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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. orange cat
    Animals

    Cats recognize their own names

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

  5. dandelion floof
    Life

    Dandelion seeds create a bizarre whirlpool in the air to fly

    Researchers have deciphered the physics underlying dandelion flight.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Parker probe in rocket
    Astronomy

    With launch looming, the Parker Solar Probe is ready for its star turn

    The Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to launch on August 11 to become the first spacecraft to touch the sun.

  9. Ötzi the Iceman
    Archaeology

    Ötzi loaded up on fatty food before he died

    A new analysis provides a complete picture of what was in Ötzi the Iceman’s stomach when he died.

  10. Ebola nurses in Congo
    Health & Medicine

    Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo

    A vaccination campaign is up and running to fight the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo. It’s the first of its kind.

  11. Health workers at Bikoro Hospital
    Health & Medicine

    What we know about the Ebola outbreak, and the vaccine that might help

    Even as an experimental vaccine arrives in Congo to contain the virus, there are worrisome signs Ebola has spread to a city.

  12. bowhead whale
    Animals

    See (and hear) the stunning diversity of bowhead whales’ songs

    Bowhead whales display a huge range in their underwater melodies, but the drivers behind this diversity remain murky.