Ancient DNA Revolution

Volume 29 Issue 6 | June 2015

Cover Story

What’s Old Is New Again

By | June 1, 2015

Revolutionary new methods for extracting, purifying, and sequencing ever-more-ancient DNA have opened an unprecedented window into the history of life on Earth.

Featured Articles

image: Seeing Isn’t Believing

Seeing Isn’t Believing

By | June 1, 2015

How motion illusions trick the visual system, and what they can teach us about how our eyes and brains evolved

image: The Living Set

The Living Set

By | June 1, 2015

Mathematical and computational approaches are making strides in understanding how life might have emerged and organized itself from the basic chemistry of early Earth.




Meet some of the people featured in the June 2015 issue of The Scientist.


New Legs to Stand On

Reconstructing the past using ancient DNA

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

June 2015's selection of notable quotes


A Plague on Pachyderms

At least seven species of herpesvirus commonly infect elephants. At zoos, keepers scramble to save calves, who are particularly vulnerable to the viruses.

Touchy Feely

Physical contact helps determine who’s present among baboons’ gut bacteria.

Memorial Research

Texas Tech undergraduate students band together to conduct research in remembrance of a classmate.

Adapting to Arsenic

Andean communities may have evolved the ability to metabolize arsenic, a trait that could be the first documented example of a toxic substance acting as an agent of natural selection in humans.

Critic at Large

Improving Crops with RNAi

RNA interference is proving to be a valuable tool for agriculture, allowing researchers to develop pathogen-resistant and more-nutritious crops.

Turning Data into Discovery

To make the most of the current data deluge, we must reward interdisciplinary researchers who identify and apply the most appropriate analysis methods.

Modus Operandi

RNA Stucturomics

A new high-throughput, transcriptome-wide assay determines RNA structures in vivo.

The Literature

Silencing Surprise

A chromatin remodeler in embryonic stem cells clears the DNA for mRNA transcription while stifling the expression of noncoding transcripts.

Not So Noncoding

An RNA thought to be noncoding in fact encodes a small protein that regulates calcium uptake in muscle.

New Immunity

A scaffolding protein forms the hub of a newly identified immune pathway in plants.


Resistance Fighter

Stuart Levy has spent a lifetime studying mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and crusading to abolish the use of antibiotics in animal feed.

Scientist to Watch

William Greenleaf: Born for Biophysics

Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Stanford University. Age: 35

Lab Tools

Flow Cytometry On-a-Chip

Novel microfluidic devices give researchers new ways to count and sort single cells.

An Array of Options

A guide for how and when to transition from the microarray to RNA-seq

Bio Business

Clinical Matchmaker

Enrolling the right patient population could be key to a successful clinical trial.

Reading Frames

Reimagining Humanity

As the science of paleoanthropology developed, human evolutionary trees changed as much as the minds that constructed them.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

How to Clone a Mammoth, The Upright Thinkers, The Thirteenth Step, and Humankind


Water Fleas, 1755

A German naturalist trains a keen eye and a microscope on a tiny crustacean to unlock its secrets.

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