Features

Decoding Human Accelerated Regions
Decoding Human Accelerated Regions
Katherine S. Pollard | Aug 1, 2016
Do the portions of our genomes that set us apart from other animals hold the secret to human evolution?
Humans Never Stopped Evolving
Humans Never Stopped Evolving
John Hawks | Aug 1, 2016
The emergence of blood abnormalities, an adult ability to digest milk, and changes in our physical appearance point to the continued evolution of the human race.
The Genes Underlying Autism Are Coming Into Focus
The Genes Underlying Autism Are Coming Into Focus
Megan Scudellari | Aug 1, 2016
As researchers sequence the DNA of thousands of kids with autism, dozens of genetic subgroups are emerging.

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the August 2016 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

On Becoming Human
On Becoming Human
On Becoming Human
Some thoughts on going to the Galápagos

Speaking of Science

Notable Science Quotes
Notable Science Quotes
Notable Science Quotes
Brexit's effect on science, melding disciplines, and more

Notebook

New Lyme Disease Test Developed by Summer Student
New Lyme Disease Test Developed by Summer Student
New Lyme Disease Test Developed by Summer Student
The high schooler was studying cancer biomarkers in a George Mason University lab when her familial experiences with Lyme disease sparked an idea.
Do Schizophrenic Brains Repair Themselves?
Do Schizophrenic Brains Repair Themselves?
Do Schizophrenic Brains Repair Themselves?
Preliminary research suggests that the brains of schizophrenia patients may regain tissue mass as the illness wears on.
The Hormones and Brain Regions Behind Eye Contact
The Hormones and Brain Regions Behind Eye Contact
The Hormones and Brain Regions Behind Eye Contact
Can oxytocin help increase eye contact in patients with autism, thus opening up a whole new world of social interaction?
How Your Nose Got Its Shape
How Your Nose Got Its Shape
How Your Nose Got Its Shape
Climate variation has sculpted our schnozzes since the earliest humans evolved, but environmental pressures can’t explain everything.

Critic at Large

Opinion: Our Inner Caveman
Opinion: Our Inner Caveman
Opinion: Our Inner Caveman
The modern human brain evolved in social and environmental settings very unlike today’s. Despite our cultural and technological progress, tribal instincts remain.

Thought Experiment

Modus Operandi

Wanted: Transcriptional Regulators
Wanted: Transcriptional Regulators
Wanted: Transcriptional Regulators
Researchers have designed a screen to find unique molecules, called riboswitches, that determine whether transcription will proceed.

The Literature

Newly Discovered Emergency Responders to Liver Damage
Newly Discovered Emergency Responders to Liver Damage
Newly Discovered Emergency Responders to Liver Damage
Immune cells called macrophages from the peritoneal cavity of mice migrate to injured livers and aid in repair.
Pesticide Resistance in a Plant Organelle Drives Down Whole-Genome Diversity
Pesticide Resistance in a Plant Organelle Drives Down Whole-Genome Diversity
Pesticide Resistance in a Plant Organelle Drives Down Whole-Genome Diversity
A chloroplast mutation has dramatically affected the genomes of railside populations of Arabidopsis thaliana.
Increasing Seal Pup Numbers Influence Feral-Horse Feeding Habits
Increasing Seal Pup Numbers Influence Feral-Horse Feeding Habits
Increasing Seal Pup Numbers Influence Feral-Horse Feeding Habits
Researchers reveal how seals affect vegetation patterns and influence the movement of feral horse populations on Sable Island in Canada.

Profile

Clyde A. Hutchison III: Genome Sequencer and Synthetic Biologist
Clyde A. Hutchison III: Genome Sequencer and Synthetic Biologist
Clyde A. Hutchison III: Genome Sequencer and Synthetic Biologist
From sequencing bacteriophages to synthesizing bacterial genomes to defining a minimal genome

Scientist to Watch

Cullen Buie Parses Pathogens With Passion
Cullen Buie Parses Pathogens With Passion
Cullen Buie Parses Pathogens With Passion
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT. Age: 34

Lab Tools

Software for Image Analysis
Software for Image Analysis
Software for Image Analysis
Profiles of five programs for quantifying data from Westerns, dot blots, gels, and colony cultures
How to Build Bioinformatic Pipelines Using Galaxy
How to Build Bioinformatic Pipelines Using Galaxy
How to Build Bioinformatic Pipelines Using Galaxy
A point-and-click interface alternative to command-line tools that allows researchers to easily create, run, and troubleshoot serial sequence analyses

Bio Business

The Growth of Iowa Biotech
The Growth of Iowa Biotech
The Growth of Iowa Biotech
The state’s industry draws inspiration from medicine as well as agriculture.

Reading Frames

The Neanderthal in the Mirror
The Neanderthal in the Mirror
The Neanderthal in the Mirror
Our evolutionary cousin is no longer a blundering caveman. Recent research has painted a picture of a human ancestor with culture, art, and advanced cognitive skills.

Capsule Reviews

Hot Off the Presses
Hot Off the Presses
Hot Off the Presses
Idiot Brain, Wild Sex, Why Diets Make Us Fat, and The Ethics of Invention

Foundations

First Micrographs of Myxobacteria Forming Fruiting Bodies
First Micrographs of Myxobacteria Forming Fruiting Bodies
First Micrographs of Myxobacteria Forming Fruiting Bodies
By ditching traditional agar-based media, two biochemists captured iconic images of Myxococcus in 1982.