Abby Olena

Abby Olena

As a correspondent for The Scientist, Abby reports on new developments in life science for the website. She has a PhD from Vanderbilt University and got her start in science journalism as the Chicago Tribune’s AAAS Mass Media Fellow in 2013. Following a stint as an intern for The Scientist, Abby was a postdoc in science communication at Duke University, where she developed and taught courses to help scientists share their research. In addition to her work as a science journalist, she leads science writing and communication workshops and co-produces a conversational podcast. She is based in Alabama.  

Articles by Abby Olena
New Evidence Shows COVID-19 Was in US Weeks Before Thought
New Evidence Shows COVID-19 Was in US Weeks Before Thought
Abby Olena | Jun 17, 2021
Some of the blood specimens collected in the United States for the NIH’s All of Us research program starting on January 2, 2020, have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
WITH VIDEO
A Protist Hosts Both Green Algae and Purple Bacteria Symbionts
A Protist Hosts Both Green Algae and Purple Bacteria Symbionts
Abby Olena | Jun 11, 2021
Having two different endosymbionts may allow the ciliate Pseudoblepharisma tenue to live in both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor zones of the muddy bogs of southern Germany.
Microbes in Human Fetuses Spur Immune Development
Microbes in Human Fetuses Spur Immune Development
Abby Olena | Jun 3, 2021
Researchers identify live bacteria in fetal guts, skin, lungs, and placentas that activate memory T cells, indicating that early exposure to microbes could help educate the developing immune system.
Farmed Atlantic Salmon Likely Passed Virus to Wild Pacific Salmon
Farmed Atlantic Salmon Likely Passed Virus to Wild Pacific Salmon
Abby Olena | May 27, 2021
New genomic analyses reveal that piscine orthoreovirus first came to the Pacific in 1989, around the same time that salmon farms in the area started importing Atlantic salmon eggs from Europe.
New Role for Leptin: Promoting Synapse Formation in Rat Neurons
New Role for Leptin: Promoting Synapse Formation in Rat Neurons
Abby Olena | May 20, 2021
The hormone, which is well known for regulating appetite, appears to influence neuronal development—a finding that could shed light on disorders such as autism that involve dysfunctional synapse formation.
Mammals Can Use Their Intestines to Breathe
Mammals Can Use Their Intestines to Breathe
Abby Olena | May 14, 2021
Researchers show that both mice and pigs are capable of oxygenating their blood via the colon—a capacity that, if shared by humans, could be leveraged in the clinic to minimize the need for mechanical ventilation.
Blood Biomarkers Predict the Onset of Labor: Study
Blood Biomarkers Predict the Onset of Labor: Study
Abby Olena | May 6, 2021
Researchers integrated information from 45 protein, metabolite, and immune data points to identify a window two to four weeks before a pregnant person will go into labor.
Some Viruses Use an Alternative Genetic Alphabet
Some Viruses Use an Alternative Genetic Alphabet
Abby Olena | Apr 29, 2021
In a trio of studies, researchers follow up on a 40-year-old finding that certain bacteriophages replace adenine with so-called diaminopurine, perhaps to avoid host degradation.
No Transgenerational Effects of Chernobyl Radiation Found
No Transgenerational Effects of Chernobyl Radiation Found
Abby Olena | Apr 22, 2021
The genomes of the children of people exposed to fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident appear to carry no trace of the incident.
Human-Monkey Chimeras Shed Light on Development
Human-Monkey Chimeras Shed Light on Development
Abby Olena | Apr 15, 2021
Human stem cells injected into early monkey embryos proliferate and contribute to multiple cell lineages over 20 days of embryonic development.