October 2012

Volume 26 Issue 10

The Scientist October 2012 Cover

Cover Story

Lamarck and the Missing Lnc

By | October 1, 2012

Epigenetic changes accrued over an organism’s lifetime may leave a permanent heritable mark on the genome, through the help of long noncoding RNAs.

Featured Articles

image: Obama's Science Report Card

Obama's Science Report Card

By | October 1, 2012

A look at what the President achieved during his first term in the areas of health, space science, energy, environment, and science education

image: Pixel Perfect

Pixel Perfect

By | October 1, 2012

Presenting the best life science images and videos of 2012


Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Regenesis and The Half-Life of Facts



Meet some of the people featured in the October 2012 issue of The Scientist.


The Epigenetic Lnc

Long non-protein-coding RNA (lncRNA) sequences are often transcribed from the opposite, or antisense, strand of a protein coding gene. In the past few years, research has shown that these lncRNAs play a number of regulatory roles in the cell. For exa

2012 Labbies Honorable Mentions

Check out other memorable images and videos that were submitted to this year’s Labby Multimedia Awards.


The Science of Stowaways

A dock dislodged by 2011's Japanese tsunami washes ashore in Oregon, posing an invasive species threat, but also serving as an unprecedented natural experiment in open-ocean dispersal.


The Salinella salve Mystery

Salinella salve, an organism described as a single layer of cells, ciliated on both inner and outer surfaces and surrounding…

The Best of the 2012 Labbies

Check out image finalists and winners, as well as other memorable submissions to this year’s Labby Multimedia Awards.

The Literature

Drug Allergy in the Pocket

An HIV drug can bind to and alter the function of an immune molecule, causing a dangerous reaction in patients with a particular allele.

Sex Matters

Researchers reveal a new pathway of synaptic modulation in the hippocampus exclusive to females.


Mission: Possible

Cooperation, not competition, is the way forward.

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

October 2012's selection of notable quotes


Death Match

Cockfighting and other cultural practices in Southeast Asia could greatly aid the spread of deadly diseases like bird flu.

Like Father, Like Son

A 10-year-old boy spends his summer vacation helping his chemist dad solve the structure of complicated materials.

Home Cookin’

Laboratory-raised populations of dung beetles reveal a mother's extragenetic influence on the physiques of her sons.

Critic at Large

Science and Democracy

Researchers and conscientious citizens must unite against the partisan rancor in American politics and restore the role of scientific information in policymaking.

Medicines for the World

A global R&D treaty could boost innovation and improve the health of the world’s poor—and rich.

Modus Operandi

Live-Action Networks

Mass spec plus novel software equals dynamic views into the chemical lives of microbes.

The Literature

Closing the Gap

A new assay shows that cells use lamellipodia as their primary mechanism to seal up holes in epithelial tissue.


(Re)Programming Director

Unwilling to accept the finality of terminal differentiation, Helen Blau has honed techniques that showcase the flexibility of cells to adopt different identities.

Scientist to Watch

Tiago Branco: Neuron Whisperer

Senior Research Fellow, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London, Age: 34

Lab Tools

The Sharper Image

Advances in light microscopy allow the mapping of cell migration during embryogenesis and capture dynamic processes at the cellular level.

“Alive” and In Focus

Imaging viruses in action


So You Want to Write a Book?

Advice on authoring a textbook, popular nonfiction, or even a novel

Reading Frames

True Colors

The biological and social ramifications of skin pigmentation are too often ignored by scientists, teachers, and the general public.


Gone Missing, circa 1892

A unique organism sighted only once, more than a century ago, could shed light on the evolution of multicellularity—if it ever actually existed.

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