Nikk Ogasa is a staff writer who focuses on the physical sciences for Science News, based in Brooklyn, New York. He has a master's degree in geology from McGill University, where he studied how ancient earthquakes helped form large gold deposits. He earned another master's degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His stories have been published in ScienceScientific American, Mongabay and the Mercury News, and he was the summer 2021 science writing intern at Science News.

All Stories by Nikk Ogasa

  1. Two people sample whiskey from a wood cask

     Mixing gold ions into whiskey can reveal its flavor

    By changing the spirit’s color, the formation of gold nanoparticles can reveal how much flavor a whiskey has absorbed from its wood cask.
  2. black and white image of Louis Armstrong holding a trumpet surround by other jazz musicians

    Here’s where jazz gets its swing

    Swing, the feeling of a rhythm in jazz music that compels feet to tap, may arise from near-imperceptible delays in musicians’ timing, a study shows.
  3. Large surface proteins with chains of sugars (illustrated, yellow) are shown on the outside of a cancer cell in this illustration of bioorthogonal or click chemistry, the subject of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

     A way to snap molecules together like Lego wins 2022 chemistry Nobel

    Click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry allow scientists to build complex molecules in the lab and in living cells.
  4. Robin Wordsworth stands in front of a martian meteorite exhibit wearing a gray sweater and glasses
    Planetary Science

     Robin Wordsworth re-creates the atmosphere of ancient Mars

    Robin Wordsworth studies the climates of Mars and other alien worlds to find out whether they could support life.
  5. a rock that contains the yellow-green mineral olivine

    Here’s how olivine may trigger deep earthquakes

    Olivine’s transformation into another mineral can destabilize rocks and set off quakes more than 300 kilometers down, experiments suggest.
  6. Yeast DNA transcription

     50 years ago, genes eluded electron microscopes

    In the 1970s, scientists dreamed of seeing genes under the microscope. Fifty years later, powerful new tools are helping to make that dream come true.
  7. An illustration of a huge asteroid crashing into ocean. An ancient sea creature is visible under the water

     Not one, but two asteroids might have slain the dinosaurs

    A craterlike structure found off West Africa’s coast might have been formed by an asteroid impact around the same time the dinosaurs went extinct.
  8. A child throwing a toy football to an older man standing in the driveway of a suburban neighborhood

     Spiraling footballs wobble at one of two specific frequencies

    Researchers simulated the path of a flying football to study how pigskins wobble and why they drift sideways.
  9. dark field microscope images of long, thin cable bacteria filaments

     Electrical bacteria may help clean oil spills and curb methane emissions

    Cable bacteria are living electrical wires that may become a tool to reduce methane emissions and clean oil spills.
  10. array of reflectors around a tower with a solar reactor

     How to make jet fuel from sunlight, air and water vapor

    Solar kerosene could one day replace petroleum-derived jet fuel in airplanes and help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.
  11. buildings of Lyon, France under a cloudy sky

     Underground heat pollution could be tapped to mitigate climate change

    Data from thousands of groundwater well sites in Europe reveal that more than half of the locations possess usable underground heat.
  12. photo of an ice stupa fountain in India’s Ladakh region

     How to build better ice towers for drinking water and irrigation

    “Ice stupas” emerged in 2014 as a way to cope with climate change shrinking glaciers. Automation could help improve the cones’ construction.