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Microscopy image of green and red neurons in a blue section of cortex.
Engineered Rabies Virus Illuminates Neural Circuitry
Scientists turned a deadly virus into a crucial tool for understanding the wiring of the brain.
Engineered Rabies Virus Illuminates Neural Circuitry
Engineered Rabies Virus Illuminates Neural Circuitry

Scientists turned a deadly virus into a crucial tool for understanding the wiring of the brain.

Scientists turned a deadly virus into a crucial tool for understanding the wiring of the brain.

Foundations

Stem cells are compressed into a ball (green) by a C-shaped biobot (red).
From Code to Creature
Laura Tran, PhD | Jun 14, 2024 | 10+ min read
A happenstance collaboration between biologists and roboticists led to the birth of a strange creation: living machines derived from frog stem cells.
A chromosome is gradually unwinding until the DNA double helix is visible. Proteins interact with parts of the DNA. Antibodies are attached to these protein-DNA interacting regions.
Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Reveals DNA-Protein Interactions
Mariella Bodemeier Loayza Careaga, PhD | Jun 14, 2024 | 10 min read
Proteins interact with DNA to regulate many vital processes in cells. Nearly 40 years ago, researchers developed a way to map these molecular connections.
Photo of John Calhoun crouches within his rodent utopia-turned-dystopia
Universe 25 Experiment
Annie Melchor and Deanna MacNeil, PhD | May 28, 2024 | 5 min read
A series of rodent experiments showed that even with abundant food and water, personal space is essential to prevent societal collapse, but Universe 25's relevance to humans remains disputed.
Image showing monoclonal antibody treatment
The Resilience of Monoclonal Antibodies and their Makers
Laura Tran, PhD | Mar 15, 2024 | 10+ min read
The road to developing monoclonal antibodies for effectively targeting cancer was paved with tenacity, passion, and strokes of luck.
Two hands cut and manipulate the genome surrounded by different organs of interest.
The Cre-loxP System: A Powerful Tool in the Genetic Toolbox
Laura Tran, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 9 min read
Standing at the cornerstone of genetic research, Cre-loxP recombination serves as molecular scissors for precisely manipulating the genome.
Yellow smiley faces on a black background
Coming Into the Fold: DNA Origami
Danielle Gerhard, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 9 min read
In 2006, Paul Rothemund transformed the field of DNA nanotechnology when he unveiled an innovative approach for making shapes and patterns from genetic material.
Green and red fluorescent proteins in a zebrafish outline the animal’s vasculature in red and lymphatic system in green in a fluorescent image. Where the two overlap along the bottom of the animal is yellow.
Serendipity, Happenstance, and Luck: The Making of a Molecular Tool
Shelby Bradford, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 10+ min read
The common fluorescent marker GFP traveled a long road to take its popular place in molecular biology today.
Illustration showing origami tardigrade, fungi and bacteria.
Magnifying Curiosity with a Pocket Microscope
Danielle Gerhard, PhD | Sep 8, 2023 | 5 min read
Microscopes were inaccessible to most of the world until Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski put their engineering prowess to the test.
The image shows six different panels containing cells. On each panel, the cells are labelled using a different fluorescent dye that highlights features of a specific organelle within the cells.
Cell Painting: Exploring the Richness of Biological Images
Mariella Bodemeier Loayza Careaga, PhD | Sep 8, 2023 | 4 min read
By coloring different organelles simultaneously, cell painting allows scientists to pick up subtle changes in cell function in response to drugs and other perturbations.
A man sitting at a desk in a white lab coat holds up a large model of a <em >Drosophila</em> fly. In the background is a window and a bookcase.
The Origins and Recent Promise of Nonsense Suppressor tRNAs
Ida Emilie Steinmark, PhD | Sep 8, 2023 | 4 min read
A discovery that goes back to the first studies of translation has become the topic of biotech buzz.
Henry Erlich&nbsp;
A Not-So-Simple Idea
Niki Spahich, PhD | Jun 1, 2023 | 5 min read
A moonlit drive inspired the theory behind PCR. What did it take to make that wild idea reality?
Sir Richard Roberts won the 1993 Nobel Prize &ldquo;for their discoveries of split genes.&rdquo;&nbsp;
How Restriction Enzymes Changed Biology
Nathan Ni, PhD | Jun 1, 2023 | 4 min read
Endonuclease R changed Richard Roberts’ career trajectory and created an industry.
Doug Hanahan worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1982.&nbsp;
Cellular Competence: Making Recombinant DNA Accessible
Nathan Ni, PhD | Jun 1, 2023 | 2 min read
Coaxing bacteria into taking up recombinant DNA was arduous until Douglas Hanahan took action.
Image showing recombinant DNA
A Sticky Situation: Recombinant DNA Technology
Kathryn Loydall, PhD | May 1, 2023 | 5 min read
Janet Mertz’s work with simian virus 40 DNA during her graduate years was pivotal for developing DNA recombination as we now know it.
X-ray crystallography of penicillin
Crystal-Clear Penicillin, 1945
Brittany McWilliams | Apr 3, 2023 | 4 min read
Political activist and Nobel winner Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin pioneered X-ray crystallography to discover the molecular structures of penicillin and insulin.
In urban bathhouses in Germany and the surrounding low countries, bathhouse proprietors, known as baders, provided visitors with basic medical care. To draw blood, baders would scratch the skin before placing a heated cupping glass over the incision to extract blood and purge the body. Other tools associated with baders, including dental forceps and an amputation saw, hint at further services they provided.
Bathing Through the Ages: 1300–1848
Clare Watson | Mar 1, 2023 | 2 min read
Public bathing, ubiquitous around the world and through the ages, plays an often-unappreciated role in public health.
Glass blown and sculpted model of the golden bellapple (<em>Passiflora laurifolia</em>)
Glass Menagerie, 1863–1936
Dan Robitzski | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
The father-and-son duo Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka crafted thousands of scientifically accurate models of plants and sea creatures as teaching aids. 
A black-and-white photo of a person&rsquo;s hands holding a black-and-white barred chicken. The feathers of its breast have been pulled back to reveal a large tumor.
Transmissible Tumors, 1909
Katherine Irving | Jan 2, 2023 | 2 min read
Pathologist Peyton Rous made a groundbreaking discovery in the early 20th century, but his work wasn’t widely recognized until more than 40 years later. 
Diagram of the causes of mortality in the army in the east.
Diagrammatic War, 1858
Andy Carstens | Dec 1, 2022 | 3 min read
Pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale had an eye for creating memorable graphics that helped convince the general population that including sanitation reforms as part of public health policy would save British soldiers’ lives.
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