Jef Akst

Jef Akst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf Coast of Tampa and performing behavioral experiments at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, she left research to pursue a career in science writing. As managing editor, Jef edits the magazine’s Features and writes articles across the publication.

Articles by Jef Akst
Collage of images including sperm, bacteria, coral, and an illustration of a researcher
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021
Jef Akst | Dec 2, 2021
Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.
Headshot of Sherif Zaki
CDC Pathology Investigator Dies Unexpectedly at 65
Jef Akst | Nov 23, 2021
Sherif Zaki worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 30 years, and was renowned for uncovering crucial intel on various outbreak-causing scourges, from Ebola and Zika to SARS and influenza.
Illustration of neurons in white with myelin in blue
Repurposed Drug Reverses Signs of Alzheimer’s in Mice, Human Cells
Jef Akst | Oct 12, 2021
Researchers say they hope to launch a clinical trial to test bumetanide, a diuretic approved in 2002, but how it might improve neural functioning is unclear.
Updated Nov 19
A healthcare worker holds up three syringes with clear medicine
To Booster or Not: Scientists and Regulators Debate
Jef Akst | Sep 16, 2021
President Biden’s planned rollout of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses is set to begin next week, but questions remain about who should get them.
Black-and-white headshot of Aubrey de Grey
Aubrey de Grey on Leave After Sexual Harassment Allegations
Jef Akst | Aug 11, 2021
Last night, two women publicly accused the famed anti-aging researcher of inappropriately bringing up sex in the workplace, and they say they are not his only victims.
Pink-toned illustration of the uterus with a zoom of the inflamed cervix and of the uterine endometrium and immune cells found there
Infographic: Research Questions to Be Tackled by Uterus Transplants
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
Scientists are banking various samples from recipients of donated uteruses to learn all they can about the biology of the organ, and about transplantation more generally.
Study Looks for Effects of Fetal Exposure to Air Pollution
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
By measuring various pollutants in the immediate vicinity of pregnant women and tracking brain development of their children, researchers in Barcelona aim to untangle any influence the former has on the latter.
A New View of My Own Past
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
Hearing others’ perspectives on infertility and pregnancy has me reconsidering my own reproductive journey.
An illustration of flowers in the shape of the female reproductive tract
Uterus Transplants Hit the Clinic
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
With human research trials resulting in dozens of successful deliveries in the US and abroad, doctors move toward offering the surgery clinically, while working to learn all they can about uterine and transplant biology from the still-rare procedure.
A stamp with a checkmark and the word FDA approved lying on its side on a white background.
Biogen Defends Newly Approved Alzheimer’s Drug
Jef Akst | Jul 27, 2021
The US Food and Drug Administration has called for a federal investigation of its own regulatory review process after widespread criticism of its decision on Aduhelm.