Veronique Greenwood

Contributing Writer

A brain full of “explosive” activity may lead to an earlier death than one with steadier “candles” of activity.
aging

Longevity Linked to Proteins That Calm Overexcited Neurons

November 26, 2019

New research makes a molecular connection between the brain and aging — and shows that overactive neurons can shorten life span.

Art for "The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses"
chronobiology

The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses

May 30, 2019

Viruses and other parasites may sync with their host’s biological clock — or reset it — to gain an advantage.

Art for "How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable"
ecology

How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable

September 26, 2018

Paradoxically, the abundance of tight interactions among living species usually leads to disasters in ecological models. New analyses hint at how nature seemingly defies the math.

Art for "You Are Getting Sleepy — Tagged Proteins May Point to Why"
neuroscience

You Are Getting Sleepy — Tagged Proteins May Point to Why

August 21, 2018

The identification of SNIPPs, a set of proteins found primarily at the brain’s synapses, brings science closer to understanding why we need to sleep.

Illustration for "Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait"
genomics

Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait

June 20, 2018

The more closely geneticists look at complex traits and diseases, the harder it gets to find active genes that don’t play some part in them.

Illustration for "How Many Genes Do Cells Need? Maybe Almost All of Them"
genomics

How Many Genes Do Cells Need? Maybe Almost All of Them

April 19, 2018

An ambitious study in yeast shows that the health of cells depends on the highly intertwined effects of many genes, few of which can be deleted together without consequence.

520px illustration for cell incubation time.
mathematical biology

Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues

March 1, 2018

The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.

Illustration of gut sending signals to kidneys.
physiology

How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure

November 30, 2017

Kidneys sniff out signals from gut bacteria for cues to lower blood pressure after meals. Our understanding of how the symbiotic microbes affect health is becoming much more molecular.

Frozen clock photo
Abstractions blog

The Overlooked Link Between Two of This Year’s Nobel Prizes

November 27, 2017

To better understand the molecules described by the latest prize in medicine, we will need the technique recognized by the latest prize in chemistry.

About the author

Veronique Greenwood is a science writer and essayist. Her work has appeared in The New York Times MagazineSmithsonian, Discover, Aeon and other publications.