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. pregnant person testing blood sugar
    Health & Medicine

    Diabetes during pregnancy is tied to heart trouble later in life

    Gestational diabetes may increase a woman’s risk of having hardened arteries later in life, a long-term study finds.

  2. peanuts in a bowl
    Health & Medicine

    Against all odds, 2020 featured some good health news

    Good health news in 2020 included a first treatment for peanut allergies, a rare self-cure for HIV, and an Ebola outbreak ends.

  3. hallucinogenic mushrooms

    Psilocybin may help treat depression, a small study finds

    Researchers found that a compound in psychedelic mushrooms eased depression symptoms, but larger studies are needed.

  4. Biogen headquarters

    FDA advisory panel declines to support a controversial Alzheimer’s treatment

    The fate of an Alzheimer’s drug, developed by pharmaceutical company Biogen, remains up in the air.

  5. preserved nerve cells

    These human nerve cell tendrils turned to glass nearly 2,000 years ago

    Part of a young man’s brain was preserved in A.D. 79 by hot ash from Mount Vesuvius’ eruption.

  6. dog looking at human

    Your dog’s brain doesn’t care about your face

    Comparing brain scans of people and pups shows that faces hold no special meaning to the brains of dogs, a new study suggests.

  7. nerve cells and a tiny robot

    Tiny, magnetically controlled robots coax nerve cells to grow connections

    Research using microrobots and nerve cells from rats could point to new treatments for people with nerve injuries.

  8. Person in a car getting a nasal swab test
    Health & Medicine

    Treatments that target the coronavirus in the nose might help prevent COVID-19

    Scientists are developing and testing ways to prevent the virus from settling in prime nasal real estate.

  9. patient on life support

    New guidance on brain death could ease debate over when life ends

    Brain death can be a tricky concept. Clarity from an international group of doctors may help identify when the brain has stopped working for good.

  10. Teacher reads to children
    Health & Medicine

    Five big questions about when and how to open schools amid COVID-19

    Researchers weigh in on how to get children back into classrooms in a low-risk way.

  11. Three women running

    Boosting a liver protein may mimic the brain benefits of exercise

    Finding that liver-made proteins influence the brain may advance the quest for an “exercise pill” that can deliver the benefits of physical activity.

  12. brain MRI images
    Health & Medicine

    Strokes and mental state changes hint at how COVID-19 harms the brain

    In a group of people severely ill from the coronavirus, strokes, psychosis, depression and other brain-related changes come as complications.