Features

The Hunt for a Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease
The Hunt for a Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease
Shawna Williams | Dec 1, 2019
Researchers hope circulating biomarkers will enable earlier detection and better monitoring of the neurodegenerative disorder—and perhaps help usher in new treatments.
What Paraspeckles Can Teach Us About Basic Cell Biology
What Paraspeckles Can Teach Us About Basic Cell Biology
Archa Fox | Dec 1, 2019
Discovering a new type of subnuclear body taught me how pursuing the unexpected can lead to new insights—in this case, about long noncoding RNAs and liquid-liquid phase separation in cells.
2019 Top 10 Innovations
2019 Top 10 Innovations
The Scientist Staff | Dec 1, 2019
From a mass photometer to improved breath biopsy probes, these new products are poised for scientific success.

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the December 2019 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

Innovation Farming
Innovation Farming
Innovation Farming
Nurturing ideas to fruition, like growing plants, is a complex process that relies on a suitable substrate and favorable growth conditions.

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: Interdisciplinary Approach Needed to Crack Morphogenesis
Opinion: Interdisciplinary Approach Needed to Crack Morphogenesis
Opinion: Interdisciplinary Approach Needed to Crack Morphogenesis
Physicists, geneticists, computer scientists, and biologists are working together to gain a full appreciation of the intricacies of organismal growth and form.

Freeze Frame

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

Notebook

Life Rides the Wind in the Desert
Life Rides the Wind in the Desert
Life Rides the Wind in the Desert
As the afternoon breezes blow harder in the Atacama Desert—a place so desolate it’s used as a model of Mars—more microbes move into its driest regions.
Dramatic Temperature Spikes Inside Cells Draw Interest, Skepticism
Dramatic Temperature Spikes Inside Cells Draw Interest, Skepticism
Dramatic Temperature Spikes Inside Cells Draw Interest, Skepticism
Using a tiny thermometer, researchers record fluctuations of more than 7 Kelvin in sea slug neurons when a heat-generating mitochondrial process is switched on.
Sleep Study in Antarctica Explores Role of Cultural Differences
Sleep Study in Antarctica Explores Role of Cultural Differences
Sleep Study in Antarctica Explores Role of Cultural Differences
Habits such as napping might influence how humans cope with extreme environments, such as those at a polar research facility in winter.
A Last-Minute Science Dash to an Erupting Volcano
A Last-Minute Science Dash to an Erupting Volcano
A Last-Minute Science Dash to an Erupting Volcano
Researchers plan an oceanographic expedition to understand why a phytoplankton bloom developed as molten lava flowed into the sea east of Hawaii's Big Island.

Modus Operandi

CRISPR-Based Tool Expands DNA-Hydrogel Versatility
CRISPR-Based Tool Expands DNA-Hydrogel Versatility
CRISPR-Based Tool Expands DNA-Hydrogel Versatility
DNA-responsive polymer gels used for releasing drugs, encapsulating cells, and much more now have greater adaptability thanks to the Cas12a nuclease.

The Literature

Mitochondria from Different Brain Cells Have Different Proteins
Mitochondria from Different Brain Cells Have Different Proteins
Mitochondria from Different Brain Cells Have Different Proteins
Organelles isolated from two types of neurons and a nonneuronal astrocyte in the mouse cerebellum showed varying levels of proteins, hinting at functional differences.
Worm Embryogenesis: Cell by Cell and Gene by Gene
Worm Embryogenesis: Cell by Cell and Gene by Gene
Worm Embryogenesis: Cell by Cell and Gene by Gene
A single-cell map of C. elegans’s transcriptome during development finds cell lineages that start out genetically different and end up as cells of similar function and genetic profile.
Alzheimer’s Drug Reduces Chagas Disease Infection in Mice
Alzheimer’s Drug Reduces Chagas Disease Infection in Mice
Alzheimer’s Drug Reduces Chagas Disease Infection in Mice
The drug, called memantine, could enter clinical trials to determine its effectiveness in humans.

Profile

Exploring the Matrix: A Profile of Zena Werb
Exploring the Matrix: A Profile of Zena Werb
Exploring the Matrix: A Profile of Zena Werb
The cell and molecular biologist unveiled a role for the breakdown of proteins in the extracellular matrix in both healthy and pathogenic cells.

Scientist To Watch

Sergiu Pasca Builds Brains to Study Developmental Disease
Sergiu Pasca Builds Brains to Study Developmental Disease
Sergiu Pasca Builds Brains to Study Developmental Disease
The Stanford University professor helped develop a technique to grow brain organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells.

Careers

Do English-Only Policies Foster or Damage Inclusivity in Science?
Do English-Only Policies Foster or Damage Inclusivity in Science?
Do English-Only Policies Foster or Damage Inclusivity in Science?
Speaking a common language is key to a well-integrated team, but guidance is sparse on what—if anything—principal investigators should do about it.

Reading Frames

Foundations

Deathly Displays, circa 1662–1731
Deathly Displays, circa 1662–1731
Deathly Displays, circa 1662–1731
Frederik Ruysch’s collections blended specimens for scientific discovery with macabre art.

Infographics

Infographic: Biomarkers in Blood Provide a Window into the Brain
Infographic: Biomarkers in Blood Provide a Window into the Brain
Infographic: Biomarkers in Blood Provide a Window into the Brain
A look at some of the circulating molecules that may indicate various Alzheimer’s pathologies and serve as the bases of noninvasive tests for the disease.
Infographic: Paraspeckle Form and Function
Infographic: Paraspeckle Form and Function
Infographic: Paraspeckle Form and Function
What do scientists know about this membraneless nuclear body discovered less than two decades ago?
Infographic: What’s in a Mitochondrion?
Infographic: What’s in a Mitochondrion?
Infographic: What’s in a Mitochondrion?
A study finds variations in the levels of proteins for some important processes among organelles from different brain cells.