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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.
Sponsored Interactive Crossword Puzzle
The Scientist Creative Services Team | 1 min read
<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.
Magenta (DNA) and green (lysosome) fluorescent markers indicate that cells eject waste products from the cell before late mitosis.
Science Snapshot: Mitotic Housekeeping
Lisa Winter | May 11, 2022 | 1 min read
Researchers reveal that a measurable drop in the dry mass of a cell prior to mitosis is caused by waste products being jettisoned before the cell divides.
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.
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.
With Video
An Australian water beetle walks on the underside of the water's surface.
Australian Beetles Walk on the Underside of Water’s Surface
Lisa Winter | Jul 15, 2021 | 1 min read
Watch one scurry around upside down in a remarkably unusual form of locomotion.
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.
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon | Jul 1, 2021 | 4 min read
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.
illustration of how slow-growing and fast-growing fungi grow through a narrow channel
Infographic: How Fungi Squeeze Through Tight Spaces—or Don’t
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2021 | 1 min read
A study finds that slower-growing species are better able to adjust their growth to fit their hyphae through narrow passages.
View of Brandon Taylor's face during the book club discussion for Real Life.
Book Club Discussion of Brandon Taylor’s Real Life
The Scientist Social Club | May 28, 2021 | 1 min read
The Scientist Social Club talked with the author.
Infographic: How to Ferret Out SARS-CoV-2 in Sewage
Ruth Williams | May 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Researchers use magnetic nanoparticles and liquid-handling robots in an effort to detect COVID-19 outbreaks early.
Book Club Discussion of Lulu Miller's Why Fish Don't Exist
The Scientist Social Club | Mar 26, 2021 | 1 min read
The Scientist Social Club talked to the author and her dad, Chris Miller. 
Tour the Applewhite Lab
The Scientist Staff | Mar 9, 2021 | 1 min read
Cell biologist Derek Applewhite gives a peek inside his laboratory at Reed College.
Drosophila: To Infinity and Beyond
The Scientist Staff | Mar 9, 2021 | 1 min read
Infographic: Envisioning Macrophages
Ashley Yeager | Mar 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Researchers find different distributions of the immune cells in young, older, and diseased eyes.
Certain Color Varieties of a Coral Are More Protected from Bleaching
Lisa Winter | Feb 25, 2021 | 2 min read
In yellow-green and purple versions of the reef-building Acropora tenuis, the genes that code for particular fluorescent and other colorful proteins become more active in the summer, protecting symbiotic algae from thermal stress and resisting bleaching.
Thousands of Sea Turtles Immobilized by Brutal Texas Winter Storm
Lisa Winter | Feb 18, 2021 | 1 min read
Volunteers have been working around the clock to rescue the animals found stunned on the beach.
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