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. Doctor and patient in Beni, Congo
    Health & Medicine

    The second-worst Ebola outbreak ever is officially over

    As Congo grapples with COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks, the country’s 10th battle against Ebola has ended.

  2. Worker spraying disinfectant in a fitness center
    Health & Medicine

    COVID-19 case clusters offer lessons and warnings for reopening

    As restaurants, offices and other businesses open, trends in where and how COVID-19 transmission is happening could help guide re-entry strategies.

  3. Element character illustration
    Physics

    Here’s how the periodic table gets new elements

    Today’s scientists keep adding to the periodic table. But an element has to earn its spot.

  4. a cat
    Animals

    A cat appears to have caught the coronavirus, but it’s complicated

    While a cat in Belgium seems to be the first feline infected with SARS-CoV-2, it’s still unclear how susceptible pets are to the disease.

  5. skull of Chan Hol 3 skeleton
    Archaeology

    An ancient skeleton from an underwater Mexican cave sheds light on early Americans

    A nearly 10,000-year-old skeleton discovered in a submerged Mexican cave provides more clues to how and when people settled the Americas.

  6. child scratching measles rash
    Health & Medicine

    One number can help explain why measles is so contagious

    The basic reproduction number, or "R naught," of measles shows how contagious the disease is compared with other pathogens.

  7. bats hibernating
    Animals

    Vaccines may help bats fight white nose syndrome

    Researchers are developing an oral vaccine that helps little brown bats survive the fungal disease white nose syndrome.

  8. Peregocetus pacificus
    Paleontology

    Peruvian fossils yield a four-legged otterlike whale with hooves

    A newly discovered species of ancient whale unearthed in Peru split time between land and sea.

  9. orange cat
    Animals

    Cats recognize their own names

    A new study suggests that cats can tell their names apart from other spoken words.

  10. dandelion floof
    Life

    Dandelion seeds create a bizarre whirlpool in the air to fly

    Researchers have deciphered the physics underlying dandelion flight.

  11. Tosanoides aphrodite
    Animals

    This new fish species displays a splash of highlighter hues

    Researchers stumbled upon a new species of coral reef fish with spectacular coloration and a unique habitat.

  12. Brazil's National Museum
    Science & Society

    Before it burned, Brazil’s National Museum gave much to science

    When Brazil’s National Museum went up in flames, so did the hard work of the researchers who work there.