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.