Michaeleen Doucleff Michaeleen Doucleff is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk.
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Michaeleen Doucleff

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Michaeleen Doucleff 2016
Sanjit Das/NPR

Michaeleen Doucleff

Correspondent, Science Desk

Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD, is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. For nearly a decade, she has been reporting for the radio and the web for NPR's global health outlet, Goats and Soda. Doucleff focuses on disease outbreaks, cross-cultural parenting, and women and children's health.

In 2014, Doucleff was part of the team that earned a George Foster Peabody award for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. For the series, Doucleff reported on how the epidemic ravaged maternal health and how the virus spreads through the air. In 2019, Doucleff and Senior Producer Jane Greenhalgh produced a story about how Inuit parents teach children to control their anger. That story was the most popular one on NPR.org for the year; altogether readers have spent more than 16 years worth of time reading it.

In 2021, Doucleff published a book, called Hunt, Gather, Parent, stemming from her reporting at NPR. That book became a New York Times bestseller.

Before coming to NPR in 2012, Doucleff was an editor at the journal Cell, where she wrote about the science behind pop culture. Doucleff has a bachelor degree in biology from Caltech, a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Berkeley, California, and a master's degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis.

Story Archive

Wednesday

Caitlynn Almance (wearing orange) poses for a portrait with family members at her parents' home in Odessa, Texas. "The bond my siblings have with each other — it's just the most beautiful bond ever," says Caitlynn, who was six months pregnant in this photo taken in early March. Danielle Villasana for NPR hide caption

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Danielle Villasana for NPR

How do you get siblings to be nice to each other? These Latino families have an answer

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Sunday

The author's 8-year-old daughter, Rosy, has a "kids' license," showing she has her parents' permission to ride her bike around her Texas hometown. Michaeleen Doucleff hide caption

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Michaeleen Doucleff

Wednesday

Scientists study brains to understand the joy that's felt when caring for siblings

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Wednesday

A 15th century woodcut depicts a patient suffering from the bubonic plague. A pandemic of the disease, the Black Death, killed an estimated 50 million people in Europe between 1346 and 1353. Pictures from History/Universal Images Group/Getty Images hide caption

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Pictures from History/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Friday

A child from the Mbendjele people, a hunter-gatherer community that lives in the northern rainforests of the Republic of Congo. A new study found that children in this society have on average 8 caregivers in addition to the mother to provide hands-on attention. Nikhil Chaudhary hide caption

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Nikhil Chaudhary

Bringing up a baby can be a tough and lonely job. Here's a solution: alloparents

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Wednesday

People likely aren't adapted to care for newborn babies alone, new study suggests

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Sunday

Jose Grajeda and daughter, Victoria. "If I wanted to go to sleep as a child, I would go cuddle with my mom and she would give me piojito," he says — Spanish for "little lice." The late Peruvian linguist Martha Hidlebrandt described piojito as "gently scratching the scalp of a child as if he were being relieved of the itching of imaginary lice" — hence the name. Jessica Lutz/for NPR hide caption

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Jessica Lutz/for NPR

You don't need words to calm a grumpy kid. Parents around the world use a magic touch

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Monday

A fiber found in barley, called beta-glucan, may improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure and increase satiation between meals, research shows. LauriPatterson/Getty Images hide caption

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LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Less snacking, more satisfaction: Some foods boost levels of an Ozempic-like hormone

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Monday

Diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss drug Wegovy seem to curb other cravings

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Some people who take Ozempic and Wegovy report it tamps down their cravings for alcohol, and they're drinking less. lucentius/Getty Images hide caption

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Ozempic seems to curb cravings for alcohol. Here's what scientists think is going on

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Wednesday

Wednesday

Are smartphones safe for tweens? Parents should be aware of the risks, a screen consultant advises. Elva Etienne/Getty Images hide caption

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Elva Etienne/Getty Images

So your tween wants a smartphone? Read this first

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Thursday

Study examines what aspects of mental health are tied to doing well in math, English

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Wednesday

Adults should be screened for anxiety disorders, leading health panel recommends

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Tuesday

Adults should be screened for anxiety disorders, health panel recommends

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Saturday

'Anti-dopamine parenting' can curb a kid's craving for screens or sweets

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Monday

Dopamine is part of an ancient neural pathway that ensures human survival. It is also part of the reason it is so hard to stop playing a video game or pass up a cupcake. Meredith Miotke/for NPR hide caption

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Meredith Miotke/for NPR

'Anti-dopamine parenting' can curb a kid's craving for screens or sweets

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Wednesday

Many teens and young adults struggle with overuse of screens. They also have good advice for how to have a healthy relationship with social media. Rose Wong for NPR hide caption

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Rose Wong for NPR

Teens say social media is stressing them out. Here's how to help them

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Wednesday

In 2009, only about half of teens said they used social media every day. By 2022, 95% of teens said they used some social media — and about a third say they use it constantly, a poll from Pew Research Center found. Owen Franken/Getty Images hide caption

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Owen Franken/Getty Images

We need to talk about teens, social media and mental health

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Tuesday

There's growing evidence that social media use can contribute to mental health issues among teens. A new health advisory suggests ways to protect them. martin-dm/Getty Images hide caption

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Major psychologists' group warns of social media's potential harm to kids

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Friday

The author's daughter, Rosy, with two of the family chickens. Among Rosy's discoveries: "When the sun goes down, they all go up into the coop and go to bed. Nobody has to tell them it's bedtime." Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR hide caption

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Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR

I got 15 mail-order chicks. They ended up changing my life

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Thursday

Weekly dose of wonder: The glorious sounds of chickens

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Tuesday

For years, the research picture on how social media affects teen mental health has been murky. That is changing as scientists find new tools to answer the question. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The truth about teens, social media and the mental health crisis

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Monday

Chelsea Beck for NPR