards.

  7. Havre volcanic edifice
    Earth

    Robots map largest underwater volcanic eruption in 100 years

    High-resolution mapping of a 2012 underwater volcanic eruption just goes to show there’s a lot we don’t know about deep-sea volcanism.

  8. frog video screenshot
    Science & Society

    Watch our most-viewed videos of 2017

    Cassini’s demise, cuttlefish and the Curiosity rover topped our list of most popular videos of 2017.

  9. man in bed with the "flu"
    Health & Medicine

    The man flu struggle might be real, says one researcher

    A researcher reviews the evidence for gender bias among flu viruses in the BMJ’s lighthearted holiday edition.

  10. dwarf mongoose
    Animals

    Once settled, immigrants play important guard roles in mongoose packs

    Dwarf mongoose packs ultimately benefit from taking in immigrants, but there’s an assimilation period.

  11. crested pigeon flying
    Animals

    Crested pigeons sound the alarm with their wings

    Crested pigeons have specialized feathers that signal danger when they flee from an apparent threat.

  12. Matheronodon provincialis
    Paleontology

    New dinosaur sported a curious set of chompers

    Matheronodon provincialis, a newly described dinosaur, munched on tough plants with big scissors for teeth.