Marissa Fessenden

Journalist, Freelance

Marissa Fessenden is a freelance science journalist based in Bozeman, Montana. She has written about genetics, health, wildlife, microbiology and the intersection of science and art. She tweets @marisfessenden.

January 2017
Matrix method: A molecular map shows the connections between an autism-linked protein (red) and its partners. InBio Platform ™
News / Toolbox

Online atlas reveals huge array of protein connections

by  /  13 January 2017

A new web-based tool charts the myriad contacts among human proteins.

Tissue tiers:  Intestinal organoids have layered folds (left) like those in the human gut, and working neurons (right, green).
News / Toolbox

Neurons talk to muscle cells in tiny test-tube intestine

by  /  6 January 2017

A new method allows researchers to transform stem cells into miniature intestines with a working nervous system.

December 2016
Inside look: A custom laser supplies wide-angle shots of neurons in mice.
News / Toolbox

Pulsing laser lights up networks of neurons in moving mice

by  /  23 December 2016

A new method allows researchers to watch thousands of neurons firing in concert in the brains of living mice.

Easy listening:  A flexible device (below) hugs the brain's curved surface and detects neuronal activity (left).
News / Toolbox

Supple sensor picks up neuron chatter in human brain

by  /  16 December 2016

A flexible electrode array can eavesdrop on neurons in people without damaging brain tissue.

News / Toolbox

Device displays mouse brain activity in three dimensions

by  /  9 December 2016

A modified version of an existing imaging technique creates crisp images of neurons communicating in living mice.

November 2016
Cells selected:  In this cross-section of a mouse brain, nerve fibers infected with a virus glow green.
News / Toolbox

By hacking cells’ DNA, virus traces brain activity patterns

by  /  25 November 2016

A mutant virus that infiltrates neurons and delivers genes to the nucleus can illuminate brain connections.

video game screen view
News / Toolbox

Fish game catches cognitive problems in children

by  /  9 November 2016

A video game that involves reacting to colored fish can help researchers spot subtle attention problems in children with certain conditions.

Special delivery: Viruses ferry the gene for the light-sensitive protein opsin (green) to neurons using a DNA guide (red).Pitt Health Sciences / Cell
News / Toolbox

Light activates reward circuits in monkey brains

by  /  4 November 2016

A new method uses flashes of light to stimulate specific sets of neurons in monkey brains.

October 2016
Using CRISPR to switch on specific genes makes mouse skin cells morph into neurons.
News / Toolbox

CRISPR hacks expand uses of gene-editing toolbox

by  /  28 October 2016

Tweaks to the popular gene-editing tool allow researchers to forge neurons from skin, swap the chemical tags on genes, and more.

Mighty mimics:  Laboratory-grown microglia, the brain’s immune cells, could offer clues to Rett syndrome.Rudolph Jaenisch
News / Toolbox

Chemical cocktail creates microglia on demand

by  /  14 October 2016

A new method transforms lab-made stem cells into microglia, the brain’s immune cells.


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