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. Illustration of a modern human skull and a Neandertal skull

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Self-destructing mitochondria

    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.

  4. Liver on a chip
    Health & Medicine

    A human liver-on-a-chip may catch drug reactions that animal testing can’t

    An artificial organ may better predict serious drug side effects than animal testing does.

  5. melanoma
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, cancer vaccines were a dream

    Researchers are now prodding the immune system to fight cancer, reviving the longtime dream of creating cancer vaccines.

  6. tardigrade

    How tardigrades protect their DNA to defy death

    Tardigrades encase their DNA in a cloud of protective protein to shield from damage by radiation or drying out.

  7. William Kaelin, Gregg Semenza and Peter Ratcliffe
    Health & Medicine

    Discovery of how cells sense oxygen wins the 2019 medicine Nobel

    Understanding the molecular switch that lets cells cope with oxygen has implications for everything from metabolism to wound healing.

  8. monarch butterfly and fruit fly

    Gene editing can make fruit flies into ‘monarch flies’

    Just three molecular changes can make fruit flies insensitive to milkweed toxins.

  9. Stanley Qi

    Stanley Qi gives CRISPR a makeover to redefine genetic engineering

    By adapting CRISPR/Cas9, Stanley Qi has given genetic engineers a plethora of new tools.

  10. hand muscles

    Human embryos have extra hand muscles found in lizards but not most adults

    In developing human embryos, muscles are made, then lost, in a pattern that mirrors the appearance of the structures during evolution.

  11. salad and vegetables

    Personalized diets may be the future of nutrition. But the science isn’t all there yet

    How a person responds to food depends on more than the food itself. But what exactly is still a confusing mix of genes, microbes and other factors.

  12. mouse and clock
    Health & Medicine

    A mouse’s metabolism may follow circadian rhythms set by gut bacteria

    While animals’ circadian clocks control functions from sleep to hormone release, gut bacteria dictate when mice’s small intestines take up fat.