Janet Rae-Dupree is a Bay Area-based freelance writer covering science and innovation.


Seeing More at ASCB 2016: Pushing the Limits of Imaging

While the scores of sessions conducted over the course of the 2016 ASCB Annual Meeting resonated with the meeting’s theme, “Following the Arc of Scientific Discovery,” the common message woven throughout the five days was one of newfound microscopic insight. Breakthroughs in imaging are showing  … Read more

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Cellular Interactions at ASCB 2016

Among the myriad phenomena discussed at ASCB 2016, cell signaling and bacterial enzymes that set off eukaryote mating swarms were among the most intriguing. At the Logic of Signaling Symposium, two researchers—the Broad Institute’s Aviv Regev and Denise Montell from the University of California, Santa  … Read more

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Membrane Fission: It Takes a Crowd

Biologists have long believed that cell membrane fission occurs after epsin molecules wedge themselves into the membrane’s surface, causing small pits that eventually bulge out and separate into new membrane structures. But researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have discovered a previously unknown  … Read more

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Leveraging the Ever-Growing CRISPR-Cas9 Biology Toolkit

When CRISPR-Cas9 came on the scene in early 2013, the talk swirling around it focused on embryonic gene editing or whether it could be used to treat disease. But molecular biologists realized almost immediately what this cool new tool could mean for lab work. They’ve  … Read more

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On the Way to Causing Microcephaly, Zika Blocks Centriole Biogenesis

Although the Zika virus tends to cause few, if any, symptoms in the adults it infects, its effects on embryos and fetuses can be devastating. Outbreaks in Brazil and Central America only in the past year have been tied to increases in congenital neurodevelopmental conditions,  … Read more

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Figuring Out the Folds: Biomimicry and Tissue Origami

If we could engineer human organs and other tissues, we could move beyond the need for donor organs and perhaps screen potential new medical therapies on manufactured tissues before going into clinical trials. Unfortunately, however, the complexity of how different types of human tissue knit  … Read more

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Catching Single Molecules in the Act

The ongoing quest to delve ever deeper into a living cell has brought new insight into dynamic biological processes. But conditions inside a cell, including crowds of individual molecules, often flout the best efforts of modern imaging technology to observe activity. And that’s not to  … Read more

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Zooming in on Imaging with New Technologies

Biologists now can see more clearly inside cells than ever have been able to before. But there are advantages and challenges to each of the new imaging technologies becoming available. So some of the brightest minds in cell imaging spoke Sunday at an afternoon workshop  … Read more

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Cancer Cells Exploit Schwann Cells to Spread

Researchers have known for over a century that cancer can spread along nerves as well as moving through the bloodstream and the lymph nodes. But little attention has been paid to the mechanisms of what’s known as perineural invasion. Until now. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering  … Read more

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