Features

The Root of the Problem
Richard D. Bardgett | Aug 1, 2011
New research suggests that the flow of carbon through plants to underground ecosystems may be crucial to how the environment responds to climate change.
It's a Cell-Eat-Cell World
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2011
For more than 100 years, pathologists have observed cancer cells engulfing other live cells, but scientists are only now beginning to understand how it happens and what it means for tumorigenesis.
Sharing the Bounty
Michelle G. Rooks and Wendy S. Garrett | Aug 1, 2011
Gut bacteria may be the missing piece that explains the connection between diet and cancer risk.

Reading Frames

Faculty Fallout
Faculty Fallout
Administrators have taken over US universities, and they’re steering institutions of higher learning away from the goal of serving as beacons of knowledge.

Slideshows

Haeckel’s Radiolarians
Haeckel’s Radiolarians
After completing his studies in medicine and biology, Prussian naturalist Ernst Haeckel set off for Italy in 1859, where, in addition to painting landscapes, he spent the climactic months of his stay glued to his microscope observing and sketching.
Battling Malaria in Africa
Battling Malaria in Africa
When general practitioner John Lusingu returned to his native Tanzania to do research on malaria, he was met with a total lack of science infrastructure. 

Infographics

Helpful Bacterial Metabolites
Helpful Bacterial Metabolites
Helpful Bacterial Metabolites
While gut microbiota appear to have both positive and negative impacts on our  health, in the guts of healthy, lean individuals, the good outweighs the bad.  
From the Ground Up
From the Ground Up
From the Ground Up
As the planet warms plant growth will likely increase—locking up some of that extra carbon dioxide by converting it into vegetative biomass—but that’s not the whole story. 
Harmful Bacterial Metabolites
Harmful Bacterial Metabolites
Harmful Bacterial Metabolites
Gut bacteria that feed on healthy food appear to amplify the nutritional benefits of those foods. However, they also appear to amplify the undesirable effects of unhealthy food. 
Cell-In-Cell Action
Cell-In-Cell Action
Cell-In-Cell Action
The mechanism by which tumor cells end up harboring other living cells remains elusive, and the sparse evidence acquired thus far has led researchers to propose different hypotheses. 

Notebook

Personalized Athletics
Personalized Athletics
Motivated by a career-ending ligament tear, a former NFL player starts a company to test athletes' genetic predispositions to common sports injuries.
String Theory
String Theory
New types of biological filaments are turning up in yeast, fly, bacterial cells and in rat neurons, and they may yield clues to how the cytoskeleton evolved from metabolically active enzymes.
An Unlichenly Pair
An Unlichenly Pair
A young botanist pays tribute to his mentor by naming a newly discovered, rare species in his honor.
Powering Clinical Trials
Powering Clinical Trials
To ensure high-quality clinical trials of a malaria vaccine, organizers in rural Africa must first upgrade electrical and research infrastructures.

Thought Experiment

Deconstructing the Mosaic Brain
Deconstructing the Mosaic Brain
Sequencing the DNA of individual neurons is a way to dissect the genes underlying major neurological and psychological disorders.

Scientist to Watch

Seirian Sumner: Wasp Whisperer
Seirian Sumner: Wasp Whisperer
Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, London. Age: 37

The Literature

An Eyeful of RNA
An Eyeful of RNA
Editor's Choice in Physiology
Memory Aid
Memory Aid
Editor's Choice in Neuroscience

Modus Operandi

The Right Sort
The Right Sort
Using the strongest molecular binding partnership in biology to separate different cell types.

Bio Business

Make Mine Rare
Make Mine Rare
Make Mine Rare
With mounting interest from biotechs, Big Pharma, and the federal government, research on rare diseases is burgeoning.

Profile

3-D Seer
3-D Seer
Dissatisfied with the uncertainty of crystallography, Ned Seeman invented a new way of assembling the molecules that encompass the logic of life.

Critic at Large

Toads
Toads
Ascribing benefits to the experience of devastating illness or trauma is fraught with hidden dangers.

Editorial

Seeing the Forest for the Trees
Seeing the Forest for the Trees
Getting the big picture means asking lots of little questions.

Foundations

Ernst Haeckel’s Pedigree of Man, 1874
Ernst Haeckel’s Pedigree of Man, 1874
After completing his studies in medicine and biology, a restless Ernst Haeckel set off for Italy in 1859 to study art and marine biology. The diversity of life fascinated the 26-year-old Prussian, and in addition to painting landscapes, he spent the

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews
Capsule Reviews
First Life, Radioactivity, Brain Bugs, Life of Earth

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science
Speaking of Science
August 2011's selection of notable quotes

Lab Tools

Learning to Become a Tree Hugger
Learning to Become a Tree Hugger
A guide to free software for constructing and assessing species relationships

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the August 2011 issue of The Scientist.