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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: February 01, 2017 to February 28, 2017


Seeking Goldilocks During Evolution of Drug Resistance

Speciation can occur when subpopulations independently evolve incompatibilities with each other. This Primer explores how a recent experimental evolution study of yeast in the presence of an anti-fungal drug reveals that many first-step mutations are incompatible with one another. Read the related Research Article.


Ecological networks to unravel the routes to horizontal transposon transfers

This Essay proposes network theory as a robust conceptual framework to delineate how complex interactions between diverse organisms may synergize to promote horizontal transfer of transposable elements.


Establishing a reliable framework for harnessing the creative power of the scientific crowd

This Perspective article argues that the potential of open innovation to improve drug discovery can only be realized if scientists and policy makers establish reliable frameworks for converting the output of the crowd into actionable plans.

Open Highlights

Putting placebos to the test

Medics have long recognised the curious power of the placebo. This Open Highlight explores recent research into its biological basis and the complex ethical and practical issues that surround this phenomenon. Find the related Collection here.

Evolving as a holobiont

The composition and function of microbiomes are critical for most animals and plants, leading some to suggest that hosts and their microbiomes should be considered as single ecological unit—the holobiont. This Open Highlight explores how relationships between hosts and microbes have evolved over time. Find the related Collection here.

Meta-Research Article

Inefficiencies and Patient Burdens in the Development of the Targeted Cancer Drug Sorafenib: A Systematic Review

A systematic review reveals that much of the patient burden associated with developing the cancer drug sorafenib occurred after regulatory approval, not before, as researchers tried to extend application to other cancers and drug combinations.

Research Articles

Chrna2-Martinotti Cells Synchronize Layer 5 Type A Pyramidal Cells via Rebound Excitation

Specific identification of Martinotti cells in layer 5 of the cortex allows the demonstration of spike-train synchronization in a reciprocally connected pyramidal-interneuronal network via brief bursts of inhibition.

How to Use a Chemotherapeutic Agent When Resistance to It Threatens the Patient

Should aggressive therapies be replaced with approaches aimed at containing the infection or cancer? A general mathematical analysis shows that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution; containment can improve some situations, but it can also make things worse. The study identifies when containment is the best choice – and when aggressive treatment is better.

Neural mechanisms of rhythm-based temporal prediction: Delta phase-locking reflects temporal predictability but not rhythmic entrainment

Electroencephalography and computational modelling reveal that rhythmic streams produce resonance that entails behavioral costs, but that phase concentration and alignment during the stream are not unique neural signatures of rhythm entrainment.

The enteric nervous system promotes intestinal health by constraining microbiota composition

Zebrafish lacking an enteric nervous system reveal a striking role for these neurons in maintaining a balanced intestinal microbial community and preventing intestinal inflammation.

Beyond negative valence: 2-week administration of a serotonergic antidepressant enhances both reward and effort learning signals

This neuroimaging study uses a commonly prescribed antidepressant to reveal that increased serotonin levels can increase neural and behavioral measures of learning about rewards and effort in healthy humans.

Narciclasine attenuates diet-induced obesity by promoting oxidative metabolism in skeletal muscle

Narciclasine is a natural compound that attenuates diet-induced obesity in mice by promoting energy expenditure; it also induces a number of beneficial metabolic effects and activates AMPK signaling in skeletal muscle.

ARGONAUTE10 promotes the degradation of miR165/6 through the SDN1 and SDN2 exonucleases in Arabidopsis

A genetic and biochemical study in Arabidopsis establishes a molecular framework for microRNA degradation and provides an example of specificity determination involving an ARGONAUTE protein.

Neurocomputational mechanisms underlying subjective valuation of effort costs

Model-based fMRI in humans shows that cognitive and physical motivation are underpinned by overlapping neural substrates, but the amygdala plays a unique role in valuation of cognitive effort.

Gaze-informed, task-situated representation of space in primate hippocampus during virtual navigation

Simultaneous assessment of navigation behavior, visual exploration and neural activity in a virtual environment reveals how hippocampal cells represent space in the non-human primate brain.

Unique 5′-P recognition and basis for dG:dGTP misincorporation of ASFV DNA polymerase X

The African swine fever virus genome encodes the most distinctive DNA polymerase known, AsfvPolX. A structural and functional study reveals the basis for its strategic error-prone misincorporation of dGTP opposite a dG residue.


Correction: The RSF1 Histone-Remodelling Factor Facilitates DNA Double Strand Break Repair by Recruiting Centromeric and Fanconi Anaemia Proteins

Correction: The Leukemia-Associated Mllt10/Af10-Dot1l Are Tcf4/β-Catenin Coactivators Essential for Intestinal Homeostasis

Correction: Tracking Career Outcomes for Postdoctoral Scholars: A Call to Action


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