james m gaines

James M. Gaines

James Gaines is a freelance science journalist in Seattle, Washington. He got his start at City University in London, where he received a master's degree in science journalism. Since then, his writing has appeared in outlets such as Nature, Undark, Atlas Obscura, and Knowable Magazine. He also works as a fact-checker and a regular contributor to the YouTube channel SciShow. He once had an alligator snapping turtle as a pet for about two hours.

Articles by James M. Gaines
A fingerprint with three sections colored
Finally, Scientists Uncover the Genetic Basis of Fingerprints
James M. Gaines | Feb 23, 2023 | 4 min read
Much like with a zebra’s stripes or a leopard’s spots, Turing patterns explain how the distinctive patterns of human fingerprints form, a study finds.
Photo of Monir Moniruzzaman
Monir Moniruzzaman Studies the Secrets of Giant Viruses
James M. Gaines | Jan 2, 2023 | 4 min read
The University of Miami researcher studies how a mysterious group of supersized viruses infects and influences the evolution of their hosts.
A mouse brain showing activated neurons (white) in the brainstem 3 hours after LPS injection.
Research Pinpoints the Neurons Behind Feeling Sick
James M. Gaines | Sep 23, 2022 | 5 min read
Specific neurons in the brainstem control sickness behaviors not directly caused by a pathogen, such as tiredness and lack of appetite, a mouse study finds.
Reddish shelf fungi on a log
This Fungus Has More Than 17,000 Sexes
James M. Gaines | Apr 20, 2022 | 4 min read
Advances in sequencing technologies have finally allowed researchers to zero in on the genetic diversity underlying the incredible mating system of shelf fungi.
Microscopic photograph of brain tissue demonstrating the characteristics of Alzheimer's disease
David Gate Probes Links Between Alzheimer’s and the Immune System
James M. Gaines | Nov 1, 2021 | 4 min read
The Northwestern University researcher studies how adaptive immune cells influence neurodegenerative disease.
a brain surrounded by pills
Years of Prozac Alter Lipids in Young Monkeys’ Brains: Study
James M. Gaines | Sep 10, 2021 | 4 min read
Long-term administration of the antidepressant fluoxetine was tied to decreased concentrations of about 100 different brain lipids in adolescent macaques, hinting at a potential mechanism underlying the drug’s rare but severe side effects.