Science

Lessons from a postdoc gone wrong

01/24/2019 Science

I sat hunched over my computer screen, analyzing data, when a university administrator walked into our lab and handed out a series of sealed envelopes. Puzzled, I opened the letter addressed to me: “It has become necessary for the University to effect a layoff of your position as a Postdoctoral Scholar.” In silence, my labmates opened their own letters, all of which said essentially the same thing. I knew that our lab was under investigation, but I had no inklingRead More

Microbial guardians of skin health

01/23/2019 Science

Skin, our largest and outermost organ, faces numerous challenges, including wounds, infections, inflammatory disorders, and cancer. Fortunately, it does not meet these challenges alone. Our skin is home to complex microbial communities, the skin microbiota, that play a fundamental role in the protection and control of this barrier surface. Here, we focus on Staphylococcus epidermidis as a “poster child” of the skin microbiota to illustrate the remarkable diversity of functions a microbe can exert on skin physiology and health. SomeRead More

Addressing a hairy problem | Science

01/21/2019 Science

Bioengineered skin grafts have helped many patients who have suffered considerable skin loss caused by disease or injury. However, these grafts often lack hair follicles, which are critical for thermoregulation, barrier function, and wound healing. The generation and function of hair follicles also requires spatial arrangement of skin cells and extracellular matrix, which has been difficult to reproduce in vitro. To address this challenge, Abaci et al. used three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to generate hair follicle–like microwells in a three-dimensionallyRead More

Dueling spacecraft look deep into Saturn and Jupiter

01/20/2019 Science

Material thousands of kilometers below the clouds of Jupiter and Saturn tugs subtly on orbiting spacecraft, revealing hidden structure and motions. PHOTOS: NASA/JPL/SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE A clever use of radio signals from planetary spacecraft is allowing researchers to pierce the swirling clouds that hide the interiors of Jupiter and Saturn, where crushing pressure transforms matter into states unknown on Earth. The effort, led by Luciano Iess of Sapienza University in Rome, turned signals from two NASA probes, Cassini at SaturnRead More

Why we need fetal tissue research

01/19/2019 Science

PHOTO: SUZANNE KAWOLA, NSCI PHOTO: DONNA COLEMAN PHOTOGRAPHY A vocal minority in the United States is intent on stopping federal funding for research using human fetal tissue, citing stem cell–based or other alternatives as adequate. This view is scientifically inaccurate. It ignores the current limitations of stem cell research and disregards the value of fetal tissue research in finding therapies for incurable diseases. If there is to be continued rapid progress in treating cancer, birth defects, heart disease, and infectiousRead More

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