Alive And In Technicolor

Volume 27 Issue 2 | February 2013

Cover Story

Color from Structure

By Cristina Luiggi | February 1, 2013

Researchers are working to understand how often-colorless biological nanostructures give rise to some of the most spectacular technicolor displays in nature.

Featured Articles

image: Catching the Cold

Catching the Cold

By Fred Adler | February 1, 2013

Tracking the genetic diversity and evolution of rhinoviruses can lead to a better understanding of viral evolution, the common cold, and more dangerous infections.

image: Icing Organs

Icing Organs

By Megan Scudellari | February 1, 2013

Why scientists are so near and yet so far from being able to cryopreserve organs




Meet some of the people featured in the February 2013 issue of The Scientist.


A Chill Issue

The very cold, the merely chilled, and the colorful

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

February 2013's selection of notable quotes


The Spoils of War

Researchers read the marks of intense warfare and conquest in the genes of ancient native North Americans.

Watson, MD

A collaborative project between IBM and the Cleveland Clinic brings artificial intelligence to patients’ bedsides.

Human Whiskers

Scientists probe our sense of touch for a feedback loop between sensation and motion.

Monster Hunting 2.0

With the launch of a new peer-reviewed journal, can cryptozoology emerge from the shadows to be taken seriously by the mainstream scientific community?

Thought Experiment

Why Insects Should Be in Your Diet

Because of their high protein and fat content and their reproductive efficiency, insects hold great promise for thwarting an impending global food crisis.

Critic at Large

Variety Is the Spice of Life

True understanding of the complexity of biological systems demands an assortment of model systems.

Modus Operandi

Flickering Neurons

Fluorescent calcium sensors in transgenic mice give a real-time readout of neuronal activity.

The Literature

Fellow Travelers

Collective cell migration relies on a directional signal that comes from the moving cluster, rather than from external cues.

Stockpiling Histones

Histones stored on lipid droplets in fly embryos provide a backup supply when newly synthesized ones are lacking.

Feeding Time

The eating schedule—and not the amount of calories—can make the difference between an obese, diabetic, sick mouse and one with a healthy metabolism.


Immune to Failure

With dogged persistence and an unwillingness to entertain defeat, Bruce Beutler discovered a receptor that powers the innate immune response to infections—and earned his share of a Nobel Prize.

Scientist to Watch

Jennifer Reed: Metabolism Modeler

Assistant Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Age: 34

Lab Tools

A Room with a View

Live-cell imaging forces cells to perform in an unnatural environment, but with the right chamber, you can keep them warm and comfortable.

Brighter, Smaller, Faster

As X-ray crystallography enters its second century, shrinking crystals and brighter light sources are redefining structural biology.


Let's Make a Deal

Six myths about job and salary negotiations and how they may hinder your ability to bargain effectively.

Reading Frames

The A@#hole Scientist

Can a vexing sense of entitlement actually aid in the pursuit of knowledge?

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

The Science of Love, Bad Pharma, Genes, Cells and Brains, and Nature Wars


Cholera Confusion, circa 1832

As cholera first tore through the Europe in the mid-19th century, people tried anything to prevent the deadly disease. Then science stepped in.

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