Science Seen

A Comic Genius
The Scientist Staff | Dec 14, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | A Comic Genius Courtesy of The American Philosophical Society  Lab picnics can be notoriously unfun affairs--the same faces, the same conversations, the same everything, save for the venue and missing white lab coats. That expectation, perhaps, makes photos like this all the more special: geneticist Barbara McClintock, in this photo from the 1980s, doing her best Groucho impression. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result =
Jelly Belly
The Scientist Staff | Dec 1, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Jelly Belly Courtesy of Claudia Mills, University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories  Most molecular biologists use GFP today. Likewise, most of them know that the original source of the green fluorescent protein is a jellyfish. But how many are aware that the Aequorea victoria really is a beautiful creature? function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false if (document.frm.score[0].checked) result = true; if (docum
No Pumpkin Here
The Scientist Staff | Nov 16, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | No Pumpkin Here ©2003 Eye of Science/Photo Researchers Inc.  This electron micrograph, taken by the German science graphics firm Eye of Science, shows the surface of a lavender leaf. The herb's thistly hairs protect the oil sac, but when stressed enough, they pierce the sac and release the fragrant oils. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false if (document.frm.score[0].checked) result = true; if (document.frm
How the Visionless Dream
The Scientist Staff | Nov 2, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | How the Visionless Dream Courtesy of Helder Bertolo  A congenitally blind person drew this scene, which was taken from a paper about visual dreaming.1 Up until now, such images were considered the sole domain of the sighted. 1. H. Bertolo et al., "Visual dream content, graphical representation and EEG a activity in congenitally blind subjects," Brain Res Cogn Brain Res, 15:277-84, 2003. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result
Arabidopsis in Blue
The Scientist Staff | Oct 19, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Arabidopsis in Blue Courtesy of James Hayden  Researchers at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia gave this photo some aesthetic forethought: It shows the dramatic difference in growth when a gene that detects blue light is removed from the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false if (document.frm.score[0].checked) result = true; if (document.frm.score[1].checked) result = true; if (document
Drug Potential
The Scientist Staff | Oct 5, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Drug Potential Courtesy of David Scharf  Researchers study marijuana primarily to find a drug that blocks its effects and as a source for potential pharmacological compounds. This electron micrograph of a Cannabis sativa leaf shows the pustules of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC)--the actual psychoactive substance. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false if (document.frm.score[0].checked) result = true; if (document.frm.score
Cabbage Patch Doll
The Scientist Staff | Sep 21, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Cabbage Patch Doll Courtesy of Rick Amasino  The University of Wisconsin's Rick Amasino found a graphic way to explain the effect of vernalization (the promotion of flowering by winter) to his students. He had his five-year-old daughter pose with these two, five-year-old cabbages. The one she's holding endured the Wisconsin winters. The other, greenhouse-kept, never flowered and grew out of control. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathnam
Incredible Voyager
The Scientist Staff | Sep 7, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Incredible Voyager Courtesy of Parmabase  Tired of boring database interfaces? This might resemble just another cellular diagram, but it's actually a navigation device for Pharmabase, a physiology and pharmacology database ( Although still under construction, users eventually will be able to click on any organelle and go directly to a site that will provide its relevant pharmacological properties. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value =
The Scientist Staff | Aug 24, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | R2DADA Courtesy of University of Western Australia  This robotically drawn artwork took some doing to produce. First, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology cultured individual rat neurons and attached anodes to them. Then, the random nerve impulses were sent directly to a robot at the University of Western Australia in Perth, which drew lines with each impulse. These drawings were entered in numerous art exhibits. But no robot should quit its day job. Not yet,
Dengue Junior
The Scientist Staff | Jul 27, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Dengue Junior Image: Ying Zhang, Richard Kuhn, Tim Baker, Michael Rossmann, Purdue University  This image, assembled by Purdue University researchers and others from cryoelectron micrographs of immature dengue viral particles, shows the 60 or so trimers, or three-pronged protein spikes, on its surface. Each protein molecule contains a fusion peptide that the virus uses to attach itself to a potential host. A mature dengue particle, in contrast, has a smooth surface. f
Aboriginal Anatomy
The Scientist Staff | Jul 13, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Aboriginal Anatomy Image: Corbis  Medical students have used anatomy textbooks to cram for exams for hundreds of years. No, make that thousands. Archaeologists believe that this aboriginal rock painting in Australia is more than 8,000 years old. It's a near-complete diagram of the human circulatory and skeletal networks. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false if (document.frm.score[0].checked) result = true; if (docu
People Palette
The Scientist Staff | Jun 29, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | People Palette Courtesy: Jennifer Steinkamp, University of California, Los Angeles  The theme of this artwork by UCLA art professor Jennifer Steinkamp, titled Einstein's Dilemma, is the disruption caused by science to the status quo. The piece hangs over the entrance to the California Institute of Technology's Aetheneum building; sensors in the lobby pick up a person's presence and electrostatically reconstruct the colors in the panel.   function sendData() { do
Chocolate Pinwheels?
