Features

Smell and the Degenerating Brain
Smell and the Degenerating Brain
Richard L. Doty | Oct 1, 2013
An impaired sense of smell is one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and some other neurodegenerative diseases. Could it be a useful diagnostic tool?
A Pheromone by Any Other Name
A Pheromone by Any Other Name
C. Ron Yu | Oct 1, 2013
Long known to play a role in sexual attraction, pheromones are revealing their influence over a range of nonsexual behaviors as researchers tease apart the neural circuitry that translates smells into action.
Send in the Bots
Send in the Bots
Jef Akst | Oct 1, 2013
Animal robots have become a unique tool for studying the behavior of their flesh-and-blood counterparts.

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the October 2013 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

Get a Whiff of This
Get a Whiff of This
Get a Whiff of This
An issue devoted to the latest research on how smells lead to actions

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science
Speaking of Science
Speaking of Science
October 2013's selection of notable quotes

Notebook

Biofuel Mimicry
Biofuel Mimicry
Biofuel Mimicry
Could the fungus-gardening activities of leafcutter ants teach humans how to produce sustainable biofuels?
Trouble in the Heartland
Trouble in the Heartland
Trouble in the Heartland
A new tick-borne disease has emerged in the US Midwest—and the culprit is not a bacterium. 
Viral in Valencia
Viral in Valencia
Viral in Valencia
A genetic analysis that tracks the evolution of pathogens helped incriminate a Spanish anesthetist who infected hundreds of patients with hepatitis C.
A Briny Paradise
A Briny Paradise
A Briny Paradise
Hypersaline, anoxic basins on the Mediterranean seafloor harbor pockets of unique and diverse life.

Critic at Large

Proceed with Caution
Proceed with Caution
Proceed with Caution
While genomic data sharing is essential for research, scientists must work to keep sensitive, potentially damaging information under wraps.
Three-Way Parenthood
Three-Way Parenthood
Three-Way Parenthood
Avoiding the transmission of mitochondrial disease takes a trio, but raises a host of logistical issues.

Modus Operandi

Monitoring Magnetic Bugs
Monitoring Magnetic Bugs
Monitoring Magnetic Bugs
Diamonds are a biomagnetologist’s best friend.

The Literature

Scent Sorting
Scent Sorting
Scent Sorting
In discrete neuron networks linking odor receptors in the nose to higher brain areas, similar odors are parsed by deep-lying cells with narrow odor selectivity.
Odor Encoder
Odor Encoder
Odor Encoder
Ensembles of as few as 25 mushroom body neurons allow Drosophila to distinguish and react to specific odors. 
Let It Linger
Let It Linger
Let It Linger
Prolonged responses to odors, called afterimages, may originate in the brain, rather than in the nose.

Profile

An Olfaction Odyssey
An Olfaction Odyssey
An Olfaction Odyssey
Thanks to a book, a war, and a big green caterpillar, John Hildebrand found himself mapping the exquisite and surprising wiring of the insect olfactory system.

Scientist to Watch

Yoav Gilad: Gene Regulator
Yoav Gilad: Gene Regulator
Yoav Gilad: Gene Regulator
Professor, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago. Age: 38

Lab Tools

Scents in a Flash
Scents in a Flash
Scents in a Flash
The modern technique of optogenetics stimulates the complex act of smelling with a simple flash of light.
Data Drive
Data Drive
Data Drive
Solutions for sharing, storing, and analyzing big data

Careers

Bonding in the Lab
Bonding in the Lab
Bonding in the Lab
How to make your lab less like a factory and more like a family

Reading Frames

Dr. Darwin at the Bedside
Dr. Darwin at the Bedside
Dr. Darwin at the Bedside
It’s time for evolutionary medicine to fully inform clinical research and patient care.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews
Capsule Reviews
Capsule Reviews
Perv, Behind the Shock Machine, The Gaia Hypothesis, and Life at the Speed of Light

Foundations

The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873
The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873
The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873
A scientist’s desperate attempts to prove that Mycobacterium leprae causes leprosy landed him on trial, but his insights into the disease’s pathology were eventually vindicated.