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. Manta birostris
    Animals

    Manta rays have an unusual mouth filter that resists clogging

    Manta rays filter feed differently than other ocean creatures.

  2. Joaquín Rodríguez-López
    Chemistry

    Joaquín Rodríguez-López designs batteries for a sustainable energy future

    Electrochemist Joaquín Rodríguez-López is finding better ways to store wind and solar power.

  3. African elephants
    Life

    DNA from seized elephant ivory unmasks 3 big trafficking cartels in Africa

    Scientists can sleuth out wildlife crime and aid law enforcement by tracing elephant DNA from ivory seizures back to the source.

  4. forest in Indonesia
    Earth

    A new map reveals the causes of forest loss worldwide

    A new study shows where global forest loss is due to permanent deforestation versus short-term shifts in land use.

  5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa illustration
    Chemistry

    A new antibiotic uses sneaky tactics to kill drug-resistant superbugs

    Scientists have developed a molecule that kills off bacteria that are resistant to existing antibiotics.

  6. Carr Fire
    Climate

    Wildfires make their own weather, and that matters for fire management

    Mathematical equations describing interactions between wildfires and the air around them help explain their power and destruction.

  7. poppy flower
    Life

    How the poppy got its pain-relieving powers

    Analyzing the poppy’s genome reveals the evolutionary history of morphine.

  8. a beagle puppy romping in some grass
    Health & Medicine

    CRISPR gene editing relieves muscular dystrophy symptoms in dogs

    Scientists have used CRISPR’s molecular scissors in beagle puppies to repair a genetic mutation that causes muscular dystrophy.

  9. naked mole-rat
    Animals

    Naked mole-rats eat the poop of their queen for parenting cues

    Hormones in the naked mole-rat queen’s poop turn subordinate nest-mates into surrogate parents.

  10. illustration of RNA
    Health & Medicine

    The first gene-silencing drug wins FDA approval

    The FDA just approved the first drug that works via RNA interference.

  11. fruit fly brain map
    Neuroscience

    This colorful web is the most complete look yet at a fruit fly’s brain cells

    Scientists compiled 21 million images to craft the highest-resolution view yet of the fruit fly brain.

  12. baby snake preserved in amber
    Paleontology

    This amber nugget from Myanmar holds the first known baby snake fossil

    Amber preserves the delicate bone structure of a 99 million year old baby snake.