Cover Story

A Sense of Mystery
A Sense of Mystery
Dan Cossins | Aug 1, 2013
Researchers from various disciplines are homing in on the mechanics of magnetoreception, an enigmatic sense that some animals use to navigate the globe.

Features

Engineering Life
Engineering Life
Caleb J. Bashor, Timothy K. Lu, Ahmad S. Khalil | Aug 1, 2013
Cellular “tinkering” is critical for establishing a new engineering discipline that will lead to the next generation of technologies based on life’s building blocks.
Best Places to Work Academia 2013
Best Places to Work Academia 2013
The Scientist Staff | Aug 1, 2013
Institutional funding and research support is critical to academics during this time of continued budgetary belt-tightening across government agencies.
 

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the August 2013 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

Finding the Way
Finding the Way
Finding the Way
A focus on the movements of species and disciplines through space, time, and minds

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science
Speaking of Science
Speaking of Science
August 2013's selection of notable quotes

Notebook

The Mummy Code
The Mummy Code
The Mummy Code
Ancient-DNA researchers have long clashed over work on Egyptian mummies, but next-gen sequencing might resolve their debates.
N=Me
N=Me
N=Me
Science gets personal as researchers—professional and amateur—plumb the depths of their own molecular biology.
Bunker Bats
Bunker Bats
Bunker Bats
Military bunkers along the US East Coast may serve as sterile overwintering sites for bat populations threatened by white-nose syndrome.
Smoke Detectors
Smoke Detectors
Smoke Detectors
Ancient receptors in seeds bind a small molecule in smoke that promotes germination.

Critic at Large

Remaking Nature
Remaking Nature
Remaking Nature
Synthetic biologists need to work together with conservationists to understand the environmental consequences of this new technology.

Thought Experiment

The Eye of the Finch
The Eye of the Finch
The Eye of the Finch
Beaks did it for Darwin. Now, monitoring real-time evolution of bacteria that infects finch eyes reveals repeated, rapid evolution of an emerging avian pathogen in backyards throughout the U.S.

Modus Operandi

Cellular Pegs-in-Holes
Cellular Pegs-in-Holes
Cellular Pegs-in-Holes
Cell-containing hydrogel shapes fit into a template to create an artificial tissue environment.

The Literature

Floppy Cells
Floppy Cells
Floppy Cells
Cell division in L-forms—bacterial variants that have no cell walls—could shed light on how primitive life forms replicated.
Shushing RNA
Shushing RNA
Shushing RNA
The cell detains potentially harmful RNA messages in the spliceosome long enough to create interfering RNAs against the aberrant messages.
Remodeling Myelin
Remodeling Myelin
Remodeling Myelin
New oligodendrocytes in the adult mouse brain appear to remodel existing myelin sheaths, which may fine-tune the speed of nerve impulses.

Profile

Cancer Knows No Borders
Cancer Knows No Borders
Cancer Knows No Borders
Unafraid to tackle cancer disparities across races, Olufunmilayo “Funmi” Olopade has demonstrated that genomics research can make a big impact on public health.

Scientist to Watch

Josh Snodgrass: An Adaptive Mind
Josh Snodgrass: An Adaptive Mind
Josh Snodgrass: An Adaptive Mind
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon. Age: 41

Lab Tools

Gene Silencing Is Golden
Gene Silencing Is Golden
Gene Silencing Is Golden
A beginner’s how-to on RNAi screening in mammalian cells
Molecular Multitasking
Molecular Multitasking
Molecular Multitasking
Commercial kits use fluorescent beads to probe dozens of cytokines in one reaction.

Careers

Preserving Research
Preserving Research
Preserving Research
The top online archives for storing your unpublished findings

Reading Frames

Intelligent Life: The Search Continues
Intelligent Life: The Search Continues
Intelligent Life: The Search Continues
Humans continue to scan the cosmos for a familiar brand of intelligence while ignoring a deeper form that pulses here at home.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews: Summer Fiction
Capsule Reviews: Summer Fiction
Capsule Reviews: Summer Fiction
Crescent, An Empty Land of Plenty, Prophet of Bones, and Equilateral

Foundations

Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837
Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837
Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837
How a dinner-table conversation between two biologists led to the formulation of the theory that cells are the building blocks of all living organisms.