Features

The Enigmatic Membrane
Muriel Mari, Sharon A. Tooze, and Fulvio Reggiori | Feb 1, 2012
Despite years of research, the longstanding mystery of where the autophagosome gets its double lipid bilayers is not much clearer.
The War Within
Ole H. Petersen, Oleg V. Gerasimenko, and Julia V. Gerasimenko | Feb 1, 2012
Unraveling the molecular causes of acute pancreatitis—a potentially deadly disease in which the pancreas essentially digests itself—is yielding clues to how it might be treated.
Casting a Wide Eye
Cristina Luiggi | Feb 1, 2012
Scientists study a variety of large-scale biological phenomena from the vantage point of space.

Editorial

On the Menu
On the Menu
Digestion on the cellular level: two mysteries examined

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science
Speaking of Science
February 2012's selection of notable quotes

Notebook

Genghis Jon
Genghis Jon
By helping Mongolians cultivate an understanding of their native insect fauna, scientists hope to protect the country's unique yet fragile ecosystems.
Sweet and Sour Science
Sweet and Sour Science
Japanese researchers unravel the mystery of miracle fruit.
Science Afield
Science Afield
Portable wet-lab kits allow even soldiers stationed in war zones to earn college science credits.
Reading Tea Leaves
Reading Tea Leaves
Cyclic peptides, discovered in an African tea used to speed labor and delivery, may hold potential as drug-stabilizing scaffolds, antibiotics, and anticancer drugs.

Thought Experiment

Ready for Prime Time
Ready for Prime Time
Ready for Prime Time
Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease are ready for widespread use in clinical trials.

Critic at Large

Never Say Never
Never Say Never
Novel observations can sometimes be correct for unexpected reasons.
Learning by Doing
Learning by Doing
Having freshmen perform research doesn’t just improve undergraduate learning, it convinces more students to become science majors.

Modus Operandi

Switching the Bait
Switching the Bait
Turning a standard technique into an unbiased screen for diagnostic biomarkers

The Literature

Immune Heat
Immune Heat
Editor's choice in immunology
Forced Feeding
Forced Feeding
Editor's choice in drug development
Give Me a Hug
Give Me a Hug
Editor's choice in cell biology

Scientist to Watch

Rommie Amaro: Protein Explorer
Rommie Amaro: Protein Explorer
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of California, San Diego. Age: 34

Lab Tools

Little Squirts
Little Squirts
A road map to liquid-handling solutions on the market

Careers

Female Frontrunners
Female Frontrunners
How to successfully surmount the challenges women face in becoming biotech industry leaders

Reading Frames

Killing with Kindness
Killing with Kindness
Killing with Kindness
Studying the evolution of altruistic behaviors reveals how knee-jerk good intentions can backfire.

Foundations

Botanical Blueprints, circa 1843
Botanical Blueprints, circa 1843
Anna Atkins, pioneering female photographer, revolutionized scientific illustration using a newly invented photographic technique.

Slideshows

Cyan Wonders
Cyan Wonders
In 1842, Anna Atkins, a 43-year-old amateur botanist from Kent, England, began experimenting with a brand-new photographic process called cyanotype or blue-print. 
The View From Above
The View From Above
Satellite imagery is giving biologists a whole new perspective on the phenomena they study.

Infographics

How Autophagy Works
How Autophagy Works
How Autophagy Works
There are five steps of autophagosome biogenesis: induction, expansion, vesicle completion, fusion, and cargo degradation. 
Calcium and the Pancreas
Calcium and the Pancreas
Calcium and the Pancreas
Normal pancreatic function depends on the precise flow of calcium within and into the acinar cells of the organ. 

Videos

Swarming Mongolia
Swarming Mongolia
For the past decade and a half, a crew of about 20 entomologists, water ecologists, and other specialists converges on the shorelines of Mongolia’s lakes, rivers, and streams, just when swarms of aquatic insects do the same.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews
Capsule Reviews
Neurogastronomy, Why Calories Count, The Kitchen as Laboratory, Fear of Food

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the February 2012 issue of The Scientist.