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Contributors
Contributors
Contributors Blanche Capel studied to be an interior designer before making the switch to biology. “There’s something about using your mind to understand the biology of who we are and how we work that makes me feel alive,” she says. In 1993, Capel started her own lab at Duke University studying sex–or, more specifically, the mechanisms that govern sex determination, a crucial developmental process. S
Memo to Moneybags
Memo to Moneybags
By Richard Gallagher Memo to Moneybags For $1 billion you can buy a mid-ranked soccer club…or a world class biotech cluster. A relatively small additional investment could end up with a big payout for the investor and the region. One of my fantasies is to own Celtic Football Club, a storied club based in Glasgow. So I can’t find it in me to outright criticize Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who recently splashed out £8
Mail
Mail
Mail Thanks for an excellent article, and for creating The Scientist Video Awards competition.1 Homemade videos of scientists at work may be the best way to show the general public how science works, and make it relevant to their daily lives. Hopefully this article and the video competition will encourage more scientists to make videos about their work, and other professionals to develop resources and tools to make it easy for th
Tiny tubers
Tiny tubers
By Daniel Grushkin Tiny tubers A cassava grown under CO2 levels projected for the next century (right) yielded 80% less food than a tuber grown under current conditions. Courtesy of Plant Biol, published online August 6, 2009 When Ros Gleadow opened the airlock to the greenhouse at The Australian National University, she stepped into the atmosphere of the future. The air was thick with carbon dioxide—700 parts per million, to be precise—
Leaping Laureates
Leaping Laureates
By Andrea Gawrylewski Leaping Laureates Martin Chalfie never envisioned celebrating his 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry by toting a giant paper mâché frog on his shoulders across the Stockholm University campus on a cold, dark December eve. But three days after he crossed the stage of the Stockholm Concert Hall to receive his gold medal for the development of green fluorescent protein, he did—part of his induction into the Ord
Baffling base
Baffling base
By Jef Akst Baffling base Images of GFP-labeled Purkinje cell nuclei (left) and the chromatography results of the DNA nucleotides. The pencil points out the mysterious presence of hmC. Courtesy of Skirmantas Kriaucionis Postdoctoral researcher Skirmantas Kriaucionis sat at the computer in the lab of molecular biologist Nathaniel Heintz at the Rockefeller University in New York, looking at an unidentified spot that hung mysteriously on the s
Startup on the cheap
Startup on the cheap
By Chris Tachibana Startup on the cheap A faded red Volkswagen dune buggy sails into the parking lot of a forgettable brown cinderblock building in Seattle with Johnny Stine at the wheel. Stine’s transportation and vision for his biotechnology lab are straight out of the 1970s, when Genentech started in a warehouse, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen created Microsoft on a shoestring. Now, Stine is trying to do the same with North Coast Biologics. Mos
Olympic cleanup
Olympic cleanup
By Jef Akst Olympic cleanup Pictured from left: Prof. J. Hirokawa, Hokkaido University; Nathan Kellams, Valparaiso University; Ted Pietrzak, Valparaiso University; R. Saito, Hokkaido University. Photo by Katherine Kuster On August 6, 2008, just after 2 o’clock in the afternoon in Sapporo, Japan, physicist Gary Morris of Valparaiso University in Indiana surrendered the 6-foot-wide, solid-white weather balloon that he had just spent ov
Tell Me A Story of Science
Tell Me A Story of Science
By Randy Olson Tell Me A Story of Science Want to generate interest in your research? Here’s how. “Heard any good talks?” That’s what you hear in the lobby of science meetings. The standard reply is, “I heard a great talk this afternoon—the speaker told a really neat story about ...” And there you have it. He or she told a good story. You want to know how to interest the public in your
Collaborations: Challenging, but Key
Collaborations: Challenging, but Key
By Steven Wiley Collaborations: Challenging, but Key Like any relationship, collaborations take energy, but nothing is better for your research. I learned about the difficulty in starting a collaboration when I began searching for one early in my career. Collaborations are becoming increasingly important in biology because of the need to apply multiple technologies to tackle the most complex current problems. The U.S. National Institutes
The Battling Sexes
The Battling Sexes
span.cap { float: left; margin: 0 3px 0 0; padding: 25px 0 25px 0; font-size: 80px; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode", "Lucida Grande", sans-serif; } By Blanche Capel Choosing Sex The gonad is an amazingly labile organ where male and female signals vie for dominance in the developing embryo. © Lynn Johnson / National Geographic Image Collection --> Editor's Note: The gender of South African runner Caster Semenya&
Lab Toys
Lab Toys
How does cage enrichment affect rodents? 
