February 2022, Issue 1 Table of Contents

Feature

Image of an abstract fractal blue and green sea shell.
Cell Chirality Offers Clues to the Mystery of Body Asymmetry
Catherine Offord | Feb 1, 2022
Researchers explore the idea that molecular patterns in individual cells could underlie the development of a left and a right in animals.

Speaking of Science

February D1 2022 crossword
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse

Slideshows

Photo of a long-tongued fly
Researchers Identify Novel Long-Tongued Fly Species
Researchers Identify Novel Long-Tongued Fly Species
The discovery that what was long believed to be one fly species is actually two deepens researchers’ understanding of plant-pollinator relationships in a unique habitat in southern Africa.

Notebook

Fish in a big blue aquarium
Microbes Responsible for Stealing Aquarium Medicine
Microbes Responsible for Stealing Aquarium Medicine
Researchers discover that bacteria break down medicinal compounds for their nitrogen, solving a mystery that has vexed aquatic veterinarians for years.

Critic at Large

Illustration of man receiving a COVID test.
Opinion: What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About the Importance of Testing
Opinion: What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About the Importance of Testing
The pandemic has yielded many lessons. One is that adequate and well-distributed diagnostics are key to battling disease outbreaks.

Infographics

Illustration of fibers in a cell twisting
Infographic: The Emergence of Chirality in the Cell Cytoskeleton
Infographic: The Emergence of Chirality in the Cell Cytoskeleton
Researchers use imaging to show how actin fibers tilt and then swirl to create left-right asymmetry in the cell.

The Literature

A photo of a termite’s head with its brain clearly visible
Termite Brains Anticipate Future Visual Challenges
Termite Brains Anticipate Future Visual Challenges
Dampwood termites with the potential to leave the colony have larger optic lobes before ever being exposed to different visual environments, an example of predictive brain plasticity.
Four pregnant women sitting in chairs
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression
An epigenome-wide association study found more than a dozen methylation changes in placental DNA that correlated with expectant mothers’ self-reports of depression and stress during their pregnancy.

Foundations

A lithograph of a woman sitting up in bed while a nurse attends to her.
Death by Nostalgia, 1688
Death by Nostalgia, 1688
Before its association with a pining for the toys or TV shows of yesteryear, nostalgia was deemed a dangerous psychiatric disorder.