Sugar Metabolism Gone Awry

Volume 26 Issue 12 | December 2012




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


In the Long Run

Can emulating our early human ancestors make us healthier?

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

December 2012's selection of notable quotes


Polly Wanna Genome?

Puerto Rican businesses and residents come together to support the genomic sequencing of the island’s only native parrot species, hoping to help protect the endangered bird.

Deleted Forever

By tapping local knowledge among African pastoralists and veterinarians, researchers successfully eradicated a deadly livestock virus—and are looking to replicate their success to halt other epidemics.

Genomics 101

Undergraduate students delve into genomics and synthetic biology thanks to a new breed of technologically advanced courses.

Searching for Snails

A graduate student rediscovers a snail species officially declared extinct in 2000.

Critic at Large

Genomic Inequality

To successfully use a patient’s genetic makeup in a clinical setting, we must better understand the incredible diversity of human genomes.  

Critic at Large

The Value of Your Genome

Genome sequencing: it’s not for everyone

Modus Operandi

Microchannel Masterpiece

A precision microfluidic system enables single-cell analysis of growth and division.

Cover Story

Fat's Immune Sentinels

Certain immune cells keep adipose tissue in check by helping to define normal and abnormal physiological states.


Metabolism and the Brain

Evidence for the role of insulin in mediating normal and abnormal brain function may lead to new treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Top 10 Innovations 2012

The Scientist’s 5th installment of its annual competition attracted submissions from across the life science spectrum. Here are the best and brightest products of the year.

The Literature

How Plants Feel

A hormone called jasmonate mediates plants' responses to touch and can boost defenses against pests.

Waking Cancer Cells

A protein called Coco rouses dormant breast cancer cells in the lung.

The Plastic Genome

The poxvirus stockpiles genes when it needs to adapt.


An Epi Phenomenon

While exploring the genetics of a rare type of tumor, Stephen Baylin discovered an epigenetic modification that occurs in most every cancer—a finding he’s helping bring to the clinic.

Scientist to Watch

Neil Bence: Manipulating Degradation

Senior Scientist, Millennium Pharmaceuticals: The Takeda Oncology Company Age: 39

Lab Tools

Hit Parade

Cell-based assays are popular for high-throughput screens, where they strike a balance between ease of use and similarity to the human body that researchers aim to treat.

High on High Content

A guide to some new and improved high-content screening systems


Lab 2.0

Apps and software for improving lab productivity

Reading Frames

Playing the Field

The role of field biologists is changing as conservation biology evolves and ecological challenges mount.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Unusual Creatures, Extinct Boids, The Mating Lives of Birds and A World in One Cubic Foot


The Look of Emotion, circa 1868

Researchers at Cambridge recreate an experiment first performed by Charles Darwin to understand how humans interpret facial expressions.


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