Weird and Wonderful

Volume 28 Issue 1 | January 2014

Featured Articles

image: Genomes Gone Wild

Genomes Gone Wild

By | January 1, 2014

Weird and wonderful, plant DNA is challenging preconceptions about the evolution of life, including our own species.

image: Plant Talk

Plant Talk

By | January 1, 2014

Plants communicate and interact with each other, both aboveground and below, in surprisingly subtle and sophisticated ways.

image: The Bright Side of Prions

The Bright Side of Prions

By | January 1, 2014

Associated with numerous neurological diseases, misfolded proteins may also play decisive roles in normal cellular functioning.  




Meet some of the people featured in the January 2014 issue of The Scientist.


Stranger than Fiction

Plant biology: You can't make this stuff up.

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

January 2014's selection of notable quotes


Green Gold

It’s been decades since researchers confirmed the presence of gold in plants, but biogeochemical prospecting has yet to catch on.

A Ribbeting Tale

A famous frog-hopping contest yields data that challenge previous lab estimates of how far a bullfrog can jump.

Flapless Flight

New research increases the understanding of how albatrosses fly effortlessly by harvesting energy out of thin air.

Farmer Fungi

Researchers uncover an unprecedented relationship between morels and bacteria. But can it be called agriculture?

Critic at Large

Elder Pharmacology

Studying and treating the chronic diseases associated with aging needs serious revamping.

Recognizing Basic Science Contributions

A “basic bibliography” for new drugs would provide scientists with soft incentives and acknowledge the value of basic biomedical research.

Modus Operandi

Exit Strategy

Scientists come up with a better way to watch cells leave blood vessels.

The Literature

Bacterial Persisters

A bacterial gene shuts down the cell's own protein synthesis, which sends the bacterium into dormancy and allows it to outlast antibiotics.

Neurons On Demand

Astrocytes in the adult mouse brain can be reprogrammed into neuronal precursors, then neurons, in vivo.

Avoiding Salt

In a newly identified tropism, plant roots steer clear of salinity.


Drawn to Controversy

By digging through dusty storerooms and reading dead people’s mail, science historian and philosopher Michael Dietrich keeps biologists attuned to the past and mindful of the present.

Scientist to Watch

Benjamin tenOever: Going Viral

Professor, Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Age: 36

Lab Tools

Lights, Camera, Action

A guide for doing in vivo microscopy on neurons in the mammalian brain

Automation on a Budget

Solutions for partially automating your cell culture set-up

Bio Business

Outwitting the Perfect Pathogen

Tuberculosis is exquisitely adapted to the human body. Researchers need a new game plan for beating it.

Reading Frames

Evolution’s Stowaways

Terrestrial mammals, carnivorous plants, and even burrowing reptiles have spread around the globe by braving the seven seas. These chance ocean crossings are rewriting the story of Earth’s biogeography.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Are Dolphins Really Smart?, Newton's Football, Outsider Scientists, and We Are Our Brains


Fantastical Fish, circa 1719

A collection of colorful drawings compiled by publisher Louis Renard sheds light on eighteenth-century science.

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