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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Physics

    Picture This: Christmas from space

    Satellite images show that cities brighten during holidays. Charting such changes can point to factors affecting energy use and contributing to global warming.

  6. Genetics

    Why animals often ‘stand in’ for people

    Rats, birds, fish — even flies and worms — can stand in for people in laboratory testing. This allows scientists to safely evaluate harmful chemicals as well as to identify and test potential new drugs. But such tests will never be a foolproof gauge of effects in people.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Can soft drinks speed aging?

    A new study suggests a reason why daily sugary-soda drinkers are more prone to disease: Guzzling these drinks shortens the protective caps on chromosomes. If the caps get too short, cells die.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Exercise builds brawn — and brains

    One 20-minute session of leg exercises improved memory recall by about 10 percent.

  9. Tech

    Repelling germs with ‘sharkskin’

    A biotechnology company has found a way to repel superbugs without toxic chemicals. It mimics the texture of a shark’s skin.

  10. Tech

    Plants ‘listen’ for danger

    Scientists used lasers to show that plants can “hear” insect pests. Those leafy plants then mount a chemical attack in response to the bug’s chewing sounds — but not toward harmless noises such as a gentle breeze or a bug’s mating call.