The Scientist Staff | Jun 15, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Chocolate Pinwheels? Courtesy of The Natural History Museum, London  CHOCOLATE PINWHEELS? Plankton are Earth's primary defense against global warming, as they consume more carbon dioxide than any other organism. But who knew that these microscopic algae-like organisms, which pervade the world's oceans, could be so beautiful? This electron micrograph captures a Calcidiscus leptoporus shedding its exoskeleton and building a new one. function sendData() { document.frm.p
Sneak Preview
The Scientist Staff | Jun 1, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Sneak Preview Specimen courtesy of Andrew Koff, Anxo Vidal Image courtesy of Tim Bromage, Nancy Yeh  SNEAK PREVIEW: Using a technique called AutoMontage, which combines multiple, partially focused digital images, researchers captured skeletal development in a 16 1/2-day-old knockout mouse embryo, in which a gene coding for an enzyme responsible for cell division was inactivated. The embryo was stained to reveal cartilage (blue) and mineralized bone (red). function sen
A Mortal Coil
The Scientist Staff | May 18, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | A Mortal Coil Courtesy of Greg Matera  A MORTAL COIL: Sandra Wolin of Yale University and Gregory Matera of Case Western Reserve University identified a new type of suborganelle, which they termed the perinucleolar compartment (green dots). Similar to coiled bodies (pink dots), the researchers hypothesize that the new suborganelle may be involved in ribonucleoprotein biogenesis. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false
Drosophila Devils
The Scientist Staff | May 4, 2003 | 2 min read
Science Seen | Drosophila Devils Courtesy of Steve Kay  DROSOPHILA DEVILS: Steve Kay, of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., added the gene that encodes for luciferase--the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow--to these Drosophila fruit flies. Now he has a glow-in-the-dark genetic marker for his studies of cellular circadian clocks. And a little illumination if the lights go out. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false
Dracula's Pet Worm
The Scientist Staff | Apr 20, 2003 | 1 min read
Science Seen | Dracula's Pet Worm © COE UCSB  At first glance, it looks like a red-hot chili pepper, but in fact, it's a 10-inch bloodworm that normally lives in seabed sediment. Note the copper fangs that jut from its proboscis. Its discoverers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, say that its large copper content normally would be toxic to such an animal. However, this worm not only endures the copper, but it might also use it to activate its protein-based venom. It's
Licking the Genome
The Scientist Staff | Apr 6, 2003 | 1 min read
Science Seen | Licking the Genome  LICKING THE GENOME: On Feb. 3, 2003, the Royal Mail introduced a series of stamps celebrating the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA's structure. The top left stamp applauds the de-coding of the human genome. The others celebrate various aspects of genomic science. Philatelists lauded the humorous stamps, which instantly became collectors' items.
Tight Squeeze
The Scientist Staff | Mar 23, 2003 | 1 min read
Science Seen | Tight Squeeze  TIGHT SQUEEZE: Many cancer biologists believe that tumor metastases could be prevented by inhibiting the proteolytic enzymes that chew through the extracellular matrix. When Peter Friedl's team at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany blocked all proteolytic activity of the cancer cells (blue) they found that the cells took a surprising alternate route, squeezing their way through small gaps in the matrix. Friedl speculates that mammalian cells can revert to