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. Hurricane Harvey flooding
    Climate

    Here’s how much climate change could cost the U.S.

    A report by hundreds of scientists from 13 federal agencies starkly outlines the economic impacts of climate change on the United States.

  2. glass of water
    Environment

    Engineers are plugging holes in drinking water treatment

    Drinking water quality has come a long way in the past hundred years — but challenges remain.

  3. comparison of newly discovered herbivore to modern-day elephant
    Paleontology

    This huge plant eater thrived in the age of dinosaurs — but wasn’t one of them

    A newly named plant-eater from the Late Triassic was surprisingly hefty.

  4. an illustration of the new aircraft
    Tech

    A new airplane uses charged molecules, not propellers or turbines, to fly

    A small aircraft prototype is powered by ionic wind flowing in one direction and pushing the plane in the other.

  5. wombat
    Animals

    Wombats are the only animals whose poop is a cube. Here’s how they do it.

    The elasticity of wombats’ intestines helps the creatures shape their distinctive poops.

  6. Camp Fire destruction in California
    Climate

    Development near natural areas puts more Californians in the path of wildfires

    As urbanization extends its reach into once-natural areas, more homes and people are at risk from wildfires.

  7. mast cells and blood vessels
    Life

    How a life-threatening allergic reaction can happen so fast

    Cells that act as sentries facilitate quick communication between allergens and anaphylaxis-triggering immune cells, a study in mice finds.

  8. David Mzee's rehab progress
    Neuroscience

    Stimulating the spinal cord helps 3 more paralyzed people walk

    There’s more evidence that with targeted spinal cord stimulation, paralyzed people can move voluntarily — and even walk.

  9. researcher holding sockeye salmon
    Ecosystems

    How researchers flinging salmon inadvertently spurred tree growth

    Scientists studying salmon in Alaska flung dead fish into the forest. After 20 years, the nutrients from those carcasses sped up tree growth.

  10. Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin
    Environment

    We’re probably undervaluing healthy lakes and rivers

    Clean water legislation often doesn’t seem like a good deal on paper. Here’s why that may be misleading.

  11. chem nobel laureates 2018
    Chemistry

    Speeding up evolution to create useful proteins wins the chemistry Nobel

    The three winners, which include the fifth woman to win the chemistry prize, pioneered techniques used to fashion customized proteins for new biofuels and drugs.

  12. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
    Genetics

    Smuggling a CRISPR gene editor into staph bacteria can kill the pathogen

    A new way fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria co-opts toxin-producing genes.