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Headshot of Holly Barker

Holly Barker, PhD

Holly Barker is a freelance writer based in London. She has a PhD in clinical neuroscience from King’s College London and a degree in biochemistry from the University of Manchester. She has previously written for Discover and Spectrum News.

Articles by Holly Barker, PhD
Fluorescent image of breast tissue
Hormone Therapy Triggers Male Gene Patterns in Transgender Men’s Cells
Holly Barker, PhD | Mar 15, 2023 | 3 min read
A study deepens the scientific understanding of how androgens influence breast tissue, which may offer clues to treating breast cancer. 
Artistic rendition of droplet DNA amplification
Finally, Scientists Sequence Single Cells with Long-Read Technology
Holly Barker, PhD | Mar 8, 2023 | 4 min read
By combining two innovative approaches, researchers can now sequence the full spectrum of mutational differences between individual cells’ genomes.
Histological image of ccRCC
Mutational Signature Indicates Risk of Kidney Cancer Recurrence
Holly Barker, PhD | Mar 1, 2023 | 2 min read
DNA sequencing can identify mutations that predict recurrence of renal cell carcinoma and may help low-risk patients avoid unnecessary treatment, a study finds.
Structure of a Chlamydomonas, green algae
Drugs Hitch a Ride on Algae for Targeted Delivery
Holly Barker, PhD | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
A new microrobot uses algae to transport antibiotics into the lungs of mice with pneumonia.
Illustration showing microscopic algae swim through mouse lungs and deliver nanoparticles of an antibiotic attached to their surfaces
Infographic: Algae Robots Transport Antibiotics to Infected Tissues
Holly Barker, PhD | Feb 1, 2023 | 1 min read
Microscopic algae dotted with drug-filled nanoparticles may offer a more effective means of treatment than traditional delivery methods.
Blue glowing neuron projections
Silent Synapses May Provide Plasticity in Adulthood
Holly Barker, PhD | Dec 13, 2022 | 4 min read
Inactive synapses—found on tiny neuronal projections called filopodia—are abundant in the adult brain, a mouse study suggests.
Infographic preview
Infographic: A Brain Implant Stops Tumor Growth in Rats
Holly Barker, PhD | Dec 12, 2022 | 1 min read
The new, implantable device converts ultrasound waves into electrical energy inside the brain, interfering with tumor cell division.
Render of cancer cells
Implantable Device Zaps Cancer Cells Using Electric Fields
Holly Barker, PhD | Dec 12, 2022 | 3 min read
A wireless brain implant inhibits tumor growth in rats, overcoming many design flaws of current devices used to treat glioblastoma.
zebrafish in an aquarium
Epigenetics May Remember Ancestors’ Mutations
Holly Barker, PhD | Dec 1, 2022 | 4 min read
Parents’ mutations, even if they’re not inherited by offspring, could affect subsequent generations through changes to epigenetic marks, a study finds.
Photo of Chantell Evans
Chantell Evans Tracks Mitochondrial Cleanup in Neurons
Holly Barker, PhD | Dec 1, 2022 | 3 min read
The Duke University cell biologist uses live-cell microscopy to reveal how brain cells rid themselves of damaged mitochondria and what goes wrong in neurodegenerative disease.
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