August 2012

Volume 26 Issue 8

The Scientist August 2012 Cover

Featured Articles

image: Best Places to Work Academia, 2012

Best Places to Work Academia, 2012

By The Scientist Staff | August 1, 2012

On the 10th anniversary of The Scientist’s survey of life science academics, institutions are contending with tighter budgets and larger administrative staffs, while working to sustain and inspire their researchers.

image: Replacement Parts

Replacement Parts

By Ed Yong | August 1, 2012

To cope with a growing shortage of hearts, livers, and lungs suitable for transplant, some scientists are genetically engineering pigs, while others are growing organs in the lab.

image: Whither Science Publishing?

Whither Science Publishing?

By The Scientist Staff | August 1, 2012

As we stand on the brink of a new scientific age, how researchers should best communicate their findings and innovations is hotly debated in the publishing trenches.


Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Gifts of the Crow, What the Robin Knows, The Unfeathered Bird, and America’s Other Audubon



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


Best in Academia, 2012

Topping this year’s survey of academic researchers is the J. David Gladstone Institutes, a San Francisco-based nonprofit biomedical research organization with a focus on cardiovascular disease, virology and immunology, and neurodegenerative disorders

Painting Macromolecules

Although originally trained as an architect, Irving Geis dedicated his life to creating images of molecules that taught viewers about their structure and function. Beginning in 1948, Geis illustrated scientific concepts for Scientific American—a job


Survival of the Fittest (to print)

Science publishing is locked in an evolutionary arms race as it edges further into the digital age.

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

August 2012's selection of notable quotes


The Stuff of Nightmares

Researchers working in war-torn countries find hints to the molecular roots of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Island Disease

People living on islands in the Norwegian Sea suffer from an unusually high rate of certain genetic diseases and health issues, making the population ripe for research.


Some Like It Cold

A hint of green leads researchers to an ocean phenomenon that could counteract the effect of climate change on some corals.

A Scientist Emerges

At age 16, Alexandra Sourakov has her first scientific publication, on the foraging behavior of butterflies.

Critic at Large

Predatory Publishing

Overzealous open-access advocates are creating an exploitative environment, threatening the credibility of scholarly publishing.

Bring On the Transparency Index

Grading journals on how well they share information with readers will help deliver accountability to an industry that often lacks it.

Modus Operandi

Milling Magic

Ion beams carve slices in frozen cells, giving biologists an interior view.

The Literature

DNA, Contortionist

The DNA forms known as G-quadruplexes are finally discovered in human cells.

Lymphatic Lines

Lymphatic vessels grow towards two chemokines, revealing signals that could be important in cancer metastasis.

Brain Expression

Researchers map the expression patterns of 1,000 genes in the human brain.


Fly Guy

For Michael Dickinson, Drosophila are more than winged gene holders—they’re sophisticated systems for translating sensory information into flight instructions.

Scientist to Watch

Megan Carey: Cerebellum Prober

Group Leader, Neuroscience Program, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal; HHMI International Early Career Scientist; Age: 38

Lab Tools

Proteome Portraits

Innovations in mass spectrometry are making quick, comprehensive, and easy proteome mapping more attainable than ever.

Lipids in the Spotlight

A guide to studying lipids using mass spectrometry


In Times of Trouble

Scientists share their experiences weathering extremely stressful events without letting their careers get completely derailed.

Reading Frames

Life (Re)Cycle

Death breeds life in the world’s most diverse and abundant group of animals.


Painting the Protein Atomic, 1961

Irving Geis’s revolutionary painting of sperm whale myoglobin illuminated the nascent field of protein structure.

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