Collage of images including sperm, bacteria, coral, and an illustration of a researcher
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021
Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.
ABOVE: © IKUMI KAYAMA, STUDIO KAYAMA; B. SHRESTHA ET AL., SCI TRANSL MED, 2021; CHRISTIAN KOST, OSNABRÜCK UNIVERSITY; © ISTOCK.COM, OLEMEDIA
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021

Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.

Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.

ABOVE: © IKUMI KAYAMA, STUDIO KAYAMA; B. SHRESTHA ET AL., SCI TRANSL MED, 2021; CHRISTIAN KOST, OSNABRÜCK UNIVERSITY; © ISTOCK.COM, OLEMEDIA
artificial selection, cell & molecular biology, ecology, neuroscience
False color image of two Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms; blue on a black background
Mitochondrial Stress Is Passed Between Generations
Amanda Heidt | Dec 1, 2021
Researchers identified a novel mechanism by which chemically induced stress is “remembered” by the mitochondria of worms more than 50 generations after the original trigger.
MUSCLE CONTROL: Researchers pinpoint how C. elegans (pictured) manages to expel food from its mouth.
The Science Behind How Roundworms Spit
Diana Kwon | Dec 1, 2021
By viewing countless hours of expectorating worms, researchers discover a unique way in which neurons control the movement of muscles.
An APP-knockout neuron (right) shows extended axonal and reduced dendritic growth compared with a normal mouse neuron (left). Scale bar 50 µm.
Amyloid Precursor Protein Linked to Brain Development Mechanisms
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2021
Researchers provide evidence that the Alzheimer’s-associated protein calibrates a signaling pathway that is conserved across the animal kingdom.
3D illustration of a tapeworm infestation in a human intestine
Return of the Worms
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2021
Immunologists and parasitologists are working to revive the idea that helminths, and more specifically the molecules they secrete, could help treat allergies and autoimmune disease.
December 2021 - Gut Guests - Infographic
Infographic: How Worms that Reside in the Gut Could Influence Health
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2021
Research in animals and people supports a range of mechanisms by which the parasites affect physiology and immune responses.
Great Minds Don't Think Alike
Opinion: Bridging the Intellectual Divide
Marcelo Gleiser | Dec 1, 2021
To solve modern problems, we must integrate the sciences and the humanities and think across these traditionally disparate disciplines.
How C. elegans Transmit Stress Signals to Offspring
Infographic: How C. elegans Transmit Stress Signals to Offspring
Amanda Heidt | Dec 1, 2021
Neurons stressed with chemicals produce Wnt, which in turn triggers changes in the germline.
A ship off the coast of Antarctica approaches a beach
Q&A: How to Keep Antarctica Safe from Invasive Species
Dan Robitzski | Nov 23, 2021
The Scientist spoke with University of Wollongong ecologist Dana Bergstrom about protecting the continent’s native plants and animals in the face of climate change and a growing human presence.
Cute sleeping newborn baby child on mother hands stock photo
Exposure to Chemical from Babies Linked to Aggression
Chloe Tenn | Nov 22, 2021
A study finds that the odorless compound hexadecanal, or HEX, increases aggressive behavior in women but has a calming effect on men.
A grid of images showing different cross sections of a human brain MRI.
Study Links Flu to Increased Parkinson’s Risk a Decade Later
Dan Robitzski | Nov 19, 2021
Epidemiological research suggests that a flu diagnosis might be one factor in the eventual onset of the neurodegenerative disease, but experts say it doesn’t prove a causal relationship.
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Salmonella bacteria in intestinal tissue
Gut Infections Help Shield Intestinal Neurons from Future Damage
Annie Melchor | Nov 19, 2021
In mice, a kind of immune memory appears to protect the cells against future harm, a finding that could provide insight into treatments for irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory digestive conditions.
illustration of a broken DNA strand
DNA Damage Makes Zebrafish Sleepy
Sophie Fessl | Nov 18, 2021
Buildup of a DNA-repair protein in brain cells spurs shut-eye in the fish, a study finds, and similar results in mice suggest the mechanism is widespread in animals.
Artist's impression of the human microbiome
Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link
Ruth Williams | Nov 11, 2021
The unbalanced gut flora present in some people with autism is not a driver of the condition but rather a consequence of eating behaviors characteristic of the condition, a new study claims.