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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: C-ing with the Lights Out

C-ing with the Lights Out

By Richard P. Grant | July 1, 2011

I the dark Arctic shallows one research finds heterotrophic marine bacteria doing a surprising amount of carbon fixing.

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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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image: Probiotic Protection

Probiotic Protection

By Richard P. Grant | July 1, 2011

Editor’s choice in microbiology

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image: Trading Pelts for Pestilence

Trading Pelts for Pestilence

By Jef Akst | July 1, 2011

When European explorers and fishermen began to frequent Canada’s shores in the 16th century, they brought with them a plethora of tools and trinkets, including knives, axes, kettles, and blankets. 

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