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image: Infographic: Rare Disease by the Numbers

Infographic: Rare Disease by the Numbers

By The Scientist Staff | May 1, 2018

How rare conditions and research spending on them compare with more common diseases.

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image: Slow March Toward a Canavan Cure

Slow March Toward a Canavan Cure

By Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2018

Two decades after a successful crowdfunding campaign, some clinical trial patients have seen improvements—but there’s still no approved treatment for the disease.

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Though Calliope Joy’s disease is too far progressed to be treatable, her parents have helped other children with metachromatic leukodystrophy get access to an experimental therapy.

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image: How Bacteria Eat Penicillin

How Bacteria Eat Penicillin

By Shawna Williams | April 30, 2018

Scientists work out the specific genes and biochemical steps required for digesting the very drugs designed to kill microbes.

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DNA from a relative of the suspect submitted to the site GEDmatch gave investigators just enough information to identify him, but the process raises privacy concerns.

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image: Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

By Ruth Williams | April 25, 2018

Immune cells targeting maternal antigens are abundant in the blood of premature infants, suggesting fetal intolerance of mom may instigate early labor.  

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Researchers used the genome sequence of Artemisia annua to boost the plant’s production of artemisinin.

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Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.

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Drug-free environments, such as a designated ward in a hospital, might reduce the strength of selection for resistance.

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image: Image of the Day: Ant Attack!

Image of the Day: Ant Attack!

By The Scientist Staff | April 24, 2018

A new species of ant discovered in Borneo fends off invaders with a uniquely suicidal strategy.

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