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image: Pain-Free Love

Pain-Free Love

By Jef Akst | July 1, 2011

Love can buffer people from pain by invoking feelings of safety and reassurance.

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image: Repainting Ancient Birds

Repainting Ancient Birds

By Megan Scudellari | 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: The Birth of Optogenetics

The Birth of Optogenetics

By Edward S. Boyden | July 1, 2011

An account of the path to realizing tools for controlling brain circuits with light.

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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By Edward S. Boyden | 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: For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Cristina Luiggi | July 1, 2011

Eleanor Simpson on how dopamine helps rats learn and may lead humans to addiction.

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image: Thymus Finder

Thymus Finder

By Richard P. Grant | July 1, 2011

Editor’s Choice in Immunology

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image: Best in Academia, 2011

Best in Academia, 2011

By The Scientist Staff | July 1, 2011

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

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image: Foresight

Foresight

By Karen Hopkin | July 1, 2011

Studying the earliest events in visual development, Carla Shatz has learned the importance of looking at one’s data with open eyes—and an open mind.

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image: Harmit Malik: Viral Historian

Harmit Malik: Viral Historian

By Megan Scudellari | July 1, 2011

Member, Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington. Age: 38

3 Comments

image: Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

By Edward S. Boyden | July 1, 2011

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

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