The Mosaic Brain

Volume 31 Issue 11 | November 2017

Cover Story

Advancing Techniques Reveal the Brain’s Impressive Diversity

By Sara B. Linker, Tracy A. Bedrosian, and Fred H. Gage | November 1, 2017

No two neurons are alike. What does that mean for brain function?

Featured Articles

image: 2017 Life Science Salary Survey

2017 Life Science Salary Survey

By Aggie Mika | November 1, 2017

Industry professionals make more than academic researchers, but for professors, it may not be about the money.

image: Getting Drugs Past the Blood-Brain Barrier

Getting Drugs Past the Blood-Brain Barrier

By Amanda B. Keener | November 1, 2017

To treat neurological disease, researchers develop techniques to bypass or trick the guardian of the central nervous system.




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


To Each His Own

Every human brain is far more unique, adaptable, and vulnerable than ever suspected.

Speaking of Science

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.


Lessons in Memory from a Champ

A four-time winner of the USA Memory Championship is helping scientists understand how the brain works.

An Eye Scan for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Researchers aim for a routine screen to detect the neurodegenerative disease—decades before symptoms appear.

Tracking Invasive Fire Ants in Asia

These insect transplants have the potential to wreak economic havoc by outcompeting native insects and destroying crops.

These Flies Hijack Frogs’ Love Calls

The phenomenon is one of the few examples of eavesdropping across the vertebrate/invertebrate barrier.

Online First

Fast-Tracking Sexual Maturation

The brains and bodies of young female rats can be accelerated into puberty by the presence of an older male or by stimulation of the genitals.

Modus Operandi

Implanted Magnetic Probes Measure Brain Activity

Micrometer-size magnetrodes detect activity-generated magnetic fields within living brains.

The Literature

Presynaptic Neurons Fine-Tune Dopamine Signaling

Vesicles load more of the neurotransmitter in response to neuronal activity, researchers find.

Neural Reward System Activity Varies Throughout the Day

The human brain is more responsive to rewards received in the morning or evening than in the afternoon, researchers find.

Stronger Neural Connections May Trump Genetic Risk for Bipolar Disorder

Healthy siblings of people with the condition harbor more cohesive connections within certain brain networks.


Flickers of Hope

Li-Huei Tsai began her career in cancer biology, then took a fearless leap into neuroscience, making singular breakthroughs along the way.

Scientist to Watch

Kyle Smith Shines a Light on Addiction

The Dartmouth College professor uses optogenetics to probe the neurological routes of habitual behavior.

Lab Tools

Lighting Up Monkey Brains

Optogenetic and chemogenetic tools illuminate brain and behavior connections in nonhuman primates.

Caught in the Act

Molecular probes for imaging in live animals


Dealing with Unethical or Illegal Conduct in Higher Education

Investigations into cases of wrongdoing by professors are increasingly in the public eye. But are colleges and universities doing enough to deal with the problem?

Reading Frames

The Benefits of Trepidation

While wiping fear from our brains may seem attractive, the emotion is an essential part of our behavioral repertoire.


The Wada Test, 1948

A decades-old neurological procedure developed under unique and difficult conditions in postwar Japan remains critical to the treatment of epilepsy.

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