Features

As Brain Organoids Mature, Ethical Questions Arise
As Brain Organoids Mature, Ethical Questions Arise
Ashley Yeager | Aug 1, 2018
Inserting human “mini-brains” into rodents has the potential to broaden scientists’ understanding of neurological disease, but raises quandaries about consciousness.
Replication Failures Highlight Biases in Ecology and Evolution Science
Replication Failures Highlight Biases in Ecology and Evolution Science
Yao-Hua Law | Aug 1, 2018
As robust efforts fail to reproduce findings of influential zebra finch studies from the 1980s, scientists discuss ways to reduce bias in such research.
Umbrella Species: Conservation’s Poster Children
Umbrella Species: Conservation’s Poster Children
Amy Lewis | Aug 1, 2018
Researchers are evaluating whether selecting one species to provide protection for many is the right approach.
CRISPR Inches Toward the Clinic
CRISPR Inches Toward the Clinic
Shawna Williams | Aug 1, 2018
The gene-editing technology is already in trials for some rare conditions, with more human testing on the horizon.

Editorial

Officially Intelligent

Officially Intelligent

Officially Intelligent

Humanity is on the precipice of major change. Some fear a world ruled by bots. I fear a world ruled by people.

Notebook

Bacterial Genetics Could Help Researchers Block Interplanetary Contamination

Bacterial Genetics Could Help Researchers Block Interplanetary Contamination

Bacterial Genetics Could Help Researchers Block Interplanetary Contamination

Identifying microbes from Earth that can survive on spacecraft may help scientists eliminate them from future space missions and from searches for extraterrestrial life.
Scientists Can’t Agree on What’s Making Pistachio Trees Sick

Scientists Can’t Agree on What’s Making Pistachio Trees Sick

Scientists Can’t Agree on What’s Making Pistachio Trees Sick

A new study ignites debate on the cause of pistachio bushy top syndrome, a disease that has crippled farms in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Do Electric Fish Dream in Zaps?

Do Electric Fish Dream in Zaps?

Do Electric Fish Dream in Zaps?

Studying electrical communication in the wild requires braving the Amazon jungle with sensitive equipment.
Drones Are Changing the Face of Ecology

Drones Are Changing the Face of Ecology

Drones Are Changing the Face of Ecology

Unmanned aerial vehicles allow researchers to collect huge volumes of biological data cheaply, easily, and at higher resolution than ever before.
The Superpowers of Genetically Modified Pigs

The Superpowers of Genetically Modified Pigs

The Superpowers of Genetically Modified Pigs

Scientists have engineered swine that pollute less, fend off disease, and produce more meat, but you won’t find them outside experimental farms . . . yet.

Speaking of Science

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Ten-Minute Sabbatical

Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

The Literature

Oxytocin Makes Time Fly

Oxytocin Makes Time Fly

Oxytocin Makes Time Fly

Can people’s social skills affect their experience of time?
These Molecules Zipper Embryos Closed

These Molecules Zipper Embryos Closed

These Molecules Zipper Embryos Closed

Actin rings seal off the ball of cells, aiding in implantation in the uterus. But faults in the process could explain why some pregnancies fail.

Careers

Life Scientists Cut Down on Plastic WasteLife Scientists Cut Down on Plastic Waste

Life Scientists Cut Down on Plastic Waste

Life Scientists Cut Down on Plastic Waste

Across the US, laboratories are finding creative ways to minimize the amount of plastic they throw away.  

Critic at Large

Opinion: Learning from Immunotherapy’s Recent Failures

Opinion: Learning from Immunotherapy’s Recent Failures

Opinion: Learning from Immunotherapy’s Recent Failures

The promise of immunotherapy is real. We now need to figure out how to maximize the number of patients the approach benefits.

Modus Operandi

Ready, Set, Glow

Ready, Set, Glow

Ready, Set, Glow

Tagging proteins with GFP-grabbing nanobodies enables instant tracking of the proteins’ dynamics in live cells.

Profile

Scientist To Watch

Heather Massey Respects Water

Heather Massey Respects Water

Heather Massey Respects Water

The University of Portsmouth sports scientist and open-water swimmer investigates the human body’s response to extreme conditions.

Lab Tools

How to Track Metabolites in Tissues Using NMR

How to Track Metabolites in Tissues Using NMR

How to Track Metabolites in Tissues Using NMR

Whether it’s aligning software or prepping samples, researchers share their tips for studying the metabolome with this underused approach.

Reading Frames

Lessons from Biosphere 2

Lessons from Biosphere 2

Lessons from Biosphere 2

Both the scientific community and the general public still have a lot to learn from the largest mesocosm research project ever conducted.

Foundations

From Railroad Tracks to Racetracks, 1870s

From Railroad Tracks to Racetracks, 1870s

From Railroad Tracks to Racetracks, 1870s

How a robber baron and an eccentric inventor solved a millennia-old question about horses.