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Close-up shot of sea surface with small waves
The Constellation of Creatures Inhabiting the Ocean Surface
The myriad species floating atop the world’s seas, called neuston, are mysterious and understudied, complicating efforts to clean up plastic pollution.
The Constellation of Creatures Inhabiting the Ocean Surface
The Constellation of Creatures Inhabiting the Ocean Surface

The myriad species floating atop the world’s seas, called neuston, are mysterious and understudied, complicating efforts to clean up plastic pollution.

The myriad species floating atop the world’s seas, called neuston, are mysterious and understudied, complicating efforts to clean up plastic pollution.

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Neuston
Slideshow: Meet the Neuston, the Diverse Organisms Living at the Ocean’s Surface
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 2 min read
The ocean’s surface harbors an ecosystem of colorful, understudied life, ranging from protists and cnidarians to insects.
Illustration showing where neuston reside
Infographic: Neuston Drift Atop the World’s Oceans
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 1 min read
The sea surface is home to a diverse group of animals adapted to life in the open ocean, but increasingly, they’re sharing that space with plastic debris.
Mind the Graph
Seeing Science: How to Visually Explain Complex Concepts
The Scientist Creative Services Team and Mind the Graph | 4 min read
Scientists turn to an easy, plug-and-play platform to visually translate their work.
<em>Chlamydia</em> invades a host cell, forms a membrane-bound vacuole, or inclusion, and then modifies the protein composition of the structure&rsquo;s membrane. If immune cells detect <em>Chlamydia</em> before it forms the inclusion, they trigger T cells to produce interferon-&gamma; (IFN-&gamma;), a powerful cytokine. IFN-&gamma; activates the protein mysterin (also called RFN213), which attaches ubiquitin to the inclusion membrane, signaling the cell to destroy the inclusion&rsquo;s contents by dumping them into a lysosome (left). C. trachomatis produces GarD, a protein that integrates into the inclusion membrane itself and somehow prevents mysterin from attaching ubiquitin, allowing the bacterium to evade immune destruction while continuing to multiply and eventually bursting from the cell (right).
Infographic: How Chlamydia Evades Immune Detection
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Jan 2, 2023 | 2 min read
Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes chlamydia, hides from the immune system by cloaking itself in the host cell’s membrane then modifying the membrane’s protein composition.
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Infographic: A Brain Implant Stops Tumor Growth in Rats
Holly Barker | Dec 12, 2022 | 1 min read
The new, implantable device converts ultrasound waves into electrical energy inside the brain, interfering with tumor cell division.
(Left) The optic lobes are thought to be involved in visual processing. In this study, researchers found that guppies with larger optic lobes more quickly learned a visual discrimination task&mdash;identifying which color well contained food. (Right) The fish telencephalon is thought to be involved in spatial learning, memory, and inhibitory control. Here, the researchers found that a larger telencephalon might enhance the fish&rsquo;s cognitive flexibility, allowing them to more quickly associate food with a new color after the researchers switched it.
Infographic: Two Guppy Brain Regions May Help Them Learn Tasks
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Nov 14, 2022 | 1 min read
While guppies with larger optic lobes were champions at learning visual discrimination tasks, guppies with larger telencephalons fared better when researchers switched things up.
Photo of a Guppy fish
Fish Brain Region Size Correlates with Cognitive Flexibility
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Nov 14, 2022 | 3 min read
The relative sizes of specific parts of the guppy brain may explain why some fish are better at learning certain tasks than others. 
3D imaging of organoid
Infographic: Generating Hundreds of 3D Organoid Images per Hour
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Oct 17, 2022 | 1 min read
By modifying a technique used to image single cells, researchers have managed to generate a super-resolution 3D image of a complete organoid in just seven seconds.
