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Artist’s rendering of various orange and pink colored bacteria
Q&A: What if Immune Cells Don’t Actually Detect Viruses and Bacteria?
The Scientist spoke with Jonathan Kagan about his idea that immune cells respond to “errors” made by unsuccessful pathogens, not the pathogens themselves.
Q&A: What if Immune Cells Don’t Actually Detect Viruses and Bacteria?
Q&A: What if Immune Cells Don’t Actually Detect Viruses and Bacteria?

The Scientist spoke with Jonathan Kagan about his idea that immune cells respond to “errors” made by unsuccessful pathogens, not the pathogens themselves.

The Scientist spoke with Jonathan Kagan about his idea that immune cells respond to “errors” made by unsuccessful pathogens, not the pathogens themselves.

Q&A
Matthieu Groussin sits with three other people on stools in front of a low table, on which there are several bowls of food. Another person stands above Groussin spooning something into a bowl.
Q&A: Gathering Diverse Microbiome Samples
Katherine Irving | Nov 3, 2022 | 8 min read
Cofounders of a microbiome biobank speak with The Scientist about their new partnership with nonprofit OpenBiome and how to ethically work with donors.
Paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill sitting next to museum collection bones
New NAS Awards Honor Science Communication in “Post-Truth World”
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 27, 2022 | 7 min read
The Scientist speaks with paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill, who won one of the 24 awards recognizing efforts to communicate scientific issues to the general public.
illustration of a laptop with small people filling out an assessment
Q&A: Why eLife Is Doing Away with Rejections
Jef Akst | Oct 21, 2022 | 4 min read
The journal’s executive director speaks with The Scientist about what it hopes to accomplish with its unusual new publishing model.
Two agar plates superimposed on each other. One is empty while the other is growing multiple different cultured organisms, colored white, beige, and green.
Most Archaea and Bacteria Are Nameless. SeqCode Could Change That
Dan Robitzski | Sep 27, 2022 | 8 min read
The Scientist spoke with microbiologist William Whitman about a new system of nomenclature for prokaryotic organisms that can’t be cultured.
Illustration of several warped and stretched analog clocks swirling around a central point.
It’s Not Just You: Lockdowns Had Us Living in “Blursday,” Study Says
Dan Robitzski | Aug 26, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke with Maximilien Chaumon about his database showing how COVID-19 related lockdowns warped more 2,800 people’s perception of time.
Man in lab coat looking at the camera and smiling
Can Taking a Test Now Tell You if You’ve Already Had COVID-19?
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Aug 8, 2022 | 4 min read
The Scientist asks Brigham and Women’s Hospital infectious disease specialist Lindsey Baden about testing for prior infections.
genome sequence text on screen 
Q&A: Whole Genomes of 150,000 Britons Reveal Novel Genetic Variants
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Aug 5, 2022 | 5 min read
Height and onset of menarche are among traits linked to previously unidentified genetic variants in noncoding regions of the human genome.
Illustration of brain activity
Same Parts of the Brain Control Processing of Dozens of Languages
Andy Carstens | Jul 21, 2022 | 4 min read
While much is known about how the brains of English speakers process language, research has neglected people who speak other languages. The Scientist spoke with one of the authors of a study that seeks to change that.
A wire mesh garbage can has toppled over, spilling crumpled papers onto the ground.
Gone but Not Forgotten: Retracted COVID-19 Papers Still Cited
Hannah Thomasy | Jul 14, 2022 | 5 min read
University of Wollongong epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz speaks with The Scientist about his team’s finding that flawed and fraudulent COVID-19 research continues to be cited.
Photo taken from the perspective of a lab worker in a white coat and purple gloves preparing multiple fecal transplant capsules at a time.
Banking Previous Poos: Could a Transplant of Feces from Your Past Heal You?
Dan Robitzski | Jun 30, 2022 | 9 min read
The Scientist spoke with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers Scott Weiss and Yang-Yu Liu, who propose that people bank stool samples when they’re young and healthy so that they can be transplanted to rejuvenate the gut microbiome later on.
Aerial view of crowd connected by lines
Monkeypox: What We Know (and What We Don’t)
Andy Carstens | Jun 24, 2022 | 7 min read
The longer and farther the virus spreads, the more likely it could become endemic in new areas, says UCLA epidemiologist Anne Rimoin.
teabag with green tag on a white background
Spilling the Tea: Insect DNA Shows Up in World’s Top Beverage
Shawna Williams | Jun 14, 2022 | 5 min read
The Scientist speaks with Trier University’s Henrik Krehenwinkel, whose group recently detected traces of hundreds of arthropod species from a sample of dried plants—in this case, the contents of a tea bag.
Two bonobos facing each other on a tree branch
Q&A: In Battle of the Sexes, Dominance Doesn’t Always Equal Power
Raegan Scharfetter | May 18, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke to hyena researcher Eve Davidian for a broad look at power relationships between male and female mammals.
a research sailboat with white sails inscribed with "tara ocean" traverses a body of water with small, rocky islands in the background
Q&A: Thousands of RNA Viruses Newly Discovered in Ocean Water
Dan Robitzski | Apr 7, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke with Ohio State University microbiologist Matthew Sullivan about a recent expedition that identified thousands of RNA viruses from water samples and cataloged them into novel phylogenic groups.
Zebrafish with fluorescent nervous system in green.
Oust the Mouse: A Plan to Reduce Mammal Use in Drug Development
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Mar 15, 2022 | 7 min read
The Scientist spoke to Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s Jim Strickland about the institute’s new MDI Bioscience initiative to perform more drug testing and development in nonmammalian models.
A fossilized skeleton of an ancient crocodile-like organism that lived in what’s now Brazil.
Q&A: Paleontology’s Colonial Legacy
Dan Robitzski | Mar 3, 2022 | 8 min read
Archaeologist and paleontologist Juan Carlos Cisneros tells The Scientist that researchers frequently fail to involve local groups—and sometimes violate laws—when studying Latin American fossils.
Office building near water with white roof
Q&A: A Randomized Approach to Awarding Grants
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Feb 25, 2022 | 6 min read
Denmark’s Novo Nordisk Foundation says it hopes that adding a randomization step to its award process will reduce implicit biases in selection and lead to funding more innovative, impactful research.
A stone statue of a medieval gatekeeper holding a spear upright. The clear sky is in the background.
Q&A: Psych and Neuro Journals Primarily Edited by American Men
Dan Robitzski | Feb 24, 2022 | 5 min read
The Scientist spoke with University of California, San Francisco, neuroscientist Eleanor Palser about her study’s finding that women, especially those working outside the US, are underrepresented in some areas of academic publishing.
larva
Leaping Larvae Intrigue Scientists
Chloe Tenn | Jan 20, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke with entomologist Matt Bertone about the characteristics of Laemophloeus biguttatus larvae jumps—a previously unreported behavior in this group of beetles.
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