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image: Learning Addiction

Learning Addiction

By | July 13, 2011

Eleanor Simpson, a neuroscientist at Columbia University Medical Center, discusses a recent Nature paper that probes dopamine's role in helping animals make positive associations to stimuli that herald pleasurable outcomes (such as the handing out of food).

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image: Repainting Ancient Birds

Repainting Ancient Birds

By | July 1, 2011

Using synchrotron rapid scanning X-ray fluorescence to map the distribution of trace metals in avian fossils over 120 million-year-old, researchers reconstruct the pigment patterns of their feathers—revealing some of the extinct birds' long-lost colors.

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image: Scanning Ancient Animal Mummies

Scanning Ancient Animal Mummies

By | July 1, 2011

A collection of ancient Egyptian animal mummies from the Brooklyn Museum is subjected to the powerful X-rays of a CT scanner in order to peer through the centuries-old packaging. 

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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By | July 1, 2011

The optogenetic toolset is composed of genetically encoded molecules that, when targeted to specific neurons in the brain, enable the electrical activity of those neurons to be driven or silenced by light. 

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image: Exosome Basics

Exosome Basics

By | July 1, 2011

Exosomes are small membrane vesicles secreted by most cell types. Internal vesicles form by the inward budding of cellular compartments known as multivesicular endosomes (MVE). 

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image: Best in Academia, 2011

Best in Academia, 2011

By | July 1, 2011

Meet some of the finalists of this year's Best Places to Work in Academia survey. 

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image: Meet the Crystal Smasher

Meet the Crystal Smasher

By | July 1, 2011

Take a tour of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), whose ultra-powerful X-ray beam is being used to solve the structures of proteins that are notoriously hard to crystallize.

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image: Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

By | July 1, 2011

This animation illustrates optogenetics—a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light. 

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image: Smashing Crystals

Smashing Crystals

July 1, 2011

A powerful new X-ray–generating laser is imaging smaller crystals than ever before.

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image: Fish fear from above

Fish fear from above

By | June 15, 2011

Coral reefs are fraught with danger for herbivores such as damselfish and tangs. Venturing out from the safety of the reef’s colorful cracks and crevices to feed means risking being devoured by predators that patrol the warm waters. 

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