Headshot of Sophie Fessl

Sophie Fessl

Sophie Fessl is a freelance science journalist. She has a PhD in developmental neurobiology from King’s College London and a degree in biology from the University of Oxford. After completing her PhD, she swapped her favorite neuroscience model, the fruit fly, for pen and paper.

Articles by Sophie Fessl
A photo of King Charles III, then formally Prince of Wales, wearing a dark suit, shown from the shoulders up.
The Unscientific King: Charles III’s History Promoting Homeopathy
Sophie Fessl | Sep 29, 2022
King Charles III has a long history of promoting homeopathic or alternative medical treatments not supported by scientific evidence.
artistic representation of jumping gene
Jumping Genes Can Cause Movement Disorder: Study
Sophie Fessl | Sep 13, 2022
Mice with overactive LINE-1 retrotransposons in their brains exhibit movement difficulties, suggesting the genetic elements may play a role in ataxia in humans. 
illustration of many DNA strands
Doppelgängers Similar in Looks and DNA: Study
Sophie Fessl | Aug 30, 2022
Look-alikes are also more likely to share lifestyle traits.
A close up of filing folders with tabs that read "funding," "grants," and "projects"
Agreement Reached on Research Assessment Reforms
Sophie Fessl | Aug 19, 2022
The document, which was facilitated by the European Commission, establishes new benchmarks regarding how research assessments should be performed.
Close-up of a mosquito antenna with hair-like protrusions and fluorescently labeled glomeruli as green circles on the shaft
The Neuroscience Behind Why Mosquitoes Always Find You
Sophie Fessl | Aug 18, 2022
Neurons in mosquito antennae can express more than one olfactory receptor at a time, a redundancy that likely ensures they don’t lose a potential host’s scent.
black-and-white brain scan showing tumor
Glioblastoma Cells Imitate Immature Neurons to Invade the Brain
Sophie Fessl | Aug 5, 2022
Neuron-like glioblastoma cells are the pioneers of deadly tumors’ spread through the brain, contributing to their devastating invasiveness, a study in mice finds.
genome sequence text on screen 
Q&A: Whole Genomes of 150,000 Britons Reveal Novel Genetic Variants
Sophie Fessl | Aug 5, 2022
Height and onset of menarche are among traits linked to previously unidentified genetic variants in noncoding regions of the human genome.
Artist’s 3D rendering of malignant cancer cells, illustrated in pink, as it would appear under a scanning electron microscope.
Underdog Enzyme Likely Responsible for Mutations in Most Cancers
Sophie Fessl | Jul 28, 2022
A previously overlooked enzyme called APOBEC3A is linked to the most prevalent mutational signatures in cancer cell lines, a study finds.
an artistic rendering of CRISPR/Cas9
Ten Years of CRISPR
Sophie Fessl | Jun 28, 2022
This month marks ten years since CRISPR-Cas9 was repurposed as a gene editing system, so we’re looking back at what has been accomplished in a decade of CRISPR editing.
mouse nose peeking out from between two yellow objects
Not-so-Mellow Yellow: Pregnant Mice’s Urine Stresses Out Males
Sophie Fessl | Jun 20, 2022
An odorant found in the pee of pregnant mice—and in bananas—induces stress but also relieves pain in male mice, a study shows.