Neuron Nets

Volume 32 Issue 4 | April 2018

Cover Story

The neuronal coverings that mediate synaptic changes are involved in everything from memory to psychiatric disorders, affecting autism, Alzheimer’s, and addiction.

Featured Articles

image: Macrophages Play a Double Role in Cancer

Macrophages Play a Double Role in Cancer

By Amanda B. Keener | April 1, 2018

Macrophages play numerous roles within tumors, leaving cancer researchers with a choice: eliminate the cells or recruit them.

Multidrug combinations lead to better results for cancer patients, but efficiently identifying them is proving difficult.




Meet some of the people featured in the April 2018 issue of The Scientist.


Metastatic Knowledge

The research enterprise surrounding cancer spreads and changes as it explores multiple facets of the complex disease.

Speaking of Science

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

Freeze Frame

Caught on Camera

Selected Images of the Day from


Ocean Sunfish Could Offer Clues to the “Rise of Slime”

A controversial hypothesis suggests that jellyfish may one day rule the oceans, and Mola mola may tell us if we are approaching a tipping point.

Researchers Develop Sperm-Robot Hybrids to Deliver Drugs, Assist Fertilization

The artificially motorized cells may one day help fight cancers in the female reproductive tract.

Infected Ants Chemically Attract Workers to Destroy Them

Social insects kill infected individuals for the benefit of the colony—and now a study has shown how they know who’s sick.


Genetic Screens Provide Clues About Prognosis, Risk of Second Cancer

Mutations in the TP53 gene appear to influence the prognosis and likelihood of future cancers in pediatric leukemia patients.

Thought Experiment

Opinion: We Must Make Data More Accessible for Bioinformatics Training

In addition to programs geared towards transforming biologists into bioinformaticians, students need more raw material available for their education.

Modus Operandi

Extracting Exosomes to Detect Signs of Cancer in Urine

A new device uses anchored nanowires to capture extracellular vesicles from pee for microRNA analysis.

The Literature

Chromosomal Instability Drives Cancer Metastasis

In the presence of cytosolic DNA, cancer cells activate antiviral pathways that disguise them as immune cells.

Boosting Immunotherapy Treatments in Mouse Colon Cancer

Mice treated with an immunostimulant had better outcomes when researchers blocked the expression of TNFR2, a compound that helps tumors evade immune attack.

Mutant RAS Proteins Team Up for Oncogenicity

Mice with cancer whose KRAS proteins couldn’t link together had much better survival outcomes than those whose oncogenic mutant paired with wild-type KRAS.


Cancer Evolutionist: A Profile of Charles Swanton

Motivated by his father’s cancer diagnosis, the Francis Crick Institute cancer geneticist has been revealing the ways tumors evolve and why they are so difficult to treat.

Scientist to Watch

Ilana Chefetz Confronts Ovarian Cancer

The University of Minnesota researcher is on the front lines in the fight against the disease.

Lab Tools

Of Mice and Metastasis

Tools for studying how cancer spreads

Bio Business

PARP Inhibitors Are Improving the Outlook of Hard-to-Treat Cancers

With three recent FDA approvals, and a number of Phase 3 trials ongoing, the drugs are seeing a surge in interest.

Reading Frames

A Neuroscientist’s Journey Through Madness

After I was diagnosed with brain cancer and started to lose my mental health, the importance of my job came into clear focus.


A Radical Intervention, 1894

William Halsted’s approach to mastectomy took the medical world by storm at the turn of the last century.

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