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. An illustration of Candida auris. Appears as purple bubbles on a dark blue background.
    Health & Medicine

    U.S. cases of a deadly fungus nearly doubled in recent years

    Though numbers are still small, clinical cases of Candida auris in the jumped 95 percent from 2020 to 2021, a CDC survey finds.

  2. A group of people of various races and ethnicities crossing a street

    Why experts recommend ditching racial labels in genetic studies

    Racial labels don’t explain biological and genetic diversity but do cause stigma. They belong “in the dustbin of history,” a panel of experts says.

  3. A still image from the television show The Last of Us showing a human body that has been completely covered by an orange fungus attached to a gray wall.

    Fungi don’t turn humans into zombies. But The Last of Us gets some science right

    Fungi like those in the post-apocalyptic TV show are real. But humans’ body temperature and brain chemistry may protect us from zombifying fungi.

  4. An illustration of a man blowing his nose on a pink background with a giant box of tissues, red ski cap, and pills in the middle ground.
    Health & Medicine

    Why it’s easier to catch a cold, the flu or COVID in the winter

    Low humidity protects viruses and cold temperatures may blunt some immune responses, making viral infections like colds, flu and COVID-19 more likely.

  5. medical illustration of a human body with lungs and a zoom in view that shows Blastomyces fungal spores in the lungs
    Health & Medicine

    4 key things to know about lung infections caused by fungi

    News that three kinds of fungi are more widespread than previously thought prompted reader questions about risk, symptoms and more. We answer them.

  6. An illustration of the spores of a soil fungi called Histoplasma.
    Health & Medicine

    Fungi that cause serious lung infections are now found throughout the U.S.

    Doctors should be on the lookout for three types of fungi that, when inhaled, can lead to serious infections, researchers say.

  7. A photo of a California market squid hatchling

    Squid edit their RNA to keep cellular supply lines moving in the cold

    Squid change their RNA more often in the cold, producing motor proteins that keep cellular cargo on track.

  8. illustration showing masks and covid brochures falling into a trash can
    Health & Medicine

    Why pandemic fatigue and COVID-19 burnout took over in 2022

    As public health guidelines loosened this year, people were left to weigh COVID-19 risks on their own. It was confusing, frustrating and exhausting.

  9. Four people with masks on, stand behind a roulette table
    Health & Medicine

    DNA is providing new clues to why COVID-19 hits people differently

    Age, general health and vaccinations can affect how sick people get with COVID-19. So can genes. Here are new hints of what’s going on in our DNA.

  10. A man lays on a bed looking at a gray cat next to him on the bed.
    Health & Medicine

    Cat allergies may be tamed by adding an asthma therapy to allergy shots

    Adding an antibody already used to treat asthma to standard allergy shots improved cat allergy symptoms for a least a year, a small study finds.

  11. A headshot of Nobel Prize winner Svante Pääbo sitting next to and resting his hand on a skeleton
    Health & Medicine

    Genetics of human evolution wins 2022 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

    By figuring out how to extract DNA from ancient bones, Svante Pääbo was able to decipher the genomes of our hominid relatives.

  12. illustration of the AlphaFold predicted structure of the estrogen receptor protein, shown in pink and yellow binding to DNA in purple

    Has AlphaFold actually solved biology’s protein-folding problem?

    An AI called AlphaFold predicted structures for nearly every protein known to science. Those predictions aren’t without limits, some researchers say.