Headshot of Sophie Fessl

Sophie Fessl, PhD

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, PhD
An artist’s rendition of transcription inside a nucleus
Hypertranscription by Tumors Is Linked to Poorer Cancer Outcomes: Study
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Dec 13, 2022 | 3 min read
The extent to which transcription is higher in tumor cells than in surrounding nontumor cells is associated with bad prognoses in several cancer types.
Three white mice
High-Fat Diet in Mice Affects Social Behavior Across Generations
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Oct 27, 2022 | 4 min read
Pups born to mice whose mothers had been fed a high-fat diet showed social deficits, a study shows. 
Microscopy image of the cnidarian <em>Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus&nbsp;</em>with cell nuclei stained blue and oocytes stained yellow
Ancient Immunoglobulin Genes Help Cnidarians Decide to Fight or Fuse
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Oct 11, 2022 | 4 min read
Immunoglobulin genes might have evolved much earlier than previously expected, perhaps even in the common ancestor of Cnidarians and Bilateria, a study suggests.
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, PhD | Sep 29, 2022 | 6 min read
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, PhD | Sep 13, 2022 | 3 min read
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, PhD | Aug 30, 2022 | 3 min read
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, PhD | Aug 19, 2022 | 5 min read
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, PhD | Aug 18, 2022 | 5 min read
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, PhD | Aug 5, 2022 | 3 min read
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&nbsp;
Q&A: Whole Genomes of 150,000 Britons Reveal Novel Genetic Variants
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Aug 5, 2022 | 5 min read
Height and onset of menarche are among traits linked to previously unidentified genetic variants in noncoding regions of the human genome.