Nikk Ogasa is a staff writer who focuses on the physical sciences for Science News, based in Brooklyn, New York. He has a master's degree in geology from McGill University, where he studied how ancient earthquakes helped form large gold deposits. He earned another master's degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His stories have been published in ScienceScientific American, Mongabay and the Mercury News, and he was the summer 2021 science writing intern at Science News.

All Stories by Nikk Ogasa

  1. Yeast DNA transcription

    50 years ago, genes eluded electron microscopes

    In the 1970s, scientists dreamed of seeing genes under the microscope. Fifty years later, powerful new tools are helping to make that dream come true.

  2. An illustration of a huge asteroid crashing into ocean. An ancient sea creature is visible under the water

    Not one, but two asteroids might have slain the dinosaurs

    A craterlike structure found off West Africa’s coast might have been formed by an asteroid impact around the same time the dinosaurs went extinct.

  3. A child throwing a toy football to an older man standing in the driveway of a suburban neighborhood

    Spiraling footballs wobble at one of two specific frequencies

    Researchers simulated the path of a flying football to study how pigskins wobble and why they drift sideways.

  4. dark field microscope images of long, thin cable bacteria filaments

    Electrical bacteria may help clean oil spills and curb methane emissions

    Cable bacteria are living electrical wires that may become a tool to reduce methane emissions and clean oil spills.

  5. array of reflectors around a tower with a solar reactor

    How to make jet fuel from sunlight, air and water vapor

    Solar kerosene could one day replace petroleum-derived jet fuel in airplanes and help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.

  6. buildings of Lyon, France under a cloudy sky

    Underground heat pollution could be tapped to mitigate climate change

    Data from thousands of groundwater well sites in Europe reveal that more than half of the locations possess usable underground heat.

  7. photo of an ice stupa fountain in India’s Ladakh region

    How to build better ice towers for drinking water and irrigation

    “Ice stupas” emerged in 2014 as a way to cope with climate change shrinking glaciers. Automation could help improve the cones’ construction.

  8. an illustratiion of a molten Earth's core

    50 years ago, a new theory of Earth’s core began solidifying

    In 1972, scientists proposed that Earth’s core formed as the planet came together. Fifty years later, that theory is generally accepted, though many mysteries about the core remain.

  9. a football player tackles a quarterback during the 2015 Goodyear Cotton Bowl

    A neck patch for athletes could help detect concussions early

    The small sensor is sleeker and cheaper than other devices used to monitor neck strain in athletes.

  10. A polar bear stands atop glacial mélange — a floating mishmash of icebergs, sea ice fragments and snow that exists year-round

    Some polar bears in Greenland survive on surprisingly little sea ice

    “Glacial mélange” could provide a last refuge for some bears as the Earth warms, but climate action is needed to preserve the species, researchers say.

  11. Rocks at the Devil’s Punchbowl geologic formation near Los Angeles, with mountains in the background

    Ancient zircons offer insights into earthquakes of the past

    Analyzing zircons’ chemical makeup can help expose intense quakes from the past and improve our understanding of the physics of today’s tremors.

  12. An outdoor view of an apparatus that removes chemicals from the public water supply. Two men in hardhats look on.

    Just 3 ingredients can quickly destroy widely used PFAS ‘forever chemicals’

    Ultraviolet light, sulfite and iodide break down enduring PFAS molecules faster and more thoroughly than other UV-based methods.