The adaptation of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa often produces phenotypic diversity. Here, mutants isolated from a genetic screen show notable differences in phenotype: the production of pigments, size, shape, and texture. The blue-green pigmentation seen in some mutants results from the production of pyocyanin, an excreted toxin that kills other microbes and mammalian cells. Whereas, the brown pigmentation is caused by the exocellular pigment, pyomelanin, which … Continue reading Bacteria of Another Color
by Fernanda Ferreira figures by Shannon McArdel Semper augustus was once the most coveted flower in Holland . The Dutch were used to single-hued tulips, collectively called Couleren, but Semper augustus was something else. With its splashes of red on white, this bi-colored or variegated tulip became the symbol of tulipomania, a brief period during the Dutch Golden Age when a single tulip bulb could … Continue reading Plant Viruses: An oft-forgotten threat to food security
IBM scientists use microscopy methods to create an “impossible” carbon molecule, triangulene. Triangulene is made of 6 carbon rings with two unpaired electrons roaming about. While triangulene has not been fully characterized at this point, the unpaired electrons have aligned spin, making this molecule a prime candidate for applications in quantum computing and other fields. Continue reading Researchers at IBM create triangulene, a magnetized molecule with unknown potential
by Chris Rota figures by Dan Utter In the twilight of the Obama administration, a rare event of compromise between Democrats and Republicans resulted in the successful passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. While the law has a number of implications for healthcare, especially in the area of mental health, its greatest effects are likely to be seen in the area of biomedical research. … Continue reading 21st Century Cures and You: A Guide to Understanding the 21st Century Cures Act
by Katherine Wu figures by Tito Adhikary In 1993, Haddaway asked the world, “What is Love?” I’m not sure if he ever got his answer – but today, you can have yours. Sort of. Scientists in fields ranging from anthropology to neuroscience have been asking this same question (albeit less eloquently) for decades. It turns out the science behind love is both simpler and more … Continue reading Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship
by Tedi Asher figures by Brad Wierbowski What if, instead of taking a pill or talking with your therapist, you could train your brain to be healthier through a video game? Brain training is becoming increasingly feasible using a technique called neurofeedback, which allows individuals to change the way their brains function by responding to personalized feedback about how their own brains work naturally. This … Continue reading Brain training: The future of psychiatric treatment?
It’s an all-too-common refrain nowadays, but antibiotic resistance remains one of the world’s most severe public health threats. Bacteria have developed resistance to nearly every antibiotic drug in our arsenal, and the Healthcare Infection Society has estimated that 10 million people will die annually from antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2050. Hoping to reverse these worrying trends, researchers from Oregon State University and Sarepta Therapeutics have developed … Continue reading Reversing Resistance: How to teach old antibiotics new tricks