Features

A Dog’s View of Optical Illusions
A Dog’s View of Optical Illusions
Catherine Offord | Jan 1, 2021
Researchers are using visual tricks to try to better understand canine perception.
Human Fetuses Can Contract SARS-CoV-2, but It’s Rare
Human Fetuses Can Contract SARS-CoV-2, but It’s Rare
Ashley Yeager | Jan 1, 2021
Compared with Zika and cytomegalovirus, the virus that causes COVID-19 appears to have a harder time penetrating the placenta and moving to a woman’s unborn baby.

Editorial

An End in Sight
An End in Sight
An End in Sight
Last year humanity confronted our biggest challenge in a century. Science helped us see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we need to keep moving forward to emerge.

Speaking of Science

Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

Critic at Large

Opinion: Blowing the Whistle on Research Grant Fraud
Opinion: Blowing the Whistle on Research Grant Fraud
Opinion: Blowing the Whistle on Research Grant Fraud
Reporting cases of misconduct in the context of federal science funding can be a daunting task. But mechanisms to support whistleblowers do exist.

Notebook

Tardigrades’ List of Super Powers Grows Ever Longer
Tardigrades’ List of Super Powers Grows Ever Longer
Tardigrades’ List of Super Powers Grows Ever Longer
Water bears can survive extreme temperatures, oxidative stress, UV radiation, and more, but as work in climate change biology shows, they’re not invulnerable to everything.
Honeybee Microbes Shape the Colony’s Social Behavior
Honeybee Microbes Shape the Colony’s Social Behavior
Honeybee Microbes Shape the Colony’s Social Behavior
Recent research shows that the insect’s microbial community is central to protecting the hive from invaders—both big and small.

Modus Operandi

Light-Activated Molecules Stop Apoptosis at the Flip of a Switch
Light-Activated Molecules Stop Apoptosis at the Flip of a Switch
Light-Activated Molecules Stop Apoptosis at the Flip of a Switch
A new inhibitor gives researchers the ability to control programmed cell death in cultured human T cells.

The Literature

New Screening Approach Reveals Novel Regulators of Microcephaly
New Screening Approach Reveals Novel Regulators of Microcephaly
New Screening Approach Reveals Novel Regulators of Microcephaly
Researchers combine organoids, CRISPR-Cas9, and cellular barcoding technologies to identify genes that influence brain size.
How RNAs Called SINEUPs Upregulate Translation
How RNAs Called SINEUPs Upregulate Translation
How RNAs Called SINEUPs Upregulate Translation
The recently discovered long noncoding RNAs seem to boost the production of specific proteins in the cell by interacting with RNA-binding proteins, researchers find.

Scientist to Watch

Celine Frere Chases Dragons and Koalas to Learn How They Adapt
Celine Frere Chases Dragons and Koalas to Learn How They Adapt
Celine Frere Chases Dragons and Koalas to Learn How They Adapt
The biologist at the University of Sunshine Coast in Australia wants to understand why some animal species adapt well to urbanization, while others fall flat.

Careers

Steps to End “Colonial Science” Slowly Take Shape
Steps to End “Colonial Science” Slowly Take Shape
Steps to End “Colonial Science” Slowly Take Shape
Scientists from countries with fewer resources are pushing collaborators from higher-income countries to shed biases and behaviors that perpetuate social stratification in the research community.

Reading Frames

A Geneticist’s Quest to Understand His Son’s Mysterious Disease
A Geneticist’s Quest to Understand His Son’s Mysterious Disease
A Geneticist’s Quest to Understand His Son’s Mysterious Disease
Ronald Davis of Stanford University changed his focus to research on ME/CFS, the disease formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, in a bid to help his son and others like him.

Foundations

Introducing Inoculation, 1721
Introducing Inoculation, 1721
Introducing Inoculation, 1721
As a deadly smallpox outbreak ravaged Boston, one of the city’s leaders advocated for a preventive measure he’d learned about from Onesimus, an enslaved man.

Infographics

Infographic: What Do Dogs Perceive?
Infographic: What Do Dogs Perceive?
Infographic: What Do Dogs Perceive?
Researchers use optical illusions to investigate canine perception.
Infographic: How SARS-CoV-2 Might Travel from Mom to Fetus
Infographic: How SARS-CoV-2 Might Travel from Mom to Fetus
Infographic: How SARS-CoV-2 Might Travel from Mom to Fetus
The virus rarely spreads from mother to child before birth, but it can—and researchers are starting to investigate the path it takes.
Infographic: Light Triggers Photocage Opening, Apoptosis Inhibition
Infographic: Light Triggers Photocage Opening, Apoptosis Inhibition
Infographic: Light Triggers Photocage Opening, Apoptosis Inhibition
Researchers develop a caspase inhibitor that only works after being irradiated with UV light, giving them control over apoptosis in human cells.