Think Big, Go Small

Volume 28 Issue 8 | August 2014

Cover Story


By Guizhi Zhu, Lei Mei, and Weihong Tan | August 1, 2014

From bioimaging to drug delivery and therapeutics, nanotechnology is poised to change the way doctors practice medicine.

Featured Articles

image: A Vaulted Mystery

A Vaulted Mystery

By Eufemia S. Putortì and Massimo P. Crippa | August 1, 2014

Nearly 30 years after the discovery of tiny barrel-shape structures called vaults, their natural functions remain elusive. Nevertheless, researchers are beginning to put these nanoparticles to work in biomedicine.

image: The Body’s Ecosystem

The Body’s Ecosystem

By The Scientist Staff | August 1, 2014

Research on the human microbiome is booming, and scientists have moved from simply taking stock of gut flora to understanding the influence of microbes throughout the body.




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


Small Packages

When proverbs come true

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

August 2014's selection of notable quotes


Seeds of Hopelessness

Can seed banks adequately prepare for the future if wild plant populations are already lagging behind in adapting to rapid climate change?

Sequencing on the Seven Seas

Researchers have installed an advanced genomics lab facility aboard a boat to create a floating molecular testing facility for marine life sciences

In Old Blood

The body of a supercentenarian expands science’s appreciation for the physiological limits of aging.

Say "Aaaah"

Scientists aim to remotely monitor Parkinson’s through voice recordings.

Critic at Large

A Matter of Size

Erroneous characterization of nanomaterials can misinform the study of a new medicine’s safety and efficacy.

Modus Operandi

Stressing and FRETing

Two labs have produced FRET-based systems for real-time analysis of a plant stress hormone.

The Literature

Life in the Slow Lane

The speed of water flowing around coralline algae, a critical member of coral reef and coastal seaweed communities, affects their response to ocean acidification.

Meal Plans

Bacterial populations’ differing strategies for responding to their environment can set genetic routes to speciation.

Seeing Red

Reef fish, once thought to be unable to see red wavelengths, not only fluoresce deep red, but males of some species react to seeing their own bioluminescent pattern.


Connecting the Dots

Extending her initial studies of social wasps, Mary Jane West-Eberhard has spent her career probing the evolutionary relationship between social behavior and developmental flexibility.

Scientist to Watch

Feng Zhang: The Midas of Methods

Core Member, Broad Institute; Investigator, McGovern Institute; Assistant Professor, MIT. Age: 32

Lab Tools

Metagenomics Mash-Up

A tour of the newest software and strategies for analyzing microbial and viral communities

Tailoring Your Proteome View

Computational tools can streamline the development of targeted proteomics experiments.  


Science Speak

Contests that challenge young scientists to explain their research without jargon are turning science communication into a competitive sport.

Reading Frames

Reanimated Chickens and Zombie Dogs

In praise of weird science at the edge of life

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

The Myth of Mirror Neurons, Curious, Shadow Medicine, and Doctored


Tiger Hunt, 1838–1840

Zoologist John Gould undertook a financially risky expedition to document the birds of Australia—and found some unique mammals in a perilous situation.

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