Tina Hesman Saey

Tina Hesman Saey

Senior Writer, Molecular Biology

Senior writer Tina Hesman Saey is a geneticist-turned-science writer who covers all things microscopic and a few too big to be viewed under a microscope. She is an honors graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she did research on tobacco plants and ethanol-producing bacteria. She spent a year as a Fulbright scholar at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, studying microbiology and traveling.  Her work on how yeast turn on and off one gene earned her a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Washington University in St. Louis. Tina then rounded out her degree collection with a master’s in science journalism from Boston University. She interned at the Dallas Morning News and Science News before returning to St. Louis to cover biotechnology, genetics and medical science for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After a seven year stint as a newspaper reporter, she returned to Science News. Her work has been honored by the Endocrine Society, the Genetics Society of America and by journalism organizations.

All Stories by Tina Hesman Saey

  1. 2019-nCoV transmission electron micrograph
    Health & Medicine

    How the new coronavirus stacks up against SARS and MERS

    Coronaviruses are a diverse family that may be becoming more threatening to people.

  2. Life

    How bacteria create flower art

    Different types of microbes growing in lab dishes can push each other to make floral patterns.

  3. Brush cells in the lining of a mouse’s olfactory bulb
    Health & Medicine

    Hairy cells in the nose called brush cells may be involved in causing allergies

    Some hairy cells in the nose may trigger sneezing and allergies to dust mites, mold and other substances, new work with mice suggests.

  4. MRSA bacteria
    Microbes

    Microbes slowed by one drug can rapidly develop resistance to another

    Hunkering down in a dormant, tolerant state may make it easier for infectious bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

  5. doctor consulting patient
    Health & Medicine

    A bioethicist says scientists owe clinical trial volunteers support

    Researchers should be aware that many insurance policies do not cover experimental procedures, including side effects that may happen afterward.

  6. Cas9 protein
    Genetics

    The first U.S. trials in people put CRISPR to the test in 2019

    Trials of the gene editor in people began in the United States this year, a first step toward fulfilling the technology’s medical promise.

  7. chromosome
    Health & Medicine

    Surplus chromosomes may fuel tumor growth in some cancers

    Extra copies of some genes on excess chromosomes may keep cancer cells growing. Without those extras, cancer cells form fewer tumors in mice.

  8. honeybee
    Animals

    A biochemist’s extraction of data from honey honors her beekeeper father

    Tests of proteins in honey could one day be used to figure out what bees are pollinating and which pathogens they carry.

  9. prion proteins
    Life

    Prions clog cell traffic in brains with neurodegenerative diseases

    Prions may derail cargo moving inside brain cells, perhaps contributing to cell death in prion diseases.

  10. Illustration of a modern human skull and a Neandertal skull
    Humans

    A gene tied to facial development hints humans domesticated themselves

    Scientists may have identified a gene that ties together ideas about human evolution and animal domestication.

  11. Humans

    Why screening DNA for ‘designer babies’ probably won’t work

    While simulations suggest it’s possible to predict a child’s height from looking at an embryo’s DNA, real-world examples say otherwise.

  12. Self-destructing mitochondria
    Life

    Self-destructing mitochondria may leave some brain cells vulnerable to ALS

    Mitochondria that appear to dismantle themselves in certain brain cells may be a first step toward ALS, a mouse study suggests.