Based in Corvallis, Oregon, Laura Sanders reports on neuroscience for Science News. She wrote Growth Curve, a blog about the science of raising kids, from 2013 to 2019 and continues to write about child development and parenting from time to time. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied the nerve cells that compel a fruit fly to perform a dazzling mating dance. Convinced that she was missing some exciting science somewhere, Laura turned her eye toward writing about brains in all shapes and forms. She holds undergraduate degrees in creative writing and biology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she was a National Merit Scholar. Growth Curve, her 2012 series on consciousness and her 2013 article on the dearth of psychiatric drugs have received awards recognizing editorial excellence.

All Stories by Laura Sanders

  1. amyloid
    Health & Medicine

    A once-scrapped Alzheimer’s drug may work after all, new analyses suggest

    An antibody that targets Alzheimer’s sticky protein amyloid showed promise in slowing mental decline, according to the company that’s developing it.

  2. birth control pills
    Neuroscience

    Is taking birth control as a teen linked to depression? It’s complicated

    As researchers sift through conflicting data, no clear answers emerge on whether birth control during teenage years can cause depression later.

  3. beer
    Health & Medicine

    A dose of ketamine could lessen the lure of alcohol

    Ketamine may weaken wobbly memories of drinking, a trick that might ultimately be useful for treating alcohol addiction.

  4. half of a brain
    Neuroscience

    Some people with half a brain have extra strong neural connections

    Brain scans of six people who had half their brains removed as epileptic children show signs of compensation.

  5. mouse intestine
    Health & Medicine

    Full intestines, more than full stomachs, may tell mice to stop eating

    A new description of stretch-sensing nerve endings in mice’s intestines could lead to ways to treat obesity.

  6. measles vaccine
    Health & Medicine

    New details on immune system ‘amnesia’ show how measles causes long-term damage

    Measles wipes the memories of immune cells in the body.

  7. man sleeping
    Neuroscience

    Sleep may trigger rhythmic power washing in the brain

    Strong, rhythmic waves of cerebrospinal fluid wash into the human brain during sleep and may help clean out harmful proteins.

  8. organoid
    Neuroscience

    Lab-grown organoids are more stressed-out than actual brain cells

    Compared with real brain tissue, organoids show big differences.

  9. tadpole
    Health & Medicine

    Algae inside blood vessels could act as oxygen factories

    Two types of light-responsive algae make oxygen inside tadpoles’ blood vessels.

  10. nerve cell illustration
    Neuroscience

    Light from outside the brain can turn on nerve cells in monkey brains

    An extra-sensitive light-responsive molecule allowed nerve cells to be switched on or off with dim light.

  11. amyloid-beta protein
    Neuroscience

    Alzheimer’s may scramble metabolism’s connection to sleep

    Mice designed to have brain changes that mimic Alzheimer’s disease have altered reactions to blood sugar changes.

  12. Cerebral organoids made of human cells (left) or chimpanzee cells (right)
    Neuroscience

    Organoids offer clues to how brains are made in humans and chimpanzees

    Three-dimensional clumps of brain cells offer clues about how brains get made in humans and chimpanzees.