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
illustration of a broken DNA strand
DNA Damage Makes Zebrafish Sleepy
Sophie Fessl | Nov 18, 2021
Buildup of a DNA-repair protein in brain cells spurs shut-eye in the fish, a study finds, and similar results in mice suggest the mechanism is widespread in animals.
group of paleolithic people around a campfire
Gene Variant Points to Starvation’s Evolutionary Legacy
Sophie Fessl | Sep 28, 2021
Ancient and modern genomes reveal that a variant of the human growth hormone receptor likely helped our ancestors survive when food was scarce.
salt on a black background
Salty Diet Helps Gut Bugs Fight Cancer in Mice: Study
Sophie Fessl | Sep 20, 2021
A high-salt diet suppressed the growth of tumors in a mouse model of melanoma, apparently because of an interplay between the gut microbiome and natural killer cells.
white mouse on wheel
Putative Exercise Hormone Irisin Boosts Mouse Brainpower
Sophie Fessl | Sep 10, 2021
Mice lacking irisin didn’t exhibit the cognition improvements that typically follow exercise, and in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, treatment with the hormone reduced cognitive decline.
A false-colored micrograph showing swirls of yellow, red, and magenta cells
Cross-Resistance: One Cancer Therapy Can Undermine the Next
Sophie Fessl | Jul 16, 2021
Targeted cancer therapy may jeopardize the effectiveness of subsequent immunotherapy by reducing dendritic cell numbers and activation, according to study of mice and patient samples.