November 2011

Volume 25 Issue 11

The Scientist November 2011 Cover

Featured Articles

image: Life Sciences Salary Survey 2011

Life Sciences Salary Survey 2011

By Jef Akst and Edyta Zielinska | December 1, 2011

US salaries are starting to recover after last year’s survey recorded the first-ever drop.

image: Sensing Fat

Sensing Fat

By Beverly J. Tepper and Kathleen L. Keller | December 1, 2011

Are genes that alter the perception of fat making us fat?

image: Matters of Taste

Matters of Taste

By Thomas E. Finger and Sue C. Kinnamon | December 1, 2011

Compounds we perceive as sweet or bitter in the mouth trigger similar receptors and signaling pathways elsewhere in the body, helping to regulate digestion, respiration, and other systems.



Going Governmental

Federal agencies offer interesting opportunities for researchers looking to do more than bench work.



Meet some of the people featured in the November/December 2011 issue of The Scientist.

Critic at Large

From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle

A prescription for educating the public on the value of using animals in medical research

Avoiding Animal Testing

Advances in cell-culture technologies are paving the way to the complete elimination of animals from the laboratory.


A Truly Happy Return

After a roller-coaster of an October, The Scientist resumes publication under new ownership.


The Hyena Den, discovered 1821

A 19th century geologist and minister investigates a prehistoric cave full of hyena bones in his native England.


Can We Taste Fats?

Researchers are close to finding a receptor directly triggered by fatty acids.

Taste in the Mouth, Gut, and Airways

The tongue may be the epicenter of taste sensation, but taste receptors are scattered throughout the digestive and respiratory tracts.

Supertaster Anatomy

The unique taste bud patterning in people who have super-charged senses of taste

Lab Tools


New, minimally invasive techniques for seeing deep inside living brains

Prime Time for Digital PCR

A rundown of tools on the market and in development

Modus Operandi

Flow Cytometry for the Masses

Tagging antibodies with rare earth metals instead of fluorescent molecules turns a veteran technique into a high-throughput powerhouse.


Barcode High

The story of a group of high school students who, with the help of a Rockefeller University researcher, conducted and published studies on the biological provenance of sushi and teas from around New York City.

Eye of Newt

Researchers find that newts are capable of regenerating body parts well into old age.

Punch Drunk

After a concussion forces him to retire, a former pro-wrestler starts an institute to study the neurological effects of repeated brain injuries.

Cetacean Cures

Dolphins heal amazingly quickly from shark bites, with no swelling, infection, and seemingly little pain, but how do they do it?


Critical Connections

Through a series of sustained collaborations, Joshua Sanes has deciphered the molecular synergy that guides synapse formation.

Reading Frames

Science and Stanzas

A poet finds artistic inspiration in her work as a scientist and new perceptions in the lines and linkages of her art.

Scientist to Watch

Frank Bradke: Privy to Axon Growth

Full Professor and Senior Research Group Leader, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Age: 42


Nari's Shark Bite

In February 2009, a bottlenose dolphin named Nari swam up to the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort on Moreton Island off Australia’s Queensland. 

Newts' New Eyes

Cut off a newt’s tail or a leg, or remove a lens from its eye, and it grows back. However, whether newts can continue to do this throughout their lives, or lose the ability as they get older, has remained a mystery. 

Teen DNA Detectives

Genomicist Mark Stoeckle and three high school students have taken do-it-yourself science to a new level. 

Speaking of Science

Speaking of The Scientist

On hearing the news in early October that The Scientist would cease publication, our readers voiced their dismay. In mid-October, we were resurrected, and our readers came out again to express their relief.

The Literature

Flight of the Honeybee

Editor’s Choice in Neuroscience

Breaching the Wall

Editor’s choice in immunology

Brake Failure

Editor’s choice in Cell Biology

Popular Now

  1. How to Separate the Science From the (Jerk) Scientist
  2. Could a Dose of Sunshine Make You Smarter?
  3. Sweden Cancels Agreement With Elsevier Over Open Access
  4. Prevalent Form of Childhood Leukemia May Be Preventable