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. Life

    For worms, one gene can change survival behavior

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

  2. Life

    Love song of the dengue vector mosquito

    Male and female mosquitoes harmonize pitch when in the mood.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Bone-growth drugs may increase jaw disease risk

    New study finds link between common drug and jawbone death.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Fewer dopamine receptors makes for risky business 

    Brain-scanning study in people sees link between personality, dopamine system.

  5. Health & Medicine

    New embryonic stem cells ratted out

    Overcoming obstacles, scientists have created stable embryonic stem cells from rats. Researchers hope their method will prove useful as a general recipe for isolating stem cells from other mammals.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Sense for morphine has gender gap

    Female rats have fewer brain receptors that sense morphine, making the drug less effective. The work points to the need for more research on why medicine potency can vary among people.

  7. Health & Medicine

    For preemies, less is more

    Multiple courses of steroid treatment for mom could harm premature babies.

  8. Life

    Dinosaur day care dads

    A new study shows some male dinosaurs may have been the primary caretakers of their young.

  9. Earth

    Severe heat and cold top list of deadly natural hazards

    Data compilation by region, type of hazards shows deaths from more frequent events accumulate into significant numbers. Lightning strikes also high on the list.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Gene could drive species separation

    Newly identified fruit fly gene provides evidence for “cheating genes” that may cause species schisms

  11. Health & Medicine

    Lack of sleep has genetic link with type 2 diabetes

    Large genomic studies show body rhythms, melatonin may influence sugar levels in the blood.

  12. Physics

    Physicists Hot for Ultracold

    Physicists have recently coaxed molecules into ultracold states in which motion is nearly gone.