Features

These Organelles Have No Membranes
These Organelles Have No Membranes
Michael Crabtree, Tim Nott | Dec 1, 2018
From making ribosomes to protecting the integrity of the genome, these membraneless compartments play important roles in the cell. Their behavior is rooted in basic physics.
Bacteria Harbor Geometric “Organelles”
Bacteria Harbor Geometric “Organelles”
Amber Dance | Dec 1, 2018
Microbes, traditionally thought to lack organelles, get a metabolic boost from geometric compartments that act as cauldrons for chemical reactions. Bioengineers are eager to harness the compartments for their own purposes.
2018 Top 10 Innovations
2018 Top 10 Innovations
The Scientist Staff | Dec 1, 2018
Biology happens on many levels, from ecosystems to electron transport chains. These tools may help spur discoveries at all of life's scales.

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the December 2018 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

Hindsight
Hindsight
Hindsight
Looking back at a year filled with discoveries and challenges.

Speaking of Science

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

Notebook

Goats Prefer Happy Human Faces
Goats Prefer Happy Human Faces
Goats Prefer Happy Human Faces
Like dogs and horses, goats can discern happy from angry facial expressions. But whether these animals possess empathy remains unclear.
Brain Rhythms Guide How Humans Pay Attention
Brain Rhythms Guide How Humans Pay Attention
Brain Rhythms Guide How Humans Pay Attention
A perception of sustained focus may actually be the result of cycles of fluctuating rather than continuous neural activity, according to new behavioral and neurological data from studies in humans and macaques.
How One Wild Dolphin's Trick Became a Fad
How One Wild Dolphin's Trick Became a Fad
How One Wild Dolphin's Trick Became a Fad
After release from rehab, bottlenose Billie started walking on water with her tail. Studying how the behavior spread could offer clues about how animals learn from each other.

Cheese Helped Fuel Early Farmers in Europe
Cheese Helped Fuel Early Farmers in Europe
Cheese Helped Fuel Early Farmers in Europe
Scientists have found traces of the dairy product in 7,200-year-old pottery in Croatia.

Freeze Frame

Caught on Camera
Caught on Camera
Caught on Camera
Selected Images of the Day from the-scientist.com

Modus Operandi

Sounding Out Cell Stickiness
Sounding Out Cell Stickiness
Sounding Out Cell Stickiness
Acoustic forces can be used to differentiate adherent from non-adherent cells.

The Literature

Fat Cells Shrink to Make Room for Milk in Breastfeeding Mouse Moms
Fat Cells Shrink to Make Room for Milk in Breastfeeding Mouse Moms
Fat Cells Shrink to Make Room for Milk in Breastfeeding Mouse Moms
Adipocytes lose their lipids and reprogram themselves into stem cells during lactation, then turn back into fat cells after pups wean.
Diverse Forests Are Better at Accumulating Carbon
Diverse Forests Are Better at Accumulating Carbon
Diverse Forests Are Better at Accumulating Carbon
A higher species richness could boost plant communities’ ability to mitigate climate change, a study suggests.
Leukemia Relapses May Arise From Specialized Cells
Leukemia Relapses May Arise From Specialized Cells
Leukemia Relapses May Arise From Specialized Cells
Targeting the transient group of cells could prevent recurrence of the disease.

Profile

Discovery’s Crest: A Profile of Marianne Bronner
Discovery’s Crest: A Profile of Marianne Bronner
Discovery’s Crest: A Profile of Marianne Bronner
Studying how neural crest cells journey through the embryo, this Caltech developmental biologist has revealed how they form major cell types, including peripheral neurons, bone, and smooth muscle.

Scientist to Watch

Prachee Avasthi Explores How Cells Build and Maintain Cilia
Prachee Avasthi Explores How Cells Build and Maintain Cilia
Prachee Avasthi Explores How Cells Build and Maintain Cilia
The University of Kansas professor is also known for her leadership among early-career researchers.

Lab Tools

 Imaging Chromatin to Deduce Function From Form
 Imaging Chromatin to Deduce Function From Form
 Imaging Chromatin to Deduce Function From Form
Researchers describe their tools for probing how the physical shape of the genome affects genes’ function.

Bio Business

The UK Pharmaceutical Industry Braces for Brexit
The UK Pharmaceutical Industry Braces for Brexit
The UK Pharmaceutical Industry Braces for Brexit
As Britain’s departure date from the European Union approaches, drugmakers are preparing for potential changes to regulatory procedures and border controls.

Reading Frames

Racing for the Ribosome
Racing for the Ribosome
Racing for the Ribosome
Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan’s new book recounts the tale of researchers striving to understand an ancient molecular machine that is essential for all life.

Foundations

Rethinking Raw Milk, 1918
Rethinking Raw Milk, 1918
Rethinking Raw Milk, 1918
Bacteriologist Alice Evans identified the pathogen that causes undulant fever, leading her to push for the pasteurization of milk.

Infographics

Infographic: What Are Membraneless Organelles?
Infographic: What Are Membraneless Organelles?
Infographic: What Are Membraneless Organelles?
The physical principles that dictate the formation of these subcellular compartments are simple, but they dictate the organelles’ complex functions.
Infographic: Bacterial Microcompartments Basics
Infographic: Bacterial Microcompartments Basics
Infographic: Bacterial Microcompartments Basics
These icosahedral structures are composed of proteins with unique geometric properties, which enable bacteria to employ them in a variety of situations.
Infographic: Shaken Loose
Infographic: Shaken Loose
Infographic: Shaken Loose
How acoustic waves let researchers measure whether, and how firmly, cells are bound to a substrate