Cover Story

New Techniques Detail Embryos’ First Hours and Days
New Techniques Detail Embryos’ First Hours and Days
Jef Akst | Dec 1, 2017
New technologies reveal the dynamic changes in mouse and human embryos during the first week after fertilization.

Features

Search for Life on the Red Planet
Search for Life on the Red Planet
Diana Kwon | Dec 1, 2017
Growing evidence points to a once-habitable world—and recent findings suggest that life could exist on Mars today.
2017 Top 10 Innovations
2017 Top 10 Innovations
The Scientist Staff | Dec 1, 2017
From single-cell analysis to whole-genome sequencing, this year's best new products shine on many levels.

Contributors

Contributors

Contributors

Contributors

Meet some of the people featured in the December 2017 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

Looking back, looking forward

Speaking of Science

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

Notebook

Insects’ Neural Learning and Memory Center Discovered in Crustaceans

Insects’ Neural Learning and Memory Center Discovered in Crustaceans

Insects’ Neural Learning and Memory Center Discovered in Crustaceans

Aggressive little marine predators, mantis shrimps possess a mushroom body that appears identical to the one found in insects.
Robotic Birds Help Decode Avian Deception

Robotic Birds Help Decode Avian Deception

Robotic Birds Help Decode Avian Deception

Magpie-larks trick rivals with solo “duets” to defend territory.
Cataloging Fungal Life in Antarctic Seas

Cataloging Fungal Life in Antarctic Seas

Cataloging Fungal Life in Antarctic Seas

Brazilian researchers report a relatively large diversity of fungi in marine ecosystems surrounding Antarctica, but warn that climate change could bring unpleasant surprises.

Modus Operandi

Researchers Make Knockout Stem Cell Lines in One StepResearchers Make Knockout Stem Cell Lines in One Step

Researchers Make Knockout Stem Cell Lines in One Step

Researchers Make Knockout Stem Cell Lines in One Step

Combining gene editing and stem-cell induction improves efficiency of functional genetic analyses.

The Literature

Researchers Identify Obesity-Diabetes Link

Researchers Identify Obesity-Diabetes Link

Researchers Identify Obesity-Diabetes Link

Exosomes produced by macrophages in fatty tissue influence insulin sensitivity in distant cell types, a study finds.
Immune System Targets Diverse Viruses Using the Same Small Peptide

Immune System Targets Diverse Viruses Using the Same Small Peptide

Immune System Targets Diverse Viruses Using the Same Small Peptide

A single receptor on natural killer cells recognizes an amino acid sequence conserved across Zika, dengue, and related pathogens.
Support Cells Gain Stem Cell-Like Properties After Nerve Injury

Support Cells Gain Stem Cell-Like Properties After Nerve Injury

Support Cells Gain Stem Cell-Like Properties After Nerve Injury

When peripheral nerves are severed, Schwann cells at the injury site begin to proliferate and exhibit stem cell-like gene expression patterns.

Profile

Captivated by Chromosomes

Captivated by Chromosomes

Captivated by Chromosomes

Peering through a microscope since age 14, Joseph Gall, now 89, still sees wonder at the other end.

Scientist to Watch

Neslihan Taş Studies Permafrost Microbes as They’re Roused by a Warming Climate

Neslihan Taş Studies Permafrost Microbes as They’re Roused by a Warming Climate

Neslihan Taş Studies Permafrost Microbes as They’re Roused by a Warming Climate

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher’s work will help predict how the Arctic is responding to climate change—and the global effects of those changes.

Lab Tools

Optical Cell Sorting

Optical Cell Sorting

Optical Cell Sorting

Researchers are using light and new image processing tools for label-free cell characterization.

Careers

Philanthropic Funding Makes Waves in Basic Science

Philanthropic Funding Makes Waves in Basic Science

Philanthropic Funding Makes Waves in Basic Science

Private funders are starting to support big projects, and they’re rewriting the playbook on fueling scientific research.

Reading Frames

Sense, Sensibility, and Neuroscience

Sense, Sensibility, and Neuroscience

Sense, Sensibility, and Neuroscience

Jane Austen can teach us a lot about how our brains handle uncertainty.

Foundations

Meet the Press, 1967

Meet the Press, 1967

Meet the Press, 1967

Fifty years ago, Arthur Kornberg announced to reporters that his team had synthesized functional DNA.