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
SARS-CoV-2 Protein Hampers Innate Immune Reaction In Vitro
SARS-CoV-2 Protein Hampers Innate Immune Reaction In Vitro
Abby Olena | May 21, 2020
The viral protein known as ORF3b limits the induction of the type I interferon response, which typically alerts other immune system components to the presence of a virus, in cultured cells.
Malaria Parasites’ Biological Clocks Coordinate Cell Destruction
Malaria Parasites’ Biological Clocks Coordinate Cell Destruction
Abby Olena | May 14, 2020
Two studies show that Plasmodium—the genus of protozoans that cause malaria—have an internal sense of time that synchronizes with their host’s circadian rhythms and allows the parasites to collectively attack blood cells.
Variants in Water Channel Gene Tied to More Restful Sleep
Variants in Water Channel Gene Tied to More Restful Sleep
Abby Olena | May 12, 2020
The gene, aquaporin-4, is critical in rodents for the cerebrospinal fluid bath the brain gets during sleep. It’s now also tied to slow wave electrical activity during deep sleep in people.
AI Is Screening Billions of Molecules for Coronavirus Treatments
AI Is Screening Billions of Molecules for Coronavirus Treatments
Abby Olena | May 7, 2020
Machine learning has pegged existing drugs to repurpose for COVID-19 clinical trials.
The Pandemic’s Effects on Recruiting International STEM Trainees
The Pandemic’s Effects on Recruiting International STEM Trainees
Abby Olena | Apr 29, 2020
The closure of visa offices, travel and immigration restrictions, and general anxiety create barriers for the international graduate students and postdocs who play a huge role in research in the United States.
Quasi-Lymphatic System in the Rodent Eye Clears Waste
Quasi-Lymphatic System in the Rodent Eye Clears Waste
Abby Olena | Apr 16, 2020
Two rodent models of glaucoma have defects in the waste drainage system.
Symptoms in ALS Mouse Model Improve with CRISPR Base Editing
Symptoms in ALS Mouse Model Improve with CRISPR Base Editing
Abby Olena | Apr 10, 2020
Researchers slowed disease progression in the mice by injecting two different viral vectors, each containing one part of the DNA encoding the Cas9 protein, to edit the causative gene.
Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV
Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV
Abby Olena | Mar 31, 2020
The host transcriptional signature elicited by the coronavirus appears to be less robust and lacks the induction of key antiviral genes.
Animal Facilities Make Tough Decisions as Pandemic Closes Labs
Animal Facilities Make Tough Decisions as Pandemic Closes Labs
Abby Olena | Mar 27, 2020
Many researchers have stopped breeding mice, reduced the size of colonies, and established contingency plans in case animal care staff get sick.
Remdesivir Works Against Coronaviruses in the Lab
Remdesivir Works Against Coronaviruses in the Lab
Abby Olena | Mar 20, 2020
The antiviral disables RNA replication machinery in MERS and SARS viruses. Can it beat back SARS-CoV-2?