Electrode Array with needle-like microelectrodes facing upward
Brain Implant Allows Completely Paralyzed Patient to Communicate
The patient, who has ALS, is able to communicate in complete sentences by deliberately altering his brain’s activity.
ABOVE: Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering
Brain Implant Allows Completely Paralyzed Patient to Communicate
Brain Implant Allows Completely Paralyzed Patient to Communicate

The patient, who has ALS, is able to communicate in complete sentences by deliberately altering his brain’s activity.

The patient, who has ALS, is able to communicate in complete sentences by deliberately altering his brain’s activity.

ABOVE: Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering

ALS

An artist's rendition of an RNA molecule in light blue on a dark blue background
Same RNA Acts in Neurodegeneration and Cancer
Abby Olena | Oct 29, 2021
The long noncoding RNA MINCR, implicated in ALS and Alzheimer’s disease as well as several types of cancer, appears to function differently when present at high versus low levels.
An illustration of a yeast cell (right) and a human neuron (left) showing the processes/features that are similar in the two
Infographic: Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases with Yeast
Mahlon Collins | Oct 1, 2021
Conservation of structures and functions between single-celled fungi and human cells allow researchers to probe the brain.
Breaking Down Barriers
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Oct 19, 2020
Looking at the future of neurodegeneration research!
Photographs of the October 2021 issue's contributors
Contributors
The Scientist Staff | Oct 1, 2021
Meet some of the people featured in the October 2021 issue of The Scientist.
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the unicellular yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, known as Baker's or Brewer's yeast.
Yeast Models Provide New Insights into Neurodegenerative Diseases
Mahlon Collins | Oct 1, 2021
The single-celled fungus allows researchers to study Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and other brain diseases with unparalleled speed and scale.
New Drug Combo for ALS Slows Decline in Small Clinical Study
Jef Akst | Sep 3, 2020
After six months, patients with fast-progressing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who had received the experimental treatment had less loss of function than those who received a placebo.
Symptoms in ALS Mouse Model Improve with CRISPR Base Editing
Abby Olena | Apr 10, 2020
Researchers slowed disease progression in the mice by injecting two different viral vectors, each containing one part of the DNA encoding the Cas9 protein, to edit the causative gene.
“Hero” Proteins May Shield Other Proteins from Harm
Emma Yasinski | Mar 19, 2020
Flexible proteins appear to protect molecules from becoming denatured in extreme conditions such as heat and from clumping up, as happens in some neurodegenerative diseases.
Those We Lost in 2019
Ashley Yeager | Dec 30, 2019
The scientific community said goodbye to Sydney Brenner, Paul Greengard, Patricia Bath, and a number of other leading researchers this year.
Commensal Bacterium Reduces ALS Symptoms in Mice
Jef Akst | Jul 24, 2019
Boosting the levels of Akkermansia muciniphila in mouse guts slowed the progression of an ALS-like disease, while two other microbiome members were associated with more severe symptoms.
rahul desikan als amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Neuroscientist Rahul Desikan Dies
Kerry Grens | Jul 19, 2019
He developed an MRI-based map of the human cortex, discovered genetic risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases, and wrote about his struggles with ALS.
Infographic: Human Endogenous Retroviruses and Disease
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 1, 2019
Human endogenous retroviruses that colonized vertebrate DNA millions of years ago have long been dismissed as junk DNA, but researchers now know that they may play important roles in cancer, neurodegeneration, and other ailments.
Can Viruses in the Genome Cause Disease?
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 1, 2019
Clinical trials that target human endogenous retroviruses to treat multiple sclerosis, ALS, and other ailments are underway, but many questions remain about how these sequences may disrupt our biology.
Those We Lost in 2018
Ashley Yeager | Dec 26, 2018
The scientific community said goodbye to a number of leading researchers this year.
CRISPR Corrects RNA-based Disease Defects
Kerry Grens | Aug 10, 2017
In human cells, researchers deploy the genome editor to snip out toxic repetitive sequences.
Additional #IceBucketChallenge Payoffs
Jef Akst | Jul 28, 2016
Researchers identify a new ALS-associated gene thanks to funds generated by the social media challenge that went viral in summer 2014.
Book Review: Personal Trials
Arthur L. Caplan | Mar 22, 2016
At first blush, do-it-yourself clinical trials seem pointless and reckless. But a deeper truth pervades the research and the patients who drive it forward.
Formaldehyde Fears
Jef Akst | Oct 1, 2015
Data on the links between ALS and the chemical have been contradictory, but the latest study suggests undertakers are at risk.
Undertaker's Bane
The Scientist Staff | Sep 30, 2015
Harvard Professor Marc Weisskopf discusses the potential link between formaldehyde and ALS.