Catherine Offord

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 journalist. She has worked in various guises at The Scientist since 2016. As Senior Editor, she wrote articles for the online and print publications, and edited the magazine’s Notebook, Careers, and Bio Business sections. She reports on subjects ranging from cellular and molecular biology to research misconduct and science policy. Find more of her work at her website.

Articles by Catherine Offord
Cross section of an organic cell with intracellular organelles
How Intracellular Bacteria Hijack Your Cells
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2022 | 10+ min read
Scientists studying pathogens such as Chlamydia, Legionella, and Listeria get a master class in how to control the internal workings of mammalian cells.
Illustration showing how some intracellular bacteria, such as <em >Legionella pneumophila</em>, manipulate the cell&#39;s membranes for their own good
Infographic: Intracellular Bacteria’s Tricks for Host Manipulation 
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2022 | 2 min read
Various microbes, including several human pathogens, hijack the cell’s skeleton, membranes, and protein-making machinery to make themselves at home.
Sather Gate on the University of California, Berkeley campus
Up to 48,000 University of California Academic Workers Go on Strike
Catherine Offord | Nov 14, 2022 | 3 min read
Union-represented workers are walking out for an indefinite period of time after negotiations over their compensation and other issues stalled.
Micrograph of influenza A virus and RSV
Flu/RSV Coinfection Produces Hybrid Virus that Evades Immune Defenses
Catherine Offord | Oct 25, 2022 | 2 min read
When fused to RSV, influenza A virus is better able to escape antibodies that usually neutralize it, an in vitro study finds.
Micrograph of kidney tissue from a mouse
Vesicles from Young Mice Alleviate Signs of Aging in Older Animals
Catherine Offord | Oct 19, 2022 | 4 min read
Mice that received the stem cell–derived treatment were less frail compared with controls, a study reports.
Illustration of SARS-CoV-2
US Agency to Look into Project on Modified Coronavirus
Catherine Offord | Oct 18, 2022 | 3 min read
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was not aware that the work involved a chimeric strain of SARS-CoV-2, STAT reports.
Images from a novel brain imaging technique, DIANA
New MRI Technique Tracks Brain Activity at Millisecond Timescales
Catherine Offord | Oct 14, 2022 | 4 min read
The method, dubbed “DIANA,” could transform neuroscientists’ understanding of how the brain works, researchers say—though for now, it’s only been tested in anesthetized mice.
Hawaiian Bobtail squid
Symbiotic Organs: Extreme Intimacy with the Microbial World
Catherine Offord | Oct 3, 2022 | 10+ min read
All multicellular creatures interact with bacteria, but some have taken the relationship to another level with highly specialized structures that house, feed, and exploit the tiny organisms.
Illustration of a Hawaiian Bobtail squid
Infographic: Symbiotic Organs Bring Hosts and Microbes Closer
Catherine Offord | Oct 3, 2022 | 2 min read
Specialized structures in plants and animals help attract and mediate communication with bacterial symbionts.
Illustration of intestine containing pink microbes
Fungal DNA, Cells Found in Human Tumors
Catherine Offord | Sep 30, 2022 | 2 min read
It’s not clear whether, or how, the organisms might play a role in disease pathology.