Thirty Years of Progress

Since The Scientist published its first issue in October 1986, life-science research has transformed from a manual and often tedious task to a high-tech, largely automated process of unprecedented efficiency.

The Scientist Staff
Sep 30, 2016

IMAGE COMPOSITE BY THE SCIENTIST

It’s easy to take for granted the widespread use of optogenetics, CRISPR, and direct cell reprogramming. But there was a once a time when these techniques were impossible—even unimaginable. In celebration of the magazine’s 30th anniversary, we are taking a look back at five fields that have embraced technological sea changes, enjoying precise and powerful methodologies and instrumentation that have enabled revolutionary biological insights. Here we reflect on the pioneers whose innovations have propelled advances in microscopy, sequencing, brain imaging, gene editing, and stem cells.

DNA Sequencing: From Tedious to Automatic

Sequencing has gone from a laborious manual task costing thousands of dollars to a quick and cheap practice that is standard for many laboratories.

Microscopy’s Growth Through the Years

From confocal fluorescence microscopy to super-resolution and live 3-D imaging, microscopes have changed rapidly since 1986.

New and Old Techniques in Modern Neuroscience

Imaging...