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. A Golden Syrian hamster that was saved from Hong Kong's cull of the rodents peeks out of its little house inside its cage.
    Animals

    Some hamsters are extremely susceptible to COVID-19

    Golden Syrian hamsters used in research and popular as pets can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 with very low doses of the virus, a new study suggests.

  2. a western banded gecko perched on a branch
    Animals

    How a western banded gecko eats a scorpion

    New high-speed video details how usually mild-mannered geckos shake and incapacitate their venomous prey.

  3. Find out how we’re connecting current events to currents of the past

  4. telescope image of a star cluster, which is surrounded by a blue haze
    Space

    How do scientists calculate the age of a star?

    There are a few different methods to determine the age of a star, but none are perfect.

  5. black and white image of dusty ruins in Greenwood after the massacre
    Archaeology

    To find answers about the 1921 race massacre, Tulsa digs up its painful past

    A century ago, hundreds of people died in a horrific eruption of racial violence in Tulsa. A team of researchers may have found a mass grave from the event.

  6. illustration of ancient bobbit worms
    Life

    Giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor to ambush prey

    20-million-year-old tunnels unearthed in Taiwan may have been home to creatures that ambushed prey similar to today’s monstrous bobbit worms.

  7. flamboyant cuttlefish
    Animals

    Flamboyant cuttlefish save their bright patterns for flirting, fighting and fleeing

    A new field study of flamboyant cuttlefish shows they don’t always live up to their reputation.

  8. photos of three mummified animals
    Archaeology

    X-rays reveal what ancient animal mummies keep under wraps

    A new method of 3-D scanning mummified animals reveals life and death details for a snake, a bird and a cat.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.