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 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the Endocrine Society, the Genetics Society of America and by journalism organizations.

All Stories by Tina Hesman Saey

  1. A magnified image of Candida auris, seen in blue, while nearby immune cells are seen in yellow.
    Health & Medicine

    How a deadly fungus is so good at sticking to skin and other surfaces

    One of Candida auris’ scary superpowers is its stick-to-itiveness. Unlike other fungi, the pathogen uses electrical charges to glom onto things.

  2. Illustration of a hand wearing a blue medical glove placing the final piece in a square puzzle that shows the letter Y.

    The Y chromosome’s genetic puzzle is finally complete

    New analyses of the human Y chromosome reveal millions of new bases and different locations for the same gene in different people.

  3. An overhead photo of the Iceman Ötzi mummy lying on a white table.

    A new look at Ötzi the Iceman’s DNA reveals new ancestry and other surprises

    Ötzi had genetic variants for male-pattern baldness and dark skin, and he also had an unusual amount of early farmer ancestry, a new DNA analysis finds.

  4. A model of a human embryo against a black backdrop. The model has ane exterior ring dotted with bluish light clumps. Wtihin is an oval-shaped purplish blob of cells with orange running through it. Below that are long bluish structures, also with bright orange and white running between cells

    Human embryo replicas have gotten more complex. Here’s what you need to know

    Lab-engineered human embryo models created from stem cells provide a look at development beyond the first week. But they raise ethical questions.

  5. A 3-D rendering of a coronavirus detector.
    Health & Medicine

    A new device can detect the coronavirus in the air in minutes

    The detector can sense as a few as seven to 35 coronavirus particles per liter of air — about as sensitive as a PCR test but much quicker.

  6. A photo of a sign for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration.

    The first gene therapy for muscular dystrophy has been approved for some kids

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared a shortened version of a gene for a muscle protein to be used in 4- and 5-year-olds with muscular dystrophy.

  7. A close up photo of a mosquito resting on a log.

    Microwaving an insecticide restores its mosquito-killing power

    Heated deltamethrin kills mosquitoes resistant to its usual form. Scientists are working to add the improved insecticide into bed nets.

  8. image of an octopus

    Octopuses and squid are masters of RNA editing while leaving DNA intact

    Modifications to RNA could explain the intelligence and flexibility of shell-less cephalopods.

  9. A close up photo of several mushrooms growing closely together in a grassy area.
    Health & Medicine

    Scientists may have found an antidote for death cap mushrooms

    A dye countered the effects of a mushroom toxin in human cells and mice. If the antidote does the same in people, it has potential to save lives.

  10. Illustration of an overhead view of people walking in lines that form the shape of the human DNA double-helix, to represent a single "pangenome".

    The new human pangenome could help unveil the biology of everyone

    The deciphered DNA includes never-before-explored parts of the genome and better represents the genetic diversity of all humans.

  11. A photo of an RSV vaccine bottle with a syringe, stethoscope and other vaccine bottle on a white background.
    Health & Medicine

    The FDA has approved the first-ever vaccine for RSV

    GSK’s shot, for those 60 and over, can protect against severe respiratory syncytial virus. Other vaccines, including to protect newborns, are in the works.

  12. An overhead photo of a mouse with gray hair on a light blue background.
    Health & Medicine

    Mouse hair turns gray when certain stem cells get stuck

    Stem cells involved in giving hair its color must keep moving and changing maturity levels to prevent graying, a mouse study suggests.