From the Beautiful to the Bizarre

February 2017

Featured Stories

Plants’ Epigenetic Secrets
Plants’ Epigenetic Secrets

Unlike animals, plants stably pass on their DNA methylomes from one generation to the next. The resulting gene silencing likely hides an abundance of phenotypic variation.

RNA Interference Between Kingdoms
RNA Interference Between Kingdoms

Plants and fungi can use conserved RNA interference machinery to regulate each other’s gene expression—and scientists think they can make use of this phenomenon to create a new generation of pesticides.

May the Force Be with You
May the Force Be with You

The dissection of how cells sense and propagate physical forces is leading to exciting new tools and discoveries in mechanobiology and mechanomedicine.




Meet some of the people featured in the February 2017 issue of The Scientist.


Speaking of Science


Critic at Large

Opinion: An Ethical Code for Conferences

This fundamental form of scientific communication is threatened by modern recording technology and researchers who refuse to adhere to an age-old ethical code. 

Modus Operandi

Deep Pocket Exploration

A modification to traditional docking software enables the examination of a ligand’s passage into its receptor.

The Literature

The Fungus that Poses as a Flower

Mummy berry disease coats blueberry leaves with sweet, sticky stains that smell like flowers, luring in passing insects to spread fungal spores.


From the Ground Up

Instrumental in launching Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, Elliot Meyerowitz has since driven the use of computational modeling to study developmental biology.

Scientist to Watch

Lab Tools

Bio Business

Reading Frames

Cannibalism: Not That Weird

Eating members of your own species might turn the stomach of the average human, but some animal species make a habit of dining on their own.