Cellular Architecture

Volume 27 Issue 12 | December 2013

Cover Story

Taking Shape

By Wallace F. Marshall | December 1, 2013

The causes of a cell’s three-dimensional structure remain a fundamental mystery of cell biology.

Featured Articles

image: One Man's Trash...

One Man's Trash...

By Kerry Grens | December 1, 2013

Scientists who dared to waste their time looking at the midbody, a remnant of cell division, have catapulted the organelle to new prominence.

image: Top 10 Innovations 2013

Top 10 Innovations 2013

By The Scientist Staff | December 1, 2013

The Scientist’s annual competition uncovered a bonanza of interesting technologies that made their way onto the market and into labs this year.




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


Organelle Architecture

There’s beauty in a cell’s marriage of structure and function.

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

December 2013's selection of notable quotes


Waiting in the Wings

A century’s worth of collected butterflies shed light on how climate change threatens the survival of early-emerging species.


Researchers take advantage of rapid and cheap DNA sequencing technologies to map the bacterial microbiome of New York City.

Little Drummer Bugs

South African termites can relay vibrational alarm signals through their enormous nests by pounding their heads against the ground.

Disorder No More

Researchers hunt for biomarkers of Asperger's syndrome, a condition that officially no longer exists.

Critic at Large

The Great Divide

A two-way bridge between science and policy is desperately needed.

An Open Invitation

On creating communal, equitable discourse to broaden participation in genetics research

Modus Operandi

Proto-Organelles for Synthetic Cells

Researchers construct lipid-encapsulated compartments within synthetic cells.

The Literature

Patchy Plankton

Turbulence interacts with the stabilizing efforts of motile phytoplankton to create small-scale patches of toxic, bloom-forming organisms.

Intracellular Spirals

Membrane twists connect stacked endoplasmic reticulum sheets.

Herring Impaired

Changing ion channel densities allows fish to tune their hearing to male reproductive calls during breeding periods. 


Biology's Coefficient

Joel Cohen uses the tools of mathematics to deconstruct questions of life.

Scientist to Watch

Karmella Haynes: Turning the Dials

Assistant Professor, Arizona State University. Age: 36

Lab Tools

Out, Damned Mycoplasma!

Pointers for keeping your cell cultures free of mycoplasma contamination

Special Section

PCR: Past, Present, & Future

Highlights from a webinar held by The Scientist to celebrate 30 years of PCR: the technique's invention, quantitative real-time PCR, and digital PCR


Weathering the Storm

How to prepare your lab for natural disasters and cope with unavoidable consequences

Reading Frames

Standing Up for Sex

Humans evolved the ability to walk on two legs because it allowed them to more accurately size up prospective mates. Or did they?

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Tigers Forever, High Moon Over the Amazon, Earth from Space, and Medicine's Michelangelo


Harrowing Egg Hunt, 1911

Three members of Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Antarctic expedition team trudged 225 kilometers in the dead of winter to retrieve emperor penguin eggs in an effort to establish an evolutionary link between birds and reptiles.

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