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. beluga, hybrid and narwhal skulls

    DNA confirms a weird Greenland whale was a narwhal-beluga hybrid

    DNA analysis of a skull indicates that the animal had a narwhal mother and beluga father.

  2. norovirus strains

    Norovirus close-ups might help fight stomach flu

    Detailed views of a common stomach virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea could aid vaccine and disinfectant development.

  3. DNA illustration

    Genealogy companies could struggle to keep clients’ data from police

    Police probably won’t stop searching DNA family trees to find crime suspects. New restrictions on database searches could spur more fights over privacy.

  4. gene mutations

    Almost all healthy people harbor patches of mutated cells

    Even healthy tissues can build up mutations, some of which have been tied to cancer.

  5. mosquito research
    Health & Medicine

    A fungus weaponized with a spider toxin can kill malaria mosquitoes

    In controlled field experiments in Burkina Faso, a genetically engineered fungus reduced numbers of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes that can carry malaria.

  6. resistant bacteria

    How bacteria nearly killed by antibiotics can recover — and gain resistance

    A pump protein can keep bacteria alive long enough for the microbes to develop antibiotic resistance.

  7. chromosomes

    Key parts of a fruit fly’s genetic makeup have finally been decoded

    Jumping genes may make it possible to divvy up chromosomes.

  8. pond snails

    Tweaking one gene with CRISPR switched the way a snail shell spirals

    The first gene-edited snails confirm which gene is responsible for the direction of the shell’s spiral.

  9. eye profile
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists tried to transplant part of a human eye

    In 1969, a doctor tried and failed to restore a 54-year-old man’s vision. Fifty years later, scientists are still struggling to make eye transplants work.

  10. gut bacteria

    A gut bacteria transplant may not help you lose weight

    A small study finds that transplanting gut microbes from a lean person into obese people didn’t lead to weight loss, as hoped.

  11. police officers with evidence boxes
    Science & Society

    How we reported on the challenges of using ancestry tests to solve crimes

    Here’s how we found out what happened when an arrest was made in the Golden State Killer case that was tied to genetic testing.

  12. 3D circular RNA

    A lack of circular RNAs may trigger lupus

    Researchers close in on how low levels of a kind of RNA may trigger lupus — offering hope for future treatments for the autoimmune disease.