With scientific funding on shaky ground, big-dollar competitions offer a new way for life-science innovators to bring their ideas to fruition.
Bespoke Cell Jackets
Scientists make hydrogel coats for individual cells that can be tailored to specific research questions.
A multitasking plasma membrane protein coordinates cell division and energy metabolism in healthy—and perhaps also cancerous—Drosophila cells.
Researchers discover a new subunit of a bacterial RNA polymerase—as well as hints of its potential role in defending against viruses.
Nuclear Pore QA
A known membrane-remodeling complex earns a newly identified role as a quality-assurance director during the assembly of nuclear pores.
All Systems Go
Alan Aderem earned his PhD while under house arrest for protesting apartheid in South Africa. His early political involvement has guided his scientific focus, encouraging fellow systems biologists to study immunology and infectious diseases.
Viviana Gradinaru: Clearing the Way
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Caltech. Age: 33
Cutting the Wire
Optical techniques for monitoring action potentials