Abstract graphene structures
Synthetic Organelles Let Researchers Control Cell Behavior
A technique that reversibly bundles tagged cargo into artificial membraneless compartments gives scientists the ability to switch cell processes on and off.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, OLEMEDIA
Synthetic Organelles Let Researchers Control Cell Behavior
Synthetic Organelles Let Researchers Control Cell Behavior

A technique that reversibly bundles tagged cargo into artificial membraneless compartments gives scientists the ability to switch cell processes on and off.

A technique that reversibly bundles tagged cargo into artificial membraneless compartments gives scientists the ability to switch cell processes on and off.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, OLEMEDIA
membraneless
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.
Infographic: Paraspeckle Form and Function
Archa Fox | Dec 1, 2019
What do scientists know about this membraneless nuclear body discovered less than two decades ago?
What Paraspeckles Can Teach Us About Basic Cell Biology
Archa Fox | Dec 1, 2019
Discovering a new type of subnuclear body taught me how pursuing the unexpected can lead to new insights—in this case, about long noncoding RNAs and liquid-liquid phase separation in cells.
RNA droplets
Image of the Day: Liquid Compartments
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 28, 2019
Membraneless organelles appear highly sensitive to ion concentrations in their environment.
Hindsight
Bob Grant | Dec 1, 2018
Looking back at a year filled with discoveries and challenges.
These Organelles Have No Membranes
Michael Crabtree, Tim Nott | Dec 1, 2018
From making ribosomes to protecting the integrity of the genome, these membraneless compartments play important roles in the cell. Their behavior is rooted in basic physics.
Image of the Day: Drop Set
Catherine Offord | Nov 13, 2018
Liquid-like droplets containing DNA and proteins provide a model for researchers to study membraneless organization in the cell.
Image of the Day: Burst Your Bubble
The Scientist Staff | Jun 15, 2017
Intracellular electrostatic exchanges between RNA and proteins create dynamic glob-like membraneless organelles.