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. Cat on grass

    A parasite that makes mice unafraid of cats may quash other fears too

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii can mess with all sorts of mice behaviors and make the rodents fearless in many situations.

  2. bro riding a scooter
    Health & Medicine

    Electric scooter injuries rose 222 percent in 4 years in the U.S.

    Hospital admissions from accidents related to e-scooters grew from 2014 to 2018.

  3. father and daughter

    In some languages, love and pity get rolled into the same word

    By studying semantic ties among words used to describe feelings in over 2,000 languages, researchers turned up cultural differences.

  4. noir film scene

    Mice watching film noir show the surprising complexity of vision cells

    Only about 10 percent of mice’s vision cells behaved as researchers expected they would, a study finds.

  5. Spravato
    Health & Medicine

    In 2019, a ketamine-based antidepressant raised hopes and concerns

    Ketamine and related molecules might ease severe depression, but the drugs come with baggage.

  6. 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.

  7. birth control pills

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. half of a brain

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. man sleeping

    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.