Helen Thompson is the multimedia editor at Science News. She makes videos, creates data visuals, helps manage the website, wrangles cats and occasionally writes about things like dandelion flight and whale evolution. She has undergraduate degrees in biology and English from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and strong opinions about tacos. Before Science News, she wrote for Smithsonian, NPR.org, National Geographic, Nature and others.

All Stories by Helen Thompson

  1. Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon in a spacesuit

    50 years ago, cosmic rays may have caused Apollo astronauts to see lights

    Apollo astronauts reported seeing flashes of light where there were none. Fifty years later, the flashes still mess with modern astronauts’ vision.

  2. A Lab-Q sign advertising free walk-up COVID-19 testing sits on a public sidewalk. People walk in the background.
    Health & Medicine

    The U.S. COVID-19 public health emergency is ending. What does that mean?

    The declaration, made early in the pandemic, made tests, vaccines and treatments free to all. On May 11, the proclamation ends.

  3. a black and white animation in which ghosts representing neutrinos pass through the earth
    Particle Physics

    How ghostly neutrinos could explain the universe’s matter mystery

    If neutrinos behave differently from their antimatter counterparts, it could help explain why our cosmos is full of stuff.

  4. A Golden Syrian hamster that was saved from Hong Kong's cull of the rodents peeks out of its little house inside its cage.

    Some hamsters are extremely susceptible to COVID-19

    Golden Syrian hamsters used in research and popular as pets can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 with very low doses of the virus, a new study suggests.

  5. a western banded gecko perched on a branch

    How a western banded gecko eats a scorpion

    New high-speed video details how usually mild-mannered geckos shake and incapacitate their venomous prey.

  6. Find out how we’re connecting current events to currents of the past

  7. telescope image of a star cluster, which is surrounded by a blue haze

    How do scientists calculate the age of a star?

    There are a few different methods to determine the age of a star, but none are perfect.

  8. black and white image of dusty ruins in Greenwood after the massacre

    To find answers about the 1921 race massacre, Tulsa digs up its painful past

    A century ago, hundreds of people died in a horrific eruption of racial violence in Tulsa. A team of researchers may have found a mass grave from the event.

  9. illustration of ancient bobbit worms

    Giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor to ambush prey

    20-million-year-old tunnels unearthed in Taiwan may have been home to creatures that ambushed prey similar to today’s monstrous bobbit worms.

  10. flamboyant cuttlefish

    Flamboyant cuttlefish save their bright patterns for flirting, fighting and fleeing

    A new field study of flamboyant cuttlefish shows they don’t always live up to their reputation.

  11. photos of three mummified animals

    X-rays reveal what ancient animal mummies keep under wraps

    A new method of 3-D scanning mummified animals reveals life and death details for a snake, a bird and a cat.

  12. Doctor and patient in Beni, Congo
    Health & Medicine

    The second-worst Ebola outbreak ever is officially over

    As Congo grapples with COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks, the country’s 10th battle against Ebola has ended.