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

Doby Photography/NPR
Jon Hamilton 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Jon Hamilton

Correspondent, Science Desk

Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience and health risks.

In 2014, Hamilton went to Liberia as part of the NPR team that covered Ebola. The team received a Peabody Award for its coverage.

Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Hamilton was part of NPR's team of science reporters and editors who went to Japan to cover the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Hamilton contributed several pieces to the Science Desk series "The Human Edge," which looked at what makes people the most versatile and powerful species on Earth. His reporting explained how humans use stories, how the highly evolved human brain is made from primitive parts, and what autism reveals about humans' social brains.

In 2009, Hamilton received the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for his piece on the neuroscience behind treating autism.

Before joining NPR in 1998, Hamilton was a media fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation studying health policy issues. He reported on states that have improved their Medicaid programs for the poor by enrolling beneficiaries in private HMOs.

From 1995-1997, Hamilton wrote on health and medical topics as a freelance writer, after having been a medical reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and Physician's Weekly.

Hamilton graduated with honors from Oberlin College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts in English. As a student, he was the editor of the Oberlin Review student newspaper. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he graduated with honors. During his time at Columbia, Hamilton was awarded the Baker Prize for magazine writing and earned a Sherwood traveling fellowship.

Story Archive

Tuesday

Lily Padula for NPR

In the womb, a brother's hormones can shape a sister's future

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Monday

How the sex of one fetus can affect its neighbors in the womb

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Thursday

Early in life, Sam (left) and John were much more similar than they may seem today. "They both did not wave, they didn't respond to their name, they both had a lot of repetitive movements," says their mother, Kim Leaird. Jodi Hilton for NPR hide caption

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Jodi Hilton for NPR

These identical twins both grew up with autism, but took very different paths

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Wednesday

Most caretakers of those with dementia need help navigating services, survey shows

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Tuesday

NIH scientists, studying Havana syndrome patients, find no physical trace of harm

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Monday

More studies challenge the idea that Havana syndrome comes from foreign adversaries

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Workers at the U.S. Embassy in Havana leave the building in September 2017. New research out of the National Institutes of Health finds no unusual pattern of damage in the brains of Havana syndrome patients. Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images hide caption

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Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Wednesday

Domestic violence is now recognized as a leading cause of traumatic brain injury

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Friday

Maria E. Garay-Serratos holds a framed photograph of her mother, who died after suffering decades of domestic violence. Scientists are trying to understand how domestic violence damages the brain. Julio Serratos/Maria E. Garay-Serratos hide caption

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Julio Serratos/Maria E. Garay-Serratos

Domestic violence may leave telltale damage in the brain. Scientists want to find it

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Tuesday

Researchers start studying traumatic brain injury from domestic violence

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Wednesday

Both President Biden and former President Donald Trump have made public gaffes on the campaign trail. Experts say such slips, on their own, are not cause for concern. Morry Gash/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Morry Gash/Pool/Getty Images

Recent gaffes by Biden and Trump may be signs of normal aging — or may be nothing

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Monday

Aging, memory and the presidency

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Wednesday

SDI Productions/Getty Images

Experiencing racism may physically change your brain

Scientists know that Black people are at a greater risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease than white people. A growing body of research shows that racism–in health systems and the effects of experiencing racial discrimination–contributes to these long-standing health disparities for Black communities. Now, some researchers are asking whether part of the explanation involves how racism changes the brain.

Experiencing racism may physically change your brain

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Friday

Willie B. Thomas/Getty Images

After domestic abuse ends, the effects of brain injuries can persist

At least one in four women — and a much smaller proportion of men — experiences intimate partner violence in their lifetime. For people in violent relationships, brain injuries are unfortunately common. But little is known about what exactly happens inside the brains of people dealing with domestic violence — and how these kinds of traumatic brain injuries may be different from those that come out of contact sports like football. Host Regina G. Barber talks with NPR brain correspondent Jon Hamilton about new research on the connection between domestic violence and traumatic brain injuries – and what makes these injuries unique.

After domestic abuse ends, the effects of brain injuries can persist

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Thursday

Newer blood tests can help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's disease without a brain scan or spinal tap. But some tests are more accurate than others. Tek Image/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

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Tek Image/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Blood tests can help diagnose Alzheimer's — if they're accurate enough. Not all are

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Wednesday

New blood tests can help diagnose Alzheimer's — but some aren't as accurate as others

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Friday

Scientists are using new technology to study the cells behind language comprehension

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Saturday

Science has found new evidence of the causes of fainting

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Thursday

Stage actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) reclines in a scene from an unnamed theater production. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A fibrous path 'twixt heart and brain may make you swoon

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Wednesday

An artistic rendering of deep brain stimulation. Scientists are studying this approach to see if it can treat cognitive impairment that can arise after a traumatic brain injury and other conditions. Andrew Janson / Butson Lab, University of Utah/NIH Image Gallery hide caption

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Andrew Janson / Butson Lab, University of Utah/NIH Image Gallery

A little electric stimulation in just the right spot may bolster a damaged brain

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Monday

A small study offers hope for people with traumatic brain injuries

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Thursday

Two brain circuits help determine whether there's too little salt, or too much. Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images hide caption

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Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images

Salty much? These brain cells decide when tasty becomes blech

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Tuesday

2 different brain circuits influence our taste for salt, study finds

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