Laurel Hamers

Staff Writer

Laurel is the general assignment reporter at Science News. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Williams College and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California-Santa Cruz. Before coming to Science News, she covered the intersection of physical and life sciences at the American Institute of Physics. Her work has also appeared in ScienceMongabay, and the San Jose Mercury News.

All Stories by Laurel Hamers

  1. Eunotosaurus africanus illustration
    Paleontology

    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
    Life

    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
    Animals

    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
    Animals

    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
    Life

    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
    Neuroscience

    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