Genetic knockout experiments reveal a role for the protein in forming and maintaining synapses between motor neurons and muscle fibers in mice.
Infographic: Vangl2 in Muscles Keeps Neuromuscular Junctions Organized
Catherine Offord | Sep 12, 2022 | 1 min read
Genetic knockout experiments reveal a role for the protein in forming and maintaining synapses between motor neurons and muscle fibers in mice.
Illustration showing assembly Versus Alignment
Infographic: The Sequencing and Assembly of the Human Genome
Brianna Chrisman and Jordan Eizenga | Sep 1, 2022 | 5 min read
With ever-advancing genetic technologies, researchers continue to document the genetic code of the human species.
To flag neurons that have experienced genotoxic stress, researchers developed an in vivo sensor using an adeno-associated viral vector, called PRISM. Because a cell&rsquo;s DNA damage response (DDR)&mdash;which activates in response to stressors such as environmental toxins or the buildup of misfolded proteins&mdash;also responds to invading pathogens, PRISM has an easier time transfecting cells whose damage response mechanisms are preoccupied with existing DNA damage. Once inside, the virus hijacks the neuron&rsquo;s DNA replication machinery, which reverts an engineered frameshift mutation in the virus and thereby prompts the production of a fluorescent protein that can be observed via microscopy.
Infographic: DNA Damage Viewed with Unprecedented Clarity
Amanda Heidt | Aug 15, 2022 | 2 min read
A new genetic sensor called PRISM makes use of a host cell’s DNA replication machinery to trigger fluorescence in neurons with damaged DNA.
Vaccine illustration&nbsp;
Infographic: Inducing Active Immunity Against Opioid Overdose
Tori Rodriguez | Jun 13, 2022 | 3 min read
How scientists aim to induce an immune response against addictive drugs
Infographic showing how bursting micronuclei promote cancer
Infographic: Chromosome Errors Cause Micronuclei and Drive Cancer
Samuel F. Bakhoum | Mar 1, 2022 | 2 min read
When micronuclei rupture, chromosomes break, recombine, and form circles, causing inflammation and promoting carcinogenic growth.
Illustration of a DNA-peptide conjugate molecule being pulled through a nanopore in a membrane.
Infographic: Reading Proteins with Nanopores
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Feb 14, 2022 | 1 min read
Adapting DNA nanopore sequencing to peptides allows researchers to identify single amino acid differences.
Infographic showing endogenous adenosine enzymes acting on RNA (ADARs) edit genetic material in the cell by attaching to naturally occurring double-stranded RNAs, including mRNAs, and switching out A bases with I bases (left). Therapeutic RNA editing platforms based on this mechanism fall into one of two categories: either they use engineered enzymes, which generally consist of the editing part of the ADAR enzyme attached to another protein such as Cas13 that boosts specificity, alongside a guide RNA that targets the enzyme to the desired location (middle); or they consist of a guide RNA alone, which recruits an endogenous ADAR to edit the target sequence (right).
Infographic: RNA Editing Approaches
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Dec 1, 2021 | 1 min read
RNA editing platforms leverage the natural activity of ADAR enzymes to make key changes to messenger RNAs before they are translated into proteins.
Illustration showing how seagull chicks know when predators are lurking
Infographic: Animal Embryos Coopt Sound to Survive and Thrive
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Across the tree of life, animals use sound and other vibrations to glean valuable sensory information about their environments even before they are born.
Illustration showing the bodily systems affected by Long COVID
Infographic: Bodily Systems Affected by Long COVID
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Sep 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Symptoms documented in cases of long COVID are wide ranging and variable.
Infographic: How Pregnancy Changes Fat Tissue
Catherine Offord | Aug 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Researchers propose a mechanism by which a protein produced in the placenta may trigger blood vessel growth and enlarge fat cells.
Infographic: How Scientists Are Creating Coral Cell Lines
Amanda Heidt | Jul 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Stable, long-term cell lines will enable scientists to study everything from coral bleaching to biomineralization, knowledge that may help protect corals from ongoing climate change.
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