Esther Landhuis

Freelance Writer

A former lab rat, Esther Landhuis is a California-based freelance journalist who writes about biomedicine and STEM diversity. Her stories have also appeared in Science News, Scientific American, NPR, Nature, Chemical & Engineering News and Undark.

All Stories by Esther Landhuis

  1. Agriculture

    Bananas under attack: Understanding their foes

    Fungal blights threaten the world’s most popular fruit. But genetic studies hint at new ways to combat some of these diseases.

  2. Chemistry

    Gotcha! New test stalks diseases early

    Chemists screen blood for disease markers by adapting a common DNA test. The test can find disease earlier, when it also may be easier to treat.

  3. Life

    Fattier yeast live long and prosper

    Scientists were hoping to build better biofuels. Instead they discovered that fatter yeast cells live longer than lean ones.

  4. Environment

    Stuffy classrooms may lower test scores

    New research links fresh air in classrooms to test scores. Elementary-school students in stuffy classrooms, it found, may perform worse on standardized tests.

  5. Plants

    Plant ‘vampires’ lay in wait

    A new study shows how some parasitic plants evolved the ability to sense a potential host — and then send out root-like structures to feed on them.

  6. Tech

    Ground-thumping cheers help scientists

    Eager to test new sensors before the next ‘big one,’ earthquake scientists make use of a predictable source of ground-shaking: football fans.

  7. Tech

    Phoning in earthquakes

    Sensors in your internet-connected phone, tablet or personal computer could help detect earthquakes more quickly and reliably.

  8. Chemistry

    Bacteria become source of ‘greener’ blue jeans

    Manufacturing indigo to dye blue jeans now relies on harmful chemicals. But researchers have found a less polluting way to produce the blue tint: bacteria.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Do mosquitoes love you? Blame your parents

    By studying twins, scientists found that how attractive we are to mosquitoes depends partly on our genes. That could lead to better bug repellents.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Skip the soft drinks, period

    Beyond the quest for trim waistlines and cavity-free teeth, girls have another reason to shun sodas and other sweetened drinks. These beverages may help launch the body’s menstrual cycles at an earlier age.

  11. Animals

    Resilient hearts for deep-sea divers

    How do aquatic mammals have enough energy to hunt prey while steeply dropping their heart rate to stay underwater? A new study of dolphins and seals provides clues.

  12. Climate

    Thunderstorms can generate powerful radiation

    Thunderstorms don’t just hurl lightning bolts. Some churn out high-energy radiation that can be seen by spacecraft. This radiation offers scientists a glimpse of the inner workings of thunderclouds.