A black and white headshot of Katherine Irving

Katherine Irving

Katherine Irving is an intern at The Scientist. She studied creative writing, biology, and geology at Macalester College, where she honed her skills in journalism and podcast production and conducted research on dinosaur bones in Montana. Her work has previously been featured in Science.  

Articles by Katherine Irving
Photo of Claudia Gerri
Claudia Gerri Studies the Mysteries of the Placenta
Katherine Irving | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
At the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the developmental biologist is probing the maternal-fetal interface across mammalian species.
a human neuron illuminated in bright green on a black background.
Mitochondrial Metabolism Dictates Neurons’ Growth Rate
Katherine Irving | Jan 30, 2023 | 4 min read
Altering the rate of respiration in mitochondria changes how fast neurons grow, making mouse neurons grow more like human ones and vice versa, a study finds.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm
Double Agents: Engineered Bacteria Tackle Pathogenic Biofilms in Mice
Katherine Irving | Jan 26, 2023 | 3 min read
Mycoplasma pneumoniae with pathogenic genes replaced by biofilm-degrading ones enhance survival in a mouse model of ventilator-associated pneumonia.
a centrifuge from a birds-eye view, spinning quickly with a colored blur 
Scientists Use Centrifuge to Discover a Hormone
Katherine Irving | Jan 23, 2023 | 3 min read
A new method for isolating extracellular fluid aims to discover molecules with therapeutic potential that were previously obscured by highly abundant proteins.
a newly hatched mosquito sits on top of water, with its discarded cocoon floating below
In Vitro Malaria Sporozoite Production May Lead to Cheaper Vaccines
Katherine Irving | Jan 20, 2023 | 4 min read
A method for culturing the infectious stage of the Plasmodium lifecycle could increase malaria vaccine production efficiency by tenfold, study authors say.
three black mice lined up next to each other. the one on the left, fed a low-fat diet, has one small bald patch, the middle mouse, fed fish oil, has a large bald spot across its shoulders and back, and the right mouse, fed cocoa butter, has no baldness.
Fish Oil in Diet Can Cause Hair Loss in Mice, Study Finds
Katherine Irving | Jan 19, 2023 | 3 min read
The oil’s omega-3 fatty acids accumulate in the mice’s skin, triggering an immune response that causes hair loss.
a hand reaches towards a pack of cigarettes
Newly Identified Neural Signature of Drug Craving Could Predict Drug Use
Katherine Irving | Jan 11, 2023 | 4 min read
The signature could one day be used to improve treatment planning for people with substance abuse disorders.
A black-and-white photo of a person’s hands holding a black-and-white barred chicken. The feathers of its breast have been pulled back to reveal a large tumor.
Transmissible Tumors, 1909
Katherine Irving | Jan 2, 2023 | 2 min read
Pathologist Peyton Rous made a groundbreaking discovery in the early 20th century, but his work wasn’t widely recognized until more than 40 years later. 
a white mouse sits on a blue exercise wheel, looking out onto the shavings below
Mice With a Healthy Gut Microbiome Are More Motivated to Exercise
Katherine Irving | Dec 16, 2022 | 4 min read
A neural pathway between the gut and the brain led to the release of dopamine when the mice ran on a wheel or treadmill, but only in the presence of a robust microbiome. 
a person pours whiskey into a glass held by another person, with a smoking cigar in a tray in front
Study of Millions Finds Genetic Links to Smoking and Drinking 
Katherine Irving | Dec 9, 2022 | 3 min read
In the largest study of its kind, scientists find nearly 4,000 genetic variants that may predispose people to alcohol and tobacco use behaviors.