Choosing Sex
Choosing Sex
span.cap { float: left; margin: 0 3px 0 0; padding: 25px 0 25px 0; font-size: 80px; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode", "Lucida Grande", sans-serif; } By Blanche Capel Choosing Sex The gonad is an amazingly labile organ where male and female signals vie for dominance in the developing embryo. he recent controversy over the South African runner Caster Semenya's gender illustrates the complexity of how sex is assigned in hum
Evolution, Resisted
Evolution, Resisted
Scientists are trying to design the last malaria control agent the world will ever need.
Genome Guru
Genome Guru
By Karen Hopkin Genome Guru With some creative coding, Tim Hubbard has helped scientists see into the future of biomedicine. © Cate Gillon Tim Hubbard claims he knows nothing about genetics. But he was drawn into the high-stakes world of genomics by a job offer he couldn’t refuse. Hubbard had been working on algorithms for predicting protein structures at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering in the Un
Cortical crosstalk
Cortical crosstalk
By Jef Akst Cortical Crosstalk Scientists are eavesdropping on the brain’s conversations in search of clues underlying complex behaviors. Recorded waveforms of neural activity. Courtesy of Earl Miller The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, but for years, available technology greatly limited scientists’ interpretation of how the billions of neurons act in concert to create complex behav
You give me fever
You give me fever
By Elie Dolgin You give me fever James Gathany / CDC The paper: V. Nene et al., “Genome sequence of Aedes aegypti, a major arbovirus vector,” Science, 316:1718–23, 2007. (Cited in 100 papers) The finding: Five years after scientists sequenced the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute and the University of Notre Dame released the genetic blueprint of
Deconstructing structure
Deconstructing structure
By Elie Dolgin Deconstructing structure Courtesy of Jonathan Pritchard The paper: D. Falush et al., “Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data: dominant markers and null alleles,” Mol Ecol Notes, 7:574–78, 2007. (Cited in 91 papers) The finding: University College Cork’s Daniel Falush and the University of Chicago’s Jonathan Pritchard updated a widely used comp
Down memory lane
Down memory lane
By Elie Dolgin Down memory lane © Marc Phares / Photo Researchers, Inc The paper: A. Fischer et al., “Recovery of learning and memory is associated with chromatin remodeling,” Nature, 447:178–82, 2007. (Cited in 82 papers) The finding: Li-Huei Tsai and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that mentally stimulating environment caused chromatin modifications that restored learning and lo
Audrey Dussutour: Insect Traffic Cop
Audrey Dussutour: Insect Traffic Cop
By Alla Katsnelson Audrey Dussutour: Insect Traffic Cop © Julie Cerise Audrey Dussutour never had a special fondness for ants, but over the last decade, she’s gotten to know them very well—especially their propensity to act as a single organism though hundreds or thousands of individuals may comprise a single colony. “It’s fascinating, because it works exactly opposite to humans—there&
Behavior in Action
Behavior in Action
By Kelly Rae Chi Behavior in Action Tools and techniques for tracking mammalian behavior. Even the seemingly simplest mammalian behaviors, such as grooming one’s offspring, involve a complex series of tiny movements that may be invisible to the human eye. But in studying those behaviors, how to break them down into reliable, measurable components? “All of these advances in technology give us data that [weren’t] available
Gulf State Gamble
Gulf State Gamble
By Tia Ghose Gulf State Gamble Oil-rich countries like the UAE and Qatar are pouring money into biotech initiatives, but will they transform the desert nations into true research centers? A rendering of DuBiotech biotechnology office and research park. Courtesy of Dubiotech In the emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a set of glass towers is slowly rising up over the desert. The half-finished buildings form the skeleton of
Steps to creating your own consulting business
Steps to creating your own consulting business
ol li { font-family:"Trebuchet MS", Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; } By Toby Freedman Steps to creating your own consulting business Create an office. Creating a home office is not only convenient, but it allows you to deduct part of your home expenses (i.e., insurance, mortgage, utilities etc.). Be sure to create a distinct space for your home office in order to be eligible for an office tax deduction. But be careful, there may
Considering Consulting?
Considering Consulting?
By Toby Freedman Considering Consulting? Find out what you need to do to start (and succeed at) your own consultancy. © Phil Marden / Getty Images After working for DuPont (which became DuPont Merck) for 17 years, Bill Schmidt decided to take his act on the road. The company elected to stop developing drug candidates for pain that Schmidt had been working on, based on the belief that no new drug could compete
Nuclear Degradation in the Lens, circa 1897-1899
Nuclear Degradation in the Lens, circa 1897-1899
By Ralf Dahm Nuclear Degradation in the Lens, circa 1897–1899 The developing lens (progressing left to right in the top line, then left to right in the bottom line) invaginates from the surface and pinches off as a hollow vesicle. The remaining cells then elongate to fill the vesicle and form a solid lens. Finally, the cells in the center of the lens degrade their nuclei and other organelles. Courtesy of Zeitschrift für wissensch