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

contraception

A grayscale electron micrograph shows hundreds of sperm cells stuck together in the foreground
Antibodies Stop Sperm in Their Tracks
Abby Olena | Aug 11, 2021
Engineered antibodies trap and immobilize human sperm in the reproductive tract of female sheep, paving the way for possible use as a nonhormonal contraceptive in people.
Monthly Contraceptive Pill Shows Promise in Pig Study
Catherine Offord | Dec 5, 2019
A device that releases synthetic hormones slowly over time could one day provide a more practical alternative to daily birth control pills, say scientists.
Endocrinologist and Reproductive Physiologist Wayne Bardin Dies
Catherine Offord | Nov 18, 2019
Bardin’s work helped lead to the development of long-acting contraceptive devices for women.
Image of the Day: Fizzy Birth Control
Emily Makowski | Nov 7, 2019
A microneedle patch can subcutaneously deliver a contraceptive hormone to rats.
Chemist Behind the Combined Oral Contraceptive Dies at 102
Catherine Offord | Jul 2, 2019
George Rosenkranz was part of a team in Mexico City that first synthesized norethindrone in 1951.

a woman holds a pregnancy test on which no lines have yet appeared
Gene Variant Linked to Lower Levels of Hormonal Birth Control
Shawna Williams | Mar 14, 2019
Such differences may help explain accidental pregnancies among women on the pill, researchers say.
Image of the Day: Broken Needles
Carolyn Wilke | Jan 17, 2019
A long-acting contraceptive patch with microscopic needles releases a drug slowly over time.
Hormonal Male Contraceptive to Enter Clinical Trial
Jef Akst | Dec 21, 2017
The gel, which men rub on their upper bodies daily, delivers synthetic progestin to block the testes from producing normal levels of sperm.
Next Generation: Sperm-Catching Beads
Anna Azvolinsky | Apr 27, 2016
Sperm-binding, peptide–coated beads work as an implantable contraception device in mice and as a means of selecting human sperm for assisted reproduction techniques, researchers show. 
Influential Chemist Dies
Tracy Vence | Feb 2, 2015
Carl Djerassi, who synthesized a hormone that was key to the creation of the birth control pill, has passed away at age 91.
Sex and Drugs
Kerry Grens | Jul 1, 2014
Did 20th-century pharmaceutical and technological advances shape modern sexual behaviors?
Sperm on Lockdown
Abby Olena | Dec 4, 2013
In a proof-of-principle study, genetic deletion of two genes renders male mice infertile by preventing sperm transport through the vas deferens.
Birth Control Pills and Prostate Cancer
Bob Grant | Nov 16, 2011
A new study suggests a possible link between the use of oral contraceptives and rising prostate cancer rates.