Alejandra Manjarrez

Alejandra Manjarrez

Alejandra Manjarrez is a freelance science journalist who contributes to The Scientist. She has a PhD in systems biology from ETH Zurich and a master’s in molecular biology from Utrecht University. After years studying bacteria in a lab, she now spends most of her days reading, writing, and hunting science stories, either while traveling or visiting random libraries around the world. Her work has also appeared in Hakai, The Atlantic, and Lab Times.

Articles by Alejandra Manjarrez
Rice-based Cholera Vaccine Induces Antibodies in Small Trial
Rice-based Cholera Vaccine Induces Antibodies in Small Trial
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jul 8, 2021
Immune-response levels to the edible vaccine varied among the subjects, possibly due to differences in the gut microbiome.
Maternal Vaginal Fluids Mimic Microbe Transfer of Vaginal Birth
Maternal Vaginal Fluids Mimic Microbe Transfer of Vaginal Birth
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jun 23, 2021
Swabbing infants born by Cesarean-section with a gauze harboring their mother’s vaginal fluids made their skin and gut microbiota more closely resemble that of vaginally born babies.
Spike Protein Deletions Linked to COVID-19 Surges: Preprint
Spike Protein Deletions Linked to COVID-19 Surges: Preprint
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jun 15, 2021
Researchers find that surges in COVID-19 case numbers are associated with deletions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome in an antigenic site of the spike protein. Some of these mutations are present in vaccine breakthrough infections or reinfections.
SARS-CoV-2 Antigens Leaking from Gut to Blood Might Trigger MIS-C
SARS-CoV-2 Antigens Leaking from Gut to Blood Might Trigger MIS-C
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jun 3, 2021
Researchers find traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the stool and blood of kids with the post–COVID-19 inflammatory disorder, and signs of increased intestinal permeability.
Blind Patient Recovers Partial Vision with Optogenetics
Blind Patient Recovers Partial Vision with Optogenetics
Alejandra Manjarrez | May 24, 2021
After receiving an intraocular injection of the gene for a light-sensitive protein, a 58-year-old man diagnosed with the neurodegenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa was able to locate objects on a table using engineered goggles.
Human Cells Can Synthesize DNA in Their Cytoplasm
Human Cells Can Synthesize DNA in Their Cytoplasm
Alejandra Manjarrez | Feb 8, 2021
While studying a degenerative eye disease, researchers find the first evidence that cells produce endogenous DNA in the cytoplasm. Drugs that block this activity are linked with reduced risk of atrophic age-related macular degeneration.
Insects Might Be More Sensitive to Radiation than Thought
Insects Might Be More Sensitive to Radiation than Thought
Alejandra Manjarrez | Feb 1, 2021
A study of bumble bees exposed to levels of radiation equivalent to those existing in Chernobyl hotspots shows that the insects’ reproduction takes a hit.
Unexpected Brain Strategy Links Two Events Separated by Time
Unexpected Brain Strategy Links Two Events Separated by Time
Alejandra Manjarrez | May 13, 2020
A new study in mice does not find evidence supporting two popular ideas for the mechanism for bridging the temporal time gap between two paired stimuli.
Skulls from the Yucatán Peninsula a Clue to Early American Settlers
Skulls from the Yucatán Peninsula a Clue to Early American Settlers
Alejandra Manjarrez | Apr 7, 2020
The crania of individuals who lived in the Yucatán Peninsula during the late Pleistocene show a high degree of anatomical diversity among them, and their skull shapes differ from that of other North American populations of the time.
Fetal Gene Therapy Helps Mice with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Fetal Gene Therapy Helps Mice with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Alejandra Manjarrez | Dec 11, 2019
The animals lived longer and showed milder symptoms than untreated mice, although they didn’t survive as long as wildtype mice.