Reeling in Painkillers

Volume 28 Issue 2 | February 2014

Cover Story

Pain and Progress

By Kerry Grens | February 1, 2014

Is it possible to make a nonaddictive opioid painkiller?

Featured Articles

image: Brains in Action

Brains in Action

By The Scientist Staff | February 1, 2014

Neuroscientists are automating neural imaging and recording, allowing them to monitor increasingly large swaths of the brain in living, behaving animals.  

image: Syphilis: Then and Now

Syphilis: Then and Now

By Kristin N Harper, Molly K. Zuckerman, and George J. Armelagos | February 1, 2014

Researchers are zeroing in on the origin of syphilis and related diseases, which continue to plague the human population some 500 years after the first documented case.




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


An Offensive Playbook

Developing nonaddictive drugs to combat pain

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

February 2014's selection of notable quotes


Feeling Is Believing

Many people can “see” their hands in complete darkness, absent any visual stimulus, due to kinesthetic feedback from their own movements.

Self-Improvement Through the Ages

A 50,000-generation-long experiment shows that bacteria keep getting fitter.

Tenacious Termites

Formosan subterranean termites evade deadly pathogens by building nests lined with their own feces.

The Necrobiome

Next-generation sequencing of the bacterial assemblages that inhabit a corpse throughout decomposition improve time-of-death estimates.

Critic at Large

On Race and Medicine

Until health care becomes truly personalized, race and ethnicity will continue to be important clues guiding medical treatments.

What Women Need to Succeed in Science

Attracting females to research careers—and keeping them there

Modus Operandi

Visualizing Viruses

Scientists devise a gentler technique for observing viral DNA at single-molecule resolution.

The Literature

Epigenetics of Regeneration

Repairing damaged neurons relies on booting a histone deacetylase out of the nucleus so regeneration genes can be turned on.

Protein Function Refuted

A mouse knockout calls into question the presumed function of a protein long considered important for steroid hormone biosynthesis.

HPV Havoc

Human papillomavirus promotes genomic damage by inserting near host genes involved in cancer.


Meiosis Maven

Fueled by her love of visual data and addicted to chromosomes, Abby Dernburg continues to study how homologous chromosomes find each other during gamete formation.

Scientist to Watch

Phil Baran: Molecule Magician

Professor, Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute. Age: 36

Lab Tools

Unmasking Secret Identities

A tour of techniques for measuring DNA hydroxymethylation

Tag, You're It

A guide to DNA-encoded libraries for drug discovery


New School

Graduate programs at the interface of quantitative and biological sciences set the stage for more interdisciplinary collaboration.  

Reading Frames

When Buddhism Meets Biology

Can practitioners of the Eastern religion learn from biologists, or vice versa?

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Me, Myself, and Why, RedDevil 4, Neanderthal Man, and Science from Sight to Insight


Palade Particles, 1955

Electron microscopy led to the first identification of what would later be known as ribosomes.

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