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
protein aggregating
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.
Illustration of neurons in white with myelin in blue
Repurposed Drug Reverses Signs of Alzheimer’s in Mice, Human Cells
Jef Akst | Oct 12, 2021
Researchers say they hope to launch a clinical trial to test bumetanide, a diuretic approved in 2002, but how it might improve neural functioning is unclear.
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.
“Hero” Proteins May Shield Other Proteins from Harm
Emma Yasinski | Mar 19, 2020
Flexible proteins appear to protect molecules from becoming denatured in extreme conditions such as heat and from clumping up, as happens in some neurodegenerative diseases.
Image of the Day: Tau Aggregation
Emily Makowski | Oct 17, 2019
Endolysosome leakiness allows tau to build up in cells.
Chemist Christopher Dobson Dies
Ashley Yeager | Sep 16, 2019
The University of Cambridge scholar’s research on folding proteins advanced scientists’ understanding of illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Appendectomy May Lower Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Ashley Yeager | Oct 31, 2018
The neurodegenerative disease shares protein clumps in common with appendixes, perhaps explaining why removing the organ is protective.
Detecting Protein Clumps
Ruth Williams | Feb 1, 2018
A synthetic genetic tool called yTRAP allows high-throughput detection of protein aggregates in cells.
 
Image of the Day: When Cells Stop Cleaning
The Scientist Staff | Sep 12, 2017
By stifling autophagy in the motor neurons of a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists stem later-stage disease progression.
Getting Back in Shape
Karen Zusi | Dec 1, 2015
Contrary to years of research suggesting otherwise, most aggregated proteins regain their shape and functionality following heat shock.
Neurodegeneration’s Spread
Ashley P. Taylor | Aug 3, 2014
Researchers show that pathogenic protein aggregates that accumulate within neurons and are a hallmark of Huntington’s disease can propagate from cell to cell.
Mea Culpa Retractions
Kerry Grens | Aug 30, 2013
Researchers earn applause after recalling two papers containing misinterpreted findings.
Prions Involved in Learning
Edyta Zielinska | Feb 15, 2013
Properly folded prions aid in normal brain development.
Neil Bence: Manipulating Degradation
Kerry Grens | Dec 1, 2012
Senior Scientist, Millennium Pharmaceuticals: The Takeda Oncology Company Age: 39
A New Model of Yeast Aging
Hannah Waters | Nov 23, 2011
New findings challenge long-held views about the mechanism yeast cells use to live forever.