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Top Ten News Stories May-July 2014


From the evolution of blond hair to how males stress out lab mice, many interesting and important stories about science and working in the lab have been published at in recent weeks. Here we highlight our ten most popular stories from the past 60 days. Read more...

1. The Basis of Blond Hair
By Kelly Rae Chi

A search for how stickleback fish evolve new skin color in different environments led to the discovery of how blond hair evolved. From the aquarium to the hair salon, learn about the genetics behind blondness in this engaging and surprising story.

2. Ten MOOCs for Busy Researchers – Summer School
By Amy Volpert

Are you thinking about taking a class or two this summer? From regulatory requirements for pharmaceutical products to life science bioinformatics, this list has a little something for everyone.

3. Mitochondria Don’t Just ‘Kiss and Run’
By Kayt Sukel

We all know that mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of the cell, but mitochondrial fusion events also seem to play an important role in cell health.

4. Aging Not Required
By Rachael Gorman

What causes us to age? This special feature article explores the possibilities of a recently discovered “fountain of youth” protein.

5. An Elite Set of Genes
By Janelle Weaver

The small Y chromosome is riddled with repeat sequences, making it difficult to study. But using the latest sequencing technologies, researchers are starting to dig deeper into the mysteries of the Y chromosome and its evolution. What they found is changing the way researchers look at this chromosome.

6. Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia?

By Kayt Sukel

This story explores new research on the question of whether or not cannabis can lead to schizophrenia, or if the genes involved in schizophrenia also affect the risk for drug use.

7. Good Hair Day
By Rachael Gorman

Hair has been an important topic this summer, from its color (see story #1) to its growth. This story explores how a team of researchers studying a syndrome where a lot of hair grows where it shouldn’t found one gene responsible for the condition.

8. CRISPR/Cas9 for the Cure
By Jesse Jenkins

CRISPR/Cas9 is proving to be an extremely powerful system for genome engineering. This story looks at the first attempt to reverse a disease-causing mutation in adult mammals using the technology.

9. Origami Microscope
By Rachael Gorman

Imagine a research quality microscope constructed from paper, copper tape, a button battery, an LED light bulb, and a ball lens. Imagine that this contraption can magnify objects 100 to 2100 times and that it allows the use of different filters. A Stanford University group recently made this paper microscope a reality.

10. Mice Smell Researchers, Stress Out
By Sarah Williams

For you males out there working with mice, be careful when you enter the room. A team of researchers uncovered something surprising about the lab mouse: stress responses increase for the first 30 minutes after sensing a male researcher.

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