Laurel Hamers

Laurel Hamers was the general assignment reporter at Science News.

All Stories by Laurel Hamers

  1. Eunotosaurus africanus illustration

    Why the turtle got its shell

    Fossil evidence suggests that turtles’ ancestors started to form precursors to today’s shells to help them dig, not to protect themselves.

  2. Streptococcus gordonii

    When mouth microbes pal up, infection ensues

    A common and usually harmless species of mouth bacteria can help harmful bacteria become more powerful by providing oxygen.

  3. swordfish

    To zip through water, swordfish reduce drag

    A newly discovered oil-producing organ inside the swordfish’s head gives the animal slick skin to swim faster.

  4. frigatebirds

    Frigate birds fly nonstop for months

    The great frigate bird can fly for up to two months without landing, thanks to a boost from wind and clouds.

  5. cancer nanotubes
    Health & Medicine

    Tight spaces cause spreading cancer cells to divide improperly

    Researchers are using rolled-up transparent nanomembranes to mimic tiny blood vessels and study how cancer cells divide in these tight spaces.

  6. cell and fertilized egg with mitochondria

    Scientists find clue to why mitochondrial DNA comes only from mom

    Scientists have identified a protein that chops up the mitochondrial DNA in a dad’s sperm after it fertilizes an egg. The finding helps explain why mitochondrial DNA is usually passed on only by mothers.

  7. cocaine

    Cocaine addicts can’t kick other habits either

    Habitual users tend to get stuck in nondrug-related habits more easily, too, pointing to a potential strategy for treatment