Elaina Hancock

Elaina (Laina) Hancock came to UConn as a graduate student and earned her master’s degree in microbiology in 2009. Laina first dipped her toes in writing for the Ka Leo student newspaper while studying pre-medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Though she never became an M.D. or Ph.D., Laina kept writing and brings experiences of being a student, researcher, and teaching assistant to her storytelling for UConn Today. After moving more than a dozen times growing up as an Army brat, she now lives in Storrs with her family but still travels whenever possible and dreams of returning to a more nomadic life someday. When not at work, you can find Laina in her garden, on a bike, lost in a book, or at a protest.

Author Archive

3d illustration of cleaning effect on blurry living room. Transparent shield protecting against germs, viruses and harmful microbes.

Home Sweet Home: A Study of the ‘Chemical Soup’ in our Houses

Microbial traces of everything from coffee to antidepressants make up the invisible environment in our indoor spaces

Vegetables including kale, yellow squash, and a red pepper on a plate. (healthy food) Jan. 20, 2021. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Can Food Taxes and Subsidies Help Improve Health Outcomes?

Researchers are working to connect the dots between fiscal food policies and consumer health

Aerial image of combine harvesting soybeans at sunset in a field in the Midwest United States.

A Perfect Storm for US Agriculture

Short-term solutions to the current crunch are conspicuous by their absence

Michelle Hernandez holding the mounted spicebush specimen

Herbarium Milestone: Preserving our Past, Present, and Future

'This is a record of the natural history of the state'

Bacteria macro photographed media in petri dishes in the laboratory.

UConn Researchers Team Up to Unravel Mysteries of Puzzling Bacterial Signals in Our Blood

A 'Goldilocks Phenomenon' that could be good or bad, depending on a range of factors

Extreme terrain of remote red soil outback in Australia around Broken hill and railway track - aerial landscape.

Palms at the Poles: Fossil Plants Reveal Lush Southern Hemisphere Forests in Ancient Hothouse Climate

Ancient plants provide clues about life on earth in a warmer, wetter climate

A crowd of people on a busy city street, some wearing masks and some not.

Human Behavior is Key to Building a Better Long-term COVID Forecast

Understanding how people react to COVID-19 helps improve long-term forecasts about the illness, researchers have found

Soy products: soy flour, tofu, soy milk, soy sauce.

For Plant-based Proteins, Soy is a Smart Choice

This bean's versatility makes it an increasingly popular alternative to meat and dairy products

UConn Ph.D. student Raul Flamenco.

An Unapologetic Love of Nature

How representation helped set a UConn Ph.D. student on the path to rediscover his truest self

This photo shows sand lance embryos that have and have not hatched. Sand lance have trouble hatching at future ocean CO2 levels.

Under Ocean Acidification, Embryos of a Key Forage Fish Struggle to Hatch

A potential ripple effect from carbon in the atmosphere could have severe impacts throughout the ocean ecosystem