Catherine Offord

After undergraduate research with spiders at the University of Oxford and graduate research with ants at Princeton University, Catherine left arthropods and academia to become a science writer. She has worked in various guises at The Scientist, starting as an intern in early 2016 before becoming a correspondent. As senior editor, she now writes articles for the online and print publications, and edits the magazine’s Notebook, Careers, and Bio Business sections.

Articles by Catherine Offord
Illustration of a Tyrannosaurus rex on a rock on a mountain
Most Dinosaurs Were Warm-Blooded After All
Catherine Offord | May 26, 2022
Endothermy was widespread among both avian and non-avian dinosaurs, a study suggests, so the metabolic strategy is unlikely to account for birds’ survival through the mass extinction event that wiped out their dinosaur cousins.
Open orange pill bottle with rounded white pills
What’s the Evidence for Fluvoxamine in COVID-19? 
Catherine Offord | May 20, 2022
The US FDA’s decision not to grant an emergency use authorization for the antidepressant as a COVID-19 treatment highlights a lack of consensus among researchers about how to interpret clinical data on the drug.
Illustration of a meteorite shower heading for Earth
All RNA and DNA Base Types Are Found in Meteorites, Study Claims
Catherine Offord | Apr 27, 2022
The discovery could add weight to the hypothesis that the building blocks of life on Earth originally came from space, but some scientists note the possibility of contamination.
Building 10 on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Graduate Students Vote to Unionize
Catherine Offord | Apr 7, 2022
Plans to form a union affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America were approved by a vote of 1,785 to 912.
Illustration showing epigenetic changes
Infographic: Questions Linger About Epigenetic Inheritance
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
Some studies suggest that associations between the health of children and the experiences of their parents or grandparents may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, but confounding factors challenge this interpretation.
A micrograph from the first US case of COVID-19, with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in blue
SARS-CoV-2 Can Spread Via Cell-to-Cell Transmission
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
The virus’s ability to slip directly from one cell to another may help it avoid some of the body’s immune responses.
Illustration showing two hands join, father or mother with child
Does Human Epigenetic Inheritance Deserve a Closer Look?
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
The concept of epigenetic inheritance has long been controversial. Some researchers hope that new data on cross-generational effects of environmental exposures will help settle the debate.
Photo of wooden block letters
Distracted Brains Better at Parsing Unfamiliar Languages: Study
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
People who had cognitive functions depleted by noninvasive brain stimulation or a mentally demanding task could subconsciously recognize individual words in a made-up language more easily than controls, researchers find.
Capitol on a sunny day
US Spending Bill to Provide New Funds for Science and Health
Catherine Offord | Mar 10, 2022
The legislation, passed by the House of Representatives yesterday, will increase research agencies’ budgets by around 5 percent in 2022 and support the creation of a new health agency.
A young white-tailed deer in the snow
Possible Case of Deer-To-Human SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
Catherine Offord | Mar 3, 2022
Canadian researchers identify a highly mutated variant of the virus in white-tailed deer and link it to a human COVID-19 case in the region—though they emphasize that the infection risk to people is low.