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. chromosome
    Health & Medicine

    Surplus chromosomes may fuel tumor growth in some cancers

    Extra copies of some genes on excess chromosomes may keep cancer cells growing. Without those extras, cancer cells form fewer tumors in mice.

  2. honeybee
    Animals

    A biochemist’s extraction of data from honey honors her beekeeper father

    Tests of proteins in honey could one day be used to figure out what bees are pollinating and which pathogens they carry.

  3. prion proteins
    Life

    Prions clog cell traffic in brains with neurodegenerative diseases

    Prions may derail cargo moving inside brain cells, perhaps contributing to cell death in prion diseases.

  4. Illustration of a modern human skull and a Neandertal skull
    Humans

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Self-destructing mitochondria
    Life

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. tardigrade
    Life

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. monarch butterfly and fruit fly
    Life

    Gene editing can make fruit flies into ‘monarch flies’

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

  12. Stanley Qi
    Genetics

    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.