Jon Hamilton Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk.
Jon Hamilton 2010
Stories By

Jon Hamilton

Recruiting patients for medical studies has been challenging during the pandemic, especially older people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Getty Images

A Big Alzheimer's Drug Study Is Proceeding Cautiously Despite The Pandemic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/925493843/925501127" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Brain cells that monitor liquid, mineral and salt levels in the body influence what types of drinks we crave when thirsty. Krisanapong Detraphiphat/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Krisanapong Detraphiphat/Getty Images

Water Or A Sports Drink? These Brain Cells May Decide Which One We Crave

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/923658129/923737097" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

African Americans and other underrepresented minorities make up only about 5% of the people in genetics research studies. janiecbros/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
janiecbros/Getty Images

Neuroscience Has A Whiteness Problem. This Research Project Aims To Fix It

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/915783973/916625460" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists used light to control the firing of specific cells to artificially create a rhythm in the brain that acted like the drug ketamine enjoynz/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
enjoynz/Getty Images

Scientists Say A Mind-Bending Rhythm In The Brain Can Act Like Ketamine

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/913565163/913693842" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The mouse on the right has been engineered to have four times the muscle mass of a normal lab mouse. A drug to achieve the same effect was recently tested in space. Se-Jin Lee/PLOS One hide caption

toggle caption
Se-Jin Lee/PLOS One

Drug That Bulked Up Mice In Space Might Someday Help Astronauts Make Long Voyages

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/910776985/910779534" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Researchers Find A Drug That Could Allow Astronauts Spend Years In Space

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/910504980/910507813" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Patients with a fast-progressing form of ALS who got daily doses of an experimental two-drug combination called AMX0035 scored higher on a standard measure of function than patients who didn't get the drug. Zephyr/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Zephyr/Science Source

Drug Combination Slows Progression Of ALS And Could Mark 'New Era' In Treatment

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/908874110/908874111" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Despite the challenges, distance learning can work well for some students with ADHD, researchers say. Some of those who aren't around peers are finding it easier to focus. Imgorthand/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Imgorthand/Getty Images

Remote Learning's Distractions Put Extra Pressure On Students With ADHD

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/907995034/908165762" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Distance Learning Presents A Challenge For Students With ADHD

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/908031925/908031928" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In 2019, the FDA approved Spravato for patients with major depressive disorder who hadn't responded to other treatments. Now, the agency is adding patients who are having suicidal thoughts or have recently attempted to harm themselves or take their own lives. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Nasal Spray Is A New Antidepressant Option For People At High Risk of Suicide

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/900272454/900324927" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

FDA Approves A Nasal Spray To Treat Patients Who Are Suicidal

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/899060885/899060886" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Conner Curran, 9, (right) and his brother Will, 7, at their home in Ridgefield, Conn., this week. The gene therapy treatment that stopped the muscle wasting of Conner's muscular dystrophy two years ago took more than 30 years of research to develop. Kholood Eid for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Kholood Eid for NPR

Several lines of evidence now suggest that two common vaccines against respiratory illnesses can help protect against Alzheimer's, too. How much brain protection they offer will require more intensive study to quantify, scientists say. Themba Hadebe/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Themba Hadebe/AP

Flu Shot And Pneumonia Vaccine Might Reduce Alzheimer's Risk, Research Shows

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/894731147/895651374" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Researchers Hope Experimental Gene Therapy Is An Answer To A Fatal Genetic Disorder

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/893227074/893227075" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This light micrograph from the brain of someone who died with Alzheimer's disease shows the plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that are typical of the disease. A glitch that prevents healthy cell structures from transitioning from one phase to the next might contribute to the tangles, researchers say. Jose Luis Calvo/ Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Jose Luis Calvo/ Science Source