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. packets of Paxlovid
    Health & Medicine

    Here’s the latest good and bad news about COVID-19 drugs

    After coronavirus vaccines, antivirals and a monoclonal antibody are the next line of defense, but the treatments may be hard for some people to find.

  2. one girl wears a mask seated next to another girl taking an inhaler
    Health & Medicine

    The body’s response to allergic asthma also helps protect against COVID-19

    A protein called IL-13 mounts defenses that include virus-trapping mucus and armor that shields airway cells from infection.

  3. sign that reads "Free COVID-19 Vaccination & Booster Shots" in an airport setting
    Health & Medicine

    How I decided on a second COVID-19 booster shot

    Boosters help for a short time, and mixing vaccines doesn’t seem to push the immune system toward making unhelpful antibodies, studies show.

  4. rows of puzzle pieces with the letters A, T, C and G and one section highlighted

    We finally have a fully complete human genome

    Finding the missing 8 percent of the human genome gives researchers a more powerful tool to better understand human health, disease and evolution.

  5. molecular syringes illustrated poking into cell membranes

    New images reveal details of two bacteria’s molecular syringes

    It’s unclear exactly how these species use their tiny injectors, but learning how they work could lead to nanodevices that target specific bacteria.

  6. photo of commuters, some masked, some unmasked at Waterloo station in London
    Health & Medicine

    How I’ll decide when it’s time to ditch my mask

    New COVID-19 masking guidelines are designed for communities not individuals, making a decision about safety difficult.

  7. rod-shaped E. coli bacteria, colorized in orange

    Some E. coli set off viral grenades inside nearby bacteria

    A bacterial toxin called colibactin awakens dormant viruses embedded in bacterial DNA, but its ecological role is still unknown.

  8. image of rows of green surgical masks on a yellow background
    Health & Medicine

    How to interpret the CDC’s new mask guidelines

    Based on the CDC’s new metrics, most people no longer need to wear masks in most situations, but that could change.

  9. illustration of of coronavirus spike proteins grabbing onto the surface of cells
    Health & Medicine

    How omicron’s mutations make it the most infectious coronavirus variant yet

    With its mishmash of mutations, omicron has a unique anatomy that has helped fuel its dominance.

  10. illustration of three scientists looking at DNA structure amid a spacetime grid

    How the Human Genome Project revolutionized understanding of our DNA

    Completion of the Human Genome Project was a huge milestone, but there’s more work to do to ensure equitable access to the information in our DNA.

  11. photo of a free covid testing sign and people standing in line to be tested
    Health & Medicine

    Omicron forces us to rethink COVID-19 testing and treatments

    At-home rapid tests may miss the speedy variant early on, and some treatments, such as some monoclonal antibodies, no longer work.

  12. photo of someone pricking a finger to test blood sugar levels
    Health & Medicine

    The coronavirus may cause fat cells to miscommunicate, leading to diabetes

    Researchers are homing in on a surprising cause of high blood sugar in COVID-19 patients and possibly what to do about it.