Daniel Cosgrove is revising the cell-wall model Daniel Cosgrove is revising the cell-wall model Member Spotlight August 20, 2015 AAAS Fellow Daniel Cosgrove faced a dilemma in 1992 while studying plant cell walls. The data were just not adding up. He and his team were investigating the structure of plant cell walls, looking for an enzyme that was believed to be responsible for loosening the cell wall, enabling plants to grow into long blades of grass or towering redwoods. What they found, however, was not an enzyme at all. It was a protein, which they named expansin, that loosens the connections between some cellulose microfibrils. Jessica Hebert has a passion for placental research ... and pirates? Jessica Hebert has a passion for placental research ... and pirates? Member Spotlight July 20, 2015 Poets have called it the tree of life. To some healers it is a spirit offering or sacred medicine. In Latin, its name means “cake” –- an apt description perhaps, given the recent celebrity trend to consume it in smoothies. Consider the placenta.  “It’s a confusing thing for most people to understand what on earth this weird blob of tissue is that comes out after the baby,” says researcher Jessica Hebert. “Think of this: It’s the only temporary organ that humans make and it’s responsible for transporting blood and nutrients and waste to and from the baby.” Call for nominations: ARCHES Awards 2015 Thursday, June 4, 2015 Call for Nominations: ARCHES Awards 2015 For German-Israeli Cooperation in the Field of Life SciencesDeadline for Nominations: 12 June 2015 ARCHEs is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and administered by Minerva, a subsidiary of the Max Planck SocietyProgramme Information: http://www.minerva.mpg.de/arches/ Enter the 2015 Green Talents Competition Enter the 2015 Green Talents Competition Tuesday, May 19, 2015 The Green Talents Competition of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is searching for up-and-coming scientists in the field of sustainable development. Selected as one of the 25 awardees you are invited to visit the hot spots of German sustainability research and establish a unique network with peers and experts. The 2015 award includes: Georgia Tech mathematician and AAAS Fellow Howie Weiss Howie Weiss tackles high-flying research on airplane germs Member Spotlight May 27, 2015 Being in close quarters during coast-to-coast airline travel can be challenging, but for Georgia Institute of Technology mathematics professor Howie Weiss it’s the prime way to do detective work. Bioethical pioneer Ruth Fischbach asks the tough questions Bioethical pioneer Ruth Fischbach asks the tough questions Member Spotlight April 24, 2015 AAAS Fellow Ruth Fischbach may be petite in physical stature, but she is a powerhouse in the field of bioethical science who, after decades of research and teaching, shows no signs of slowing down. Protecting the safety and rights of individuals whose lives may be impacted by medically related discoveries, decisions and research, fuels her passion to keep at it. Dan Blustein journeys from marine biology to Hollywood and back again Dan Blustein journeys from marine biology to Hollywood and back again Member Spotlight April 1, 2015 Not every scientist knows exactly what they want to research when they grow up, but AAAS member Dan Blustein is having fun figuring it out. A newly-minted biology Ph.D., Blustein has studied octopi in the Caribbean, built a robotic lobster, written science news articles, and even tried film production in Hollywood. VIDEO: Living on Mars Video March 19, 2015 When humans eventually explore Mars, they will need specialized equipment to conduct research—suits that supply ample oxygen and allow astronauts to move with agility, rovers for long-distance travel, and a home base equipped to house humans for 36 months at a time. Pascal Lee is a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute and co-founder of the Mars Institute, who is testing prototye equipment that someday could be used to explore Mars. At the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California, Lee showed attendees NASA-protypes of Mars space suits and RVs. VIDEO: Writing to get published Video March 16, 2015 Do you know the three C's of crafting a manuscript? According to Raeka Aiyar, communications and engagement manager at Genetics Society of America, they are: centralize, conceptualize and criticize. While getting her Ph.D. in genetics, Aiyar, helped many scientists in her lab prepare manuscripts for publication. Subsequently, she was hired by the lab to continue in this role, where she developed an excellent set of do's and don'ts aimed at increasing a researcher’s odds of getting published. VIDEO: James Kakalios uses comic superheros to teach science Video March 10, 2015 University of Minnesota physics professor James Kakalios grew up reading comic books. He was a fan of The Flash, Spiderman and The Fantastic Four, among others. In 2001, he taught a freshman seminar that focused on the physics of superheroes as a way to motivate students. The course was wildly popular and lead to his authoring two books on the subject, The Physics of Superheroes and The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics.