Subject: PLOS Biology Volume 16(1) January 2018 Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: January 01, 2018 to January 31, 2018


The importance of being second

"Scooped"? We prefer to call it "complementary research," recognising its important role in the reproducibility of science. Come to PLOS Biology within 6 months of "scooping" and we'll consider it. Read this Editorial to learn more about our newly formalised policy.


Reconciling Pasteur and Darwin to control infectious diseases

This Essay recognises that the research of Louis Pasteur and Charles Darwin had more overlap than classically thought, and that microbial evolutionary ecology, at the intersection of their fields, opens new routes to controlling infectious diseases.

Research Articles

Neurotransmitter-mediated activity spatially controls neuronal migration in the zebrafish cerebellum

A combination of optogenetics, calcium imaging and drug screening identifies three neurotransmitter systems that act successively and coordinately on migrating hindbrain neurons in the developing zebrafish.

Climate change could drive marine food web collapse through altered trophic flows and cyanobacterial proliferation

A combined experimental and modelling approach shows how climate change can alter the flow and transfer efficiency of energy, leading to a collapse at the base of benthic food webs.

Population genomics of Mesolithic Scandinavia: Investigating early postglacial migration routes and high-latitude adaptation

A study of ancient DNA from Mesolithic humans reveals how hunter-gatherer populations colonized Scandinavia in two waves and via two different routes after the last glacial period.

Metallochaperone UreG serves as a new target for design of urease inhibitor: A novel strategy for development of antimicrobials

A clinically-used bismuth-based drug inhibits the activity of bacterial urease indirectly by targeting its metallochaperone UreG; such a strategy could have broad implications for the development of metalloenzyme inhibitors.

Functional characterization of adaptive variation within a cis-regulatory element influencing Drosophila melanogaster growth

Regulatory polymorphism in the Drosophila melanogaster gene fezzik plays a role in the natural variation of larval growth and adult body and wing size, and underwent selection as the species expanded out of Africa.

Identification of a noncanonical function for ribose-5-phosphate isomerase A promotes colorectal cancer formation by stabilizing and activating beta -catenin via a novel C-terminal domain

A molecular and functional analysis reveals that ribose-5-phosphate isomerase, a key enzyme in the pentose phosphate pathway, promotes colorectal cancer formation by stabilizing beta -catenin, entering the nucleus and helping to activate beta -catenin target genes.

Anteroposterior axis patterning by early canonical Wnt signaling during hemichordate development

A developmental study in the hemichordate acorn worm Saccoglossus kowalevskii reveals that canonical Wnt signaling is involved in repressing anterior fates and promoting mid axial fates but does not specify posterior fates.

Structure, function, and control of the human musculoskeletal network

A novel application of network science to the muscles and bones of the human body relates the structure of the musculoskeletal network to the organization of the motor cortex, and network dynamics to the duration of injury recovery.

Control of recