A Natural Archive

Volume 31 Issue 10 | October 2017

Featured Articles

image: Making DNA Data Storage a Reality

Making DNA Data Storage a Reality

By Catherine Offord | October 1, 2017

A few kilograms of DNA could theoretically store all of humanity’s data, but there are practical challenges to overcome.

image: Do Pathogens Gain Virulence as Hosts Become More Resistant?

Do Pathogens Gain Virulence as Hosts Become More Resistant?

By Andrew F. Read and Peter J. Kerr | October 1, 2017

Emerging infections provide clues about how pathogens might evolve when farm animals are protected from infection.

image: Macrophages Are the Ultimate Multitaskers

Macrophages Are the Ultimate Multitaskers

By Claire Asher | October 1, 2017

From guiding branching neurons in the developing brain to maintaining a healthy heartbeat, there seems to be no job that the immune cells can’t tackle.




Meet some of the people featured in the October 2017 issue of The Scientist.


Puzzle Me This

Looking at words on many different levels

Speaking of Science

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.


Meet the Transgenic Silkworms That Are Spinning Out Spider Silk

Researchers explore genetic engineering to produce super-tough fibers.

Researchers Argue for Considering Lab Animals’ Perspective in Housing Decisions

Some researchers suggest that providing experimental animals with more-natural living conditions not only benefits the organisms, but the data they generate as well.

Teaching Humans to Echolocate

By investigating the science behind “seeing” with sound, researchers hope to help blind individuals independently navigate the world.

Bitter Taste Receptors in Uterus May One Day Help Prevent Premature Birth

Researchers suggest that the receptors can control early labor contractions.

Freeze Frame

Caught on Camera

Selected Images of the Day from the-scientist.com

Modus Operandi

Live Cell Extractions

Nanostraws that collect specimens from cells without killing them allow for repeated sampling.

The Literature

Paused RNA Polymerase Quashes New Initiation of Transcription

Pauses may help cells fine-tune gene expression.

Microglia Turnover in the Human Brain

Researchers find that about a quarter of the immune cells are replaced every year.

Insect Deploys Anti-Antiaphrodisiac

Female plant bugs produce a compound to counter males’ attempts to render the females unattractive to other mates.


Damage Patroller

Stephen Elledge has built a career studying how eukaryotic cells maintain genomic integrity.

Scientist to Watch

Harald Janovjak Bends Cells and Receptors to His Will

The 38-year-old synthetic biologist comes from a long line of tinkerers and engineers.

Lab Tools

Drugging the Disorderome

Strategies for targeting intrinsically disordered proteins

Designer DNA

Computational tools for mapping out synthetic nucleic acids

Bio Business

Flux and Uncertainty in the CRISPR Patent Landscape

The battle for the control of the intellectual property surrounding CRISPR-Cas9 is as storied and nuanced as the technology itself.

Reading Frames

When Dogs Offer Insights into Tigers

MRI scans of dog brains open windows into the cognition of the extinct thylacine.


Bathtub Bloodbath, 1793

French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat took on many roles over the course of his life, including physician and scientist.

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