Laura Sanders

Laura Sanders

Senior Writer, Neuroscience

Laura Sanders reports on neuroscience for Science News. She wrote Growth Curve, a blog about the science of raising kids, from 2013 to 2019 and continues to write about child development and parenting from time to time. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied the nerve cells that compel a fruit fly to perform a dazzling mating dance. Convinced that she was missing some exciting science somewhere, Laura turned her eye toward writing about brains in all shapes and forms. She holds undergraduate degrees in creative writing and biology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she was a National Merit Scholar. Growth Curve, her 2012 series on consciousness and her 2013 article on the dearth of psychiatric drugs have received awards recognizing editorial excellence.

All Stories by Laura Sanders

  1. A photo of several different flavors of Monster, Red Bull and other energy drinks sitting on grocery store shelves.
    Health & Medicine

    Taurine slows aging in mice. Will it ever work for people?

    The amino acid taurine — found in meats, produced by the body and common in energy drinks — may have a role in health and aging, a new study suggests.

  2. Two images of a brain. The image on the left shows a forward-facing brain scan with a purple section in the middle and yellow sections on the bottom, both with red dots scattered throughout the colored sections. The image on the right is a profile view of the same brain with the same colored section.

    Brain implants have revealed a signature for chronic pain

    Brain implants in four people with chronic pain gave researchers an inside look at the debilitating condition.

  3. illustration of human heads

    Neuroscientists decoded people’s thoughts using brain scans

    The finding may lead to better communication aids for people who can’t communicate easily. It also raises privacy concerns.

  4. An illustration of a person's head in profile created with words.
    Health & Medicine

    A chemical imbalance doesn’t explain depression. So what does?

    The causes of depression are much more complex than the serotonin hypothesis suggests

  5. an illustration showing a woman falling. She is chained to a huge spikey red COVID-19 virus. Other viruses around her are also chained to falling people.
    Health & Medicine

    2022 was the year long COVID couldn’t be ignored

    Long covid’s heavy toll grew clearer as millions of people reported lingering symptoms, and scientists and doctors looked for treatments.

  6. An illustration of a woman with the top of her appearing to open on a hinge and her pull a thin white string out of a tangled collection of string where her brain would be

    New brain implants ‘read’ words directly from people’s thoughts

    In the lab, brain implants can translate internal speech into external signals, technology that could help people who are unable to speak or type.

  7. an organoid made of human nerve cells, shown in bright green, on the upper left side of a rat brain, shown in dark green

    Clumps of human nerve cells thrived in rat brains

    New results suggest that environment matters for the development of brain organoids, 3-D nerve cell clusters that grow and mimic the human brain.

  8. Tua Tagovailoa, wearing a teal jersey with the number 1, tries to throw a football amid a tackle

    Why traumatic brain injuries raise the risk of a second, worse hit

    Recent hits to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have reignited discussions of brain safety for professional football players. Brain experts weigh in.

  9. A man has lowered his face mask to smell a sliced lemon.

    COVID-19 gave new urgency to the science of restoring smell

    With newfound pressure from the pandemic, olfactory training and a host of other newer treatments are now getting a lot more attention.

  10. side-by-side microscope images of pigs’ kidneys with actin highlighted in green

    An hour after pigs’ deaths, an artificial system restored cellular life

    Sensors, pumps and artificial fluid staved off tissue damage in pigs after cardiac arrest. The system may one day preserve organs for transplantation.

  11. photo of Michel Roccati standing and using a walker as a researcher monitors his progress on an tablet

    Spinal stimulation gives some people with paralysis more freedom

    Methods that stimulate the spine with electrodes promise to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries, in ways that go well beyond walking.

  12. photo of a beagle sniffing sand on a beach

    Dogs are great sniffers. A newfound nose-to-brain connection helps explain why

    A new anatomical description of how smell works in a dog brain shows why they’re such good sniffers.