Crowd Control

Volume 27 Issue 7 | July 2013

Cover Story

Crowd Control

By Cristina Luiggi | July 1, 2013

Molecules, cells, or vertebrates—when individuals move and act as a single unit, surprisingly complex behaviors arise that hint at the origins of multicellularity.

Featured Articles

image: An Ocean of Viruses

An Ocean of Viruses

By Joshua S. Weitz and Steven W. Wilhelm | July 1, 2013

Viruses abound in the world’s oceans, yet researchers are only beginning to understand how they affect life and chemistry from the water’s surface to the sea floor.

image: Worried Sick

Worried Sick

By Megan Scudellari | July 1, 2013

Expectations can make you ill. Fear can make you fragile. Understanding the nocebo effect may help prevent this painful phenomenon.




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


Beach Reading

A vacation from your lab doesn’t have to mean a break from fascinating developments on the life science front.

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

July 2013's selection of notable quotes


Science on Lockdown

A forest ecologist comes down from the canopy to bring science to the masses, forming a series of improbable collaborations with prisoners.

The Turtle That Never Was

A species of freshwater turtle deemed to be extinct may never have existed in the first place.

The Long View

In the era of Big Data, research projects that focus on phenomena that unfold across decades have distinct benefits—and some drawbacks.

Sticking Power

An adhesive inspired by a parasitic worm could help better affix skin grafts in burn patients.

Critic at Large

Debating Bioethics Openly

Researchers and bioethicists need to take advantage of events such as the recent publication of the HeLa genome to engage the public on topics of privacy, biobank regulation, and more.


Opinion: On Patenting Genes

The scientific community and the impact of the Myriad Genetics Supreme Court decision

Modus Operandi

Narrow Straits

Transfecting molecules into cells is as easy as one, two, squeeze.

The Literature

Groovy Color

To control their color displays, squid fine-tune the optical properties of light-reflecting cells by rapidly expelling and imbibing water across a tightly pleated membrane

Cool Genes

A thermosensitive ion channel helps C. elegans live longer at cold temperatures.

Transport Breakdown

Deficiencies in a cellular motor that carries a serotonin receptor are associated with anxiety in mice.


Master of Fate

While tracing the tricky and sometimes surprising paths of multipotent cells in the skin, mammary gland, and heart, Cédric Blanpain has repeatedly turned the stem cell field on its head.  

Scientist to Watch

Peter Cornish: Ribosome Cowboy

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, University of Missouri. Age: 35

Lab Tools

Transcriptomics for the Animal Kingdom

Using RNA-seq to study nonmodel organisms

Name That Metabolite!

A guided tour through the metabolome

Bio Business

Innovation Nation

Already a world leader in high-tech entrepreneurship, Israel is now flexing its biotech muscles.

Reading Frames

Widening the Fertile Window

Women may be able to store viable sperm for longer than a week, thus contributing to apparent variability in pregnancy lengths.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Denial, Probably Approximately Correct, Permanent Present Tense, and Against Their Will


Side-Chain Theory, circa 1900

Paul Ehrlich came up with an explanation for cellular interactions based on receptors, earning a Nobel Prize and the title "Father of Modern Immunology"—only to have his theory forgotten.

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