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. Health & Medicine

    Epigenetics reveals unexpected, and some identical, results

    One study finds tissue-specific methylation signatures in the genome; another a similarity between identical twins in DNA’s chemical tagging.

  2. Life

    Genetic sameness could be factor in Tasmanian tiger extinction

    The first complete mitochondrial genome of the Tasmanian tiger is revealed. Analysis shows little genetic diversity.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Sirtuin shown to control gene activity

    A previously overlooked protein called SIRT6 provides some molecular clues to aging.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Hot clock key to fruit fly’s global spread

    A temperature-sensitive switch in a fruit fly’s biological clock means some species can survive in a wide range of climates while others are stuck on the equator.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Bacteria help themselves in damaged lungs

    An antibiotic produced by a bacterium acts as a molecular snorkel to help with breathing. The bacterium infects and kills many people with cystic fibrosis, and plugging the snorkel could lead to treatments.

  6. Life

    Aging gets with the program

    A study on yeast organisms reveals checkpoints in the aging process: the buildup of certain lipids and fatty acids, and the health of the cell's powerhouses. Drugs could target these checkpoints.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Potentially potent chemo target in sight

    A fruit fly protein that helps control cell differentiation may be a powerful target for stopping human cancers.

  8. Health & Medicine

    In the brain, justice is served from many parts

    Imaging study reveals variation in brain activity depending on the severity of punishment a person decides.

  9. Life

    Spanish Inquisition couldn’t quash Moorish, Jewish genes

    Finding suggests modern history, not just prehistory, can leave a strong mark on a region’s genetic signature.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Protein found to set the heart’s cadence

    Researchers have discovered a molecular metronome that sets the rhythm of the heart and blood pressure.

  11. Life

    Protein crucial in preventing Parkinson’s

    By destroying bad mitochondria, Parkin protects cells

  12. Health & Medicine

    Sleep makes room for memories

    Sleep erases old memories to make way for new learning