Amanda Heidt

Amanda Heidt

Amanda is a freelance science writer living in the Bay Area. Midway through her master’s degree in marine science, she realized how few scientists felt comfortable engaging with the public about their work. She challenged herself to share her research and ultimately went on to complete a second master’s in science communication at University of California, Santa Cruz. As The Scientist’s intern, she writes content for both print and online. Read more of her work at www.amandaheidt.com.

Articles by Amanda Heidt
COVID-19 Research Biased Toward Only a Handful of Genes
COVID-19 Research Biased Toward Only a Handful of Genes
Amanda Heidt | Nov 24, 2020
Thomas Stoeger of Northwestern University has previously studied scientists’ limited focus on certain genes. In a new study, he shows how these same behaviors extend into the science of COVID-19.
Giant Viruses Can Integrate into the Genomes of Their Hosts
Giant Viruses Can Integrate into the Genomes of Their Hosts
Amanda Heidt | Nov 19, 2020
Rather than introducing small chunks of DNA as other viruses do, some giant viruses can contribute more than 1 million base pairs to a host’s genome, broadening the ways in which viruses may shape eukaryote evolution.
Zebra Finches Recognize the Calls of Over 40 Fellow Finches
Zebra Finches Recognize the Calls of Over 40 Fellow Finches
Amanda Heidt | Nov 13, 2020
Their ability to distinguish between individuals is strong evidence for fast mapping, a learning tool generally thought to belong only to humans.
Q&A: A New Tool for Ensuring Genetic Privacy
Q&A: A New Tool for Ensuring Genetic Privacy
Amanda Heidt | Nov 12, 2020
Gamze Gursoy and Mark Gerstein of Yale Medical School have developed a strategy for stripping identifying variants from functional genomic data, balancing privacy with utility.
Regulators of Gene Activity in Animals Are Deeply Conserved
Regulators of Gene Activity in Animals Are Deeply Conserved
Amanda Heidt | Nov 6, 2020
Enhancers, short regions of DNA that direct gene expression, of species separated by 700 million years of evolution worked interchangeably, according to a new study.
Animal Movement Data Reveal Effects of Climate Change in Arctic
Animal Movement Data Reveal Effects of Climate Change in Arctic
Amanda Heidt | Nov 5, 2020
Environmental engineer Gil Bohrer discusses how long-term, large-scale tracking data can shed light on the unexpected ways animals are responding to changes in the Arctic.
Chelsea Wood Tracks Parasites Around the World
Chelsea Wood Tracks Parasites Around the World
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2020
The University of Washington parasite ecologist aims to understand how humans have changed the diversity and abundance of the enigmatic and misunderstood organisms.
Serotonin and Dopamine Linked to Decision-Making: Study
Serotonin and Dopamine Linked to Decision-Making: Study
Amanda Heidt | Oct 16, 2020
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers monitored subsecond changes in levels of the neurotransmitters in the human brain, unlocking new insight into their function.
Argentinian Field Site Devastated by Fire
Argentinian Field Site Devastated by Fire
Amanda Heidt | Oct 15, 2020
Roughly half of the howler monkeys in the research preserve have died or remain unaccounted for. Scientists had been studying them for more than 30 years. 
Johnson & Johnson Pauses COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Johnson & Johnson Pauses COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Amanda Heidt | Oct 13, 2020
The company voluntarily paused its studies, including one in Phase 3, after an unexplained illness in a patient.