eLife Science Digests

Cutting jargon and putting research in context, digests showcase some of the latest articles published in eLife.


  1. How the dragon got its frill

    Studying the developing embryo of the ‘frilled dragon’ lizard reveals that physical forces, rather than a genetic program, form the signature folds in the spectacular ruff around its neck.
  2. How thyroid hormone coordinates color

    Thyroid hormone boosts the orange color in the skin of developing zebrafish while curtailing the number of black pigmented cells.
  3. Re-purposing the growth factor VEGF-C

    The search for the enzymes that activate the growth factor VEGF-C has uncovered a surprising new role for this protein.
  4. How to flick a genetic switch

    In fruit flies, turning on the developmental gene Hunchback may require more complex mechanisms than previously thought.
  5. Exposing a weakness

    Some mutations in cancer cells can lead to changes in metabolism that may limit the ability of tumors to grow.
  6. Exploiting a snowball effect to treat HIV-1

    A closer look at a new class of compounds that clump HIV-1 proteins together reveals how they could work with existing treatments to limit drug resistance.
  7. The fossil record is full of life

    Unique communities of microbes are responsible for biological material discovered in some fossils.
  8. Cousins in arms

    The arms and tentacles of cephalopods are built by the same genetic mechanisms as vertebrate limbs and insect wings.