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
endosomes, cell & molecular biology
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.
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.
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.
Abstract graphene structures
Synthetic Organelles Let Researchers Control Cell Behavior
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2021
A technique that reversibly bundles tagged cargo into artificial membraneless compartments gives scientists the ability to switch cell processes on and off.
Illustration showing how engineered cells produce proteins that allow scientists to turn cellular processes on and off
Infographic: One Way to Flip the Cell Behavior Switch
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2021
Engineered cells produce proteins that allow scientists to turn cellular processes on and off.
oil in water
Stress-Induced Molecular Globs Boost Bacterial Fitness
Ruth Williams | Oct 21, 2021
Liquid conglomerations of molecules that form in bacterial cells in response to stress promote the cells’ survival, a study finds.
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.
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.
Abstract illustration of DNA
Signaling Dynamics Fine-Tune Gene Expression
Ruth Williams | Sep 3, 2021
The dynamic behavior of a transcriptional activator can be used to specify the activity level of its target gene, a study suggests.
Illustration showing how yeast is used to study histone modifications
Infographic: A Yeast Model for Studying Histone Modifications
Amanda Heidt | Sep 1, 2021
The methodology involves modifying histones and displaying them on the cell surface for analysis.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, 3D illustration. Microscopic fungi, baker's or brewer's yeast, are used as probiotics to restore normal flora of intestine
Yeast “Mini Labs” Help Researchers Probe Histone Modifications
Amanda Heidt | Sep 1, 2021
By harnessing a unique property of yeast, scientists can synthesize histones and the enzymes that modify these proteins, which spool DNA and influence gene expression.