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
Nucleus Is Key to How Cells Sense Personal Space
Nucleus Is Key to How Cells Sense Personal Space
Abby Olena | Oct 15, 2020
In two independent studies, researchers find that the organelle is responsible for a switch that allows cells to start moving when they’re squeezed.
Electric and Magnetic Field Treatments Lower Mouse Blood Sugar
Electric and Magnetic Field Treatments Lower Mouse Blood Sugar
Abby Olena | Oct 9, 2020
The effects seem to be mediated by a reactive oxygen species in the animals’ livers.
The Pandemic Continues to Put a Damper on Faculty Hiring
The Pandemic Continues to Put a Damper on Faculty Hiring
Abby Olena | Oct 5, 2020
As the hiring season gets underway, academic listings are still way down from last year, but there are signs of the job market picking back up.
COVID-19 Ushers in the Future of Conferences
COVID-19 Ushers in the Future of Conferences
Abby Olena | Sep 28, 2020
The pandemic has forced scientists everywhere to rethink in-person conferences, but some researchers have already been urging changes.  
Astrocytes, Not Just Neurons, Play a Role in Sleep
Astrocytes, Not Just Neurons, Play a Role in Sleep
Abby Olena | Sep 24, 2020
In mice, the brain’s main glial cell type exhibits distinctive patterns of activity across the sleep-wake cycle and influences the response to sleep deprivation.
Poor Sleep Linked with Future Amyloid-β Build Up
Poor Sleep Linked with Future Amyloid-β Build Up
Abby Olena | Sep 11, 2020
Accumulation of the protein was more likely to be found in the brains of people who slept less well years earlier, according to a new study.
Toward COVID-19 Testing Any Time, Anywhere
Toward COVID-19 Testing Any Time, Anywhere
Abby Olena | Sep 2, 2020
Researchers are adapting CRISPR, synthetic biology, and other creative approaches to detect SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids outside of the lab or doctors’ offices, in the hopes of making diagnostics more affordable and accessible.
Women’s Cervical Mucus Prefers Some Sperm Over Others 
Women’s Cervical Mucus Prefers Some Sperm Over Others 
Abby Olena | Aug 18, 2020
In human male-female pairs with a less similar suite of genes for human leukocyte antigens, sperm fare better when exposed to cervical mucus.
Trials Seek to Answer if Vitamin D Could Help in COVID-19
Trials Seek to Answer if Vitamin D Could Help in COVID-19
Abby Olena | Aug 12, 2020
In clinical studies worldwide, researchers are testing the possibility that supplements of the vitamin could prevent or decrease the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Artifacts Point to Humans Living in Mexico 33,000 Years Ago
Artifacts Point to Humans Living in Mexico 33,000 Years Ago
Abby Olena | Jul 22, 2020
If confirmed, the result means people migrated to North America much earlier than thought, but some experts remain unconvinced.