Menu

Contributors

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

Feb 1, 2017
Ben Andrew Henry

Ning Wang is a professor of biomechanics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wang started off as a mechanical engineering major in the late ’70s at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. But after listening to a lecture on the possible role of mechanical properties in soft tissue physiology, a new and unexplored idea at the time, he decided to pursue biomechanics. “I was intrigued by that idea of describing living tissues with mechanics,” he says. After earning a master’s in biomechanics and an ScD in physiology, Wang worked as a postdoc under Harvard’s Donald Ingber, an early proponent of the notion that mechanical tension governs the structure and behavior of cells. In Ingber’s lab in 1993, Wang provided the first evidence that integrins mediate mechanical signaling in cells, a discovery now recognized as foundational to mechanobiology. Since then, Wang has continued to characterize cellular mechanosensing and its possible implications for medicine, particularly cancer cell metastasis and stem cell development.

Wang delves deep into the past, present, and future of the field in “May the Force Be with You.”


“I’ve always been into natural history, especially some of the more macabre aspects of it,” Bill Schutt admits. The author of Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, and Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures, Schutt teaches anatomy and zoology at Long Island University–Post and is a research associate in residence at the American Museum of Natural History. Schutt completed a PhD in zoology at Cornell University studying vampire bats, and his interest in the blood-feeders became the inspiration for Dark Banquet, his first book, published in 2008. “I like to take subjects that people are grossed out by and turn them around,” Schutt says, “so people realize these are natural occurrences” and that “it’s not all sensationalism.” Schutt now divides his time between writing and teaching. Currently, he is working on The Himalayan Codex, a sequel to his 2016 novel Hell’s Gate, a World War II thriller set in the Brazilian wilderness, the plot of which drew heavily upon Schutt’s familiarity with zoology’s more lurid side.

Schutt explains why eating one’s own is a regular part of nature (here), and in his book Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, published this month.


A number of February authors are past contributors to the pages of The Scientist. Sandeep Ravindran (“What Sensory Receptors Do Outside of Sense Organs,” September 2016) writes about novel drug-discovery methods that depend on activating silent gene clusters (here). A Notebook by David R. Smith describes a parasitic plant that adroitly pilfers mitochondrial genes from its host (here); earlier contributions from Smith include four opinions (here, here, here, and here) and a January 2013 feature “Steal My Sunshine.” Wolf Frommer contributes his third opinion piece, “An Ethical Code for Conferences,” which first appeared online on December 2, 2016. His other two can be accessed here and here.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.