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. Humans

    Coupons help evaluate game of Go

    Variant version of ancient board game Go allows researchers to see how players value their moves, possibly providing clues to the math behind complex games like chess.

  2. Life

    Sponge’s secret weapon restores antibiotics’ power

    A chemical from an ocean-dwelling sponge can reprogram antibiotic resistant bacteria to make them vulnerable to medicines again, new evidence suggests.

  3. Science & Society

    Kids’ gestures foretell better vocabularies

    Toddlers who gesture more at age 14 months possess larger vocabularies when entering school, new research finds.

  4. Humans

    For gamblers’ brains, almost counts

    In an experiment mimicking slot machines, people’s brains reacted similarly to almost winning as to winning, possibly explaining why gambling can be addictive.

  5. Life

    Vertebrates, perhaps even humans, share teeth genes

    Researchers have uncovered what may be a shared genetic toolkit for teeth, one common among vertebrates and mammals, including humans

  6. Genetics

    Dog gene heeds call of the wild

    Domesticated dogs passed a gene for dark fur color to their wild cousins.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Fingerprints filter the vibrations fingers feel

    A new robotics study suggests that the ridges select the right frequencies for light touch

  8. Health & Medicine

    I feel your pain, even though I can’t feel mine

    A new imaging study looks at how people are able to empathize with others, even when they haven’t experienced something firsthand.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Possible anticancer power in fasting every other day

    When mice ate as important as what they ate in reducing cell division linked to cancer, new study reports.

  10. Life

    As cells age, the nucleus lets the bad guys in

    A study tracks a growing 'leakiness' in the membrane of the cell nucleus that could contribute to aging and even to diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

  11. Humans

    Gamers crave control and competence, not carnage

    Study turns belief commonly held by video game industry, gamers, on its head.

  12. Life

    For worms, one gene can change survival behavior

    Natural differences in a single gene cause worms to either eat or avoid harmful bacteria.