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Stories by Ferris Jabr

Researchers Engineer Rewriteable Digital Data Storage in the DNA of Living Bacteria

Engineers have invented a way to store a single rewriteable bit of data within the chromosome of a living cell—a kind of cellular switch that offers precise control over how and when genes are expressed.For three years, Jerome Bonnet, Pakpoom Subsoontorn, and Drew Endy of Stanford University tinkered with the switch in Escherichia coli to get it just right...

May 21, 2012 — Ferris Jabr

Know Your Neurons: Meet the Glia

Previously, on Know Your Neurons:Chapter 1: The Discovery and Naming of the NeuronChapter 2: How to Classify Different Types of Neurons, or The Dendrology of the Neuron ForestChapter 3: Know Your Neurons: Meet the Glia*By Daisy YuhasTrillions of cells in your brain communicate with one another, respond to infections, guide tissue development and support learning and memory—but none of these cells are neurons...

May 18, 2012 — Ferris Jabr

Know Your Neurons: How to Classify Different Types of Neurons in the Brain's Forest

Previously, on Know Your Neurons:Chapter 1: The Discovery and Naming of the NeuronChapter 2: How to Classify Different Types of Neurons, or The Dendrology of the Neuron ForestScientists have organized the cells that make up the nervous system into two broad groups: neurons, which are the primary signaling cells, and glia, which support neurons in various ways...

May 16, 2012 — Ferris Jabr

APA Announces New Changes to Drafts of the DSM-5, Psychiatry's New "Bible"

I have this slim silver book on my desk called the "Quick Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-IV-TR ." Page 153 reads:SchizophreniaA. Characteristic symptoms: Two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):(1) delusions(2) hallucinations(3) disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence)(4) grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior(5) negative symptoms, i.e., affective flattening, alogia, or avolitionThroughout the book, similarly organized lists of symptoms follow the names of every officially recognized mental disorder—bipolar disorder, autistic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and so on...

May 3, 2012 — Ferris Jabr
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