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. Life

    Eat less, weigh more

    Separate neurons in the nematode brain control eating and fat-building. The discovery may help explain some mysteries of obesity.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Neuron Killers

    Misfolded, clumping proteins evade conviction, but they remain prime suspects in neurodegenerative diseases.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Dopamine could help the sleep-deprived still learn

    Sleep loss impairs fruit flies’ ability to learn, just as it does in people. But boosting dopamine in the flies can erase these learning deficits.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Protein links metabolism and circadian rhythms

    Scientists have known for ages that metabolism is tied to the body’s daily rhythms. Two new studies suggest how.

  5. Health & Medicine

    MapQuest for the mouse spinal cord

    The Allen Institute for Brain Science unveils an online atlas of the mouse spinal cord. The atlas is a tool for researchers studying spinal cord injury, disease and development.

  6. Life

    HIV after DARC

    A gene variant prevalent in people of African descent increases the risk of HIV infection but also helps slow disease progression.

  7. Life

    Astrocytes are rising stars

    Astrocytes, brain cells previously thought to be support cells for neurons, regulate blood flow in the brain and may aid neuron signaling. The regulation of blood flow makes visualizing brain activity with fMRI possible.

  8. Life

    Fountain of Youth, with caveats

    A chemical in red wine thought to mimic the life-extending properties of calorie restriction improves health, but doesn’t necessarily lengthen life; it could also harm the brain.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Journey to the center of the brain

    New map of brain's anatomy reveals communication hub that corresponds to an area active when the mind wanders.

  10. Life

    Losing sleep

    A genetic source of mental retardation and autism may also disrupt sleep patterns.

  11. Health & Medicine


    Epigenetic shifts continue throughout a person’s lifetime, and the overall pattern of these shifts appears similar within families.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Time on their side

    Review of a decade's worth of major league baseball games shows a slight cost in performance in teams with jet lag.