ruth williams

Ruth Williams

Ruth is a freelance journalist and regular correspondent for The Scientist, writing news for the website and monthly Modus Operandi articles for the magazine. Before freelancing, Ruth was a news editor for the Journal of Cell Biology in New York and an assistant editor for Nature Reviews Neuroscience in London. Prior to that, she was a bona fide pipette-wielding, test tube–shaking, lab coat–shirking research scientist. She has a PhD in genetics from King’s College London, and was a postdoc in stem cell biology at Imperial College London. Today she lives and writes in Connecticut.

Articles by Ruth Williams
Artist's impression of the human microbiome
Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link
Ruth Williams | Nov 11, 2021
The unbalanced gut flora present in some people with autism is not a driver of the condition but rather a consequence of eating behaviors characteristic of the condition, a new study claims.
oil in water
Stress-Induced Molecular Globs Boost Bacterial Fitness
Ruth Williams | Oct 21, 2021
Liquid conglomerations of molecules that form in bacterial cells in response to stress promote the cells’ survival, a study finds.
brain scan showing uptake of tratuzumab into tumor (arrow)
Sound Waves Aid Brain Tumor Treatment
Ruth Williams | Oct 13, 2021
In a small clinical study, focusing ultrasound beams on tumors in patients’ brains helped open the blood-brain barrier to facilitate drug delivery.
blind mole rat
Blind Mole Rats Use Junk DNA to Combat Cancer
Ruth Williams | Sep 30, 2021
Activation of retrotransposons in the animals’ cancerous cells sets off an innate immune response that triggers cell death.
Fruit flies in a vial
Accurate Protein Production Promotes Longevity
Ruth Williams | Sep 15, 2021
Worms, flies, and yeast live longer if the fidelity of their protein-making machinery is improved, a study shows.
Abstract illustration of DNA
Signaling Dynamics Fine-Tune Gene Expression
Ruth Williams | Sep 3, 2021
The dynamic behavior of a transcriptional activator can be used to specify the activity level of its target gene, a study suggests.
Mouse heart cells that have taken up adipocyte-derived extracellular vesicles (stained red)
Fat Cells Send Mitochondrial Distress Signals to the Heart
Ruth Williams | Aug 20, 2021
Vesicles containing fragments of the organelles released from stressed adipocytes protect the heart against oxygen deprivation, a study in mice shows.
Plant cryptospore fossil found in 480 million-year-old Australian rock
Discovered: Fossilized Spores Suggestive of Early Land Plants
Ruth Williams | Aug 12, 2021
Spores found in 480 million-year-old rock bring the fossil record in line with molecular estimates of when plants first adapted to life on land.
Photo of newborn mouse pups
Retinal Activity Prepares Blind Newborn Mice for Vision
Ruth Williams | Jul 22, 2021
Spontaneous waves of nerve impulses flowing across the retina help mouse pups practice motion detection for when they eventually open their eyes.
Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock
Ruth Williams | Jul 14, 2021
The material, now part of an African mountain range, bolsters the idea that hydrothermal veins supported early forms of life.