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. an Italian greyhound leaning on a red couch, with light streaming in through blinds
    Health & Medicine

    The first known monkeypox infection in a pet dog hints at spillover risk

    A person passed monkeypox to a dog. Other animals might be next, allowing the virus to set up shop outside of Africa for the first time.

  2. A woman wearing a mask pokes through window blinds. A sign on the window says COVID-19 with SELF ISOLATING above and below a masked face
    Health & Medicine

    Here’s what to do when someone at home has COVID-19

    Creating an isolation ward and filtering the air can prevent viral transmission.

  3. Red Monkeypox particles on the blue background of an infected cell are shown in this colorized transmission electron micrograph.
    Health & Medicine

    The world is ‘losing the window’ to contain monkeypox, experts warn

    As the global monkeypox outbreak surges, the world is giving the “virus room to run like it never has before,” researchers say.

  4. electron micrograph of mature monkeypox viruses in pink and immature viruses in blue
    Health & Medicine

    Monkeypox is not a global health emergency for now, WHO says

    The decision comes as the outbreak of the disease related to smallpox continues to spread, affecting at least 4,100 people in 46 countries as of June 24.

  5. a scientist in front of cages full of mosquitos at a lab in Terni, Italy

    Who decides whether to use gene drives against malaria-carrying mosquitoes?

    As CRISPR-based gene drives to eliminate malaria-carrying mosquitoes pass new tests, the African public will weigh in on whether to unleash them.

  6. a dog wearing a harness that says "POLICE - K9, U.A.E, Ajman-K9" breathing into a metal cone
    Health & Medicine

    Trained dogs sniff out COVID-19 as well as lab tests do

    Dogs can be trained to sniff out COVID-19 cases. They’re overall as reliable as PCR tests and even better at IDing asymptomatic cases, a study suggests.

  7. A colorized electron micrograph of monkeypox infecting monkey cells
    Health & Medicine

    4 answers to key questions about the monkeypox outbreak

    Monkeypox has cropped up around the world, but it doesn’t spread easily like the coronavirus and most people probably don’t need to be concerned.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.