Aparna Nathan, PhD

Aparna Nathan, PhD

Aparna is a freelance science writer with a PhD in bioinformatics and genomics from Harvard University. She uses her multidisciplinary training to find both the cutting-edge science and the human stories in everything from genetic testing to space expeditions. She was a 2021 AAAS Mass Media Fellow at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her writing has also appeared in Popular Science, PBS NOVA, and The Open Notebook.

Articles by Aparna Nathan, PhD
Blue DNA double helix breaking apart.
Keeping Telomeres in Their Places
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Apr 22, 2024 | 4 min read
New research reveals how cells prevent telomerase from meddling with double-stranded breaks.
Two sister cells are seen in the foreground, while individual cells are seen behind them on a blue background.
Sister Cells Reveal Cancer’s Fate
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Apr 3, 2024 | 4 min read
A new method traces treatment resistant cells and predicts drugs that can make them more susceptible to cancer therapy.
A single channel splits into two micro-channels.
A Beating Heart on a Chip
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Mar 26, 2024 | 4 min read
Researchers used organ chips to mimic conditions that help heart cells mature.
Illustration of a web of dark blue neurons with a purple glow at the center of each neuron.
How the Brain Hits the Brakes on Aging 
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Mar 18, 2024 | 4 min read
Neurons linked to metabolic processes slow aging in mice.
3D outline of a bone with red dots in the center.
Bringing Immunotherapy Straight to the Source
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Mar 14, 2024 | 4 min read
Engineered natural killer cells track down cancer cells in the bone marrow.
Oxidation Signals Tardigrades to Enter Hibernation
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Feb 27, 2024 | 4 min read
Water bears survive some of Earth’s harshest conditions by relying on their own chemical alarms.
3D illustration of greenish-brown rod-shaped bacteria.
A Novel Molecule to Tackle Drug-Resistant Bugs
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Feb 12, 2024 | 4 min read
A new antibiotic is the first to block a critical transport mechanism in drug-resistant bacteria.
cartoon gut microbes
Standardizing Gut Microbiome Studies
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Jan 24, 2024 | 2 min read
NIST has spent years developing a human fecal reference material.
Setting Standards for Stool
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Jan 19, 2024 | 10+ min read
Microbiome studies have yielded hundreds of ideas for ways to detect and influence human health, but the field struggles with reproducibility challenges that hamper bringing these goals to fruition. Identical tubes of fecal matter should help.
Keeping Kidneys Healthy with a Hand from AI
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Dec 11, 2023 | 3 min read
Researchers found new mechanisms and drug targets for cystinosis.