August 2022, Issue 2 Table of Contents

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Feature

The brain's cerebellum
The Cerebellum’s Functions in Cognition, Emotion, and More
Diana Kwon | Aug 15, 2022
Once thought of as a mere motor coordination center, the “little brain” is now appreciated as participating in higher neurological processes.

Freeze Frame

orange tiny frog
Caught on Camera
Caught on Camera
See some of the coolest images recently featured by The Scientist

Modus Operandi

Broken DNA
DNA Damage Viewed with Unprecedented Clarity
DNA Damage Viewed with Unprecedented Clarity
A new tool called PRISM draws on virus-host interactions and a DNA repair pathway to help researchers visualize how cellular stress may contribute to neurodegenerative disease.

Scientist to Watch

Photograph of Humsa Venkatesh
Humsa Venkatesh Probes Cancer’s Grip on the Brain
Humsa Venkatesh Probes Cancer’s Grip on the Brain
At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the cancer biologist is combining research into the tumor microenvironment with the principles of neuroscience to tease apart how cancers grow—and how to stop them.

Notebook

Ferns bounced back much faster than other plants after the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.

Reading Frames

Cover of When Animals Dream: A colourful illustration of an octopus.<br><br>
Opinion: Animal Dreaming Should Give Us Ethical Pause
Opinion: Animal Dreaming Should Give Us Ethical Pause
Research shows that humans aren’t the only animals whose imaginations run wild while they sleep.

Infographics

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
Infographic: DNA Damage Viewed with Unprecedented Clarity
A new genetic sensor called PRISM makes use of a host cell’s DNA replication machinery to trigger fluorescence in neurons with damaged DNA.
Illustration of the cerebellum&nbsp;
Infographic: The Cerebellum’s Many Roles Beyond Motor Control
Infographic: The Cerebellum’s Many Roles Beyond Motor Control
Researchers have discovered that the small structure is involved in language, emotion, and many other high-order brain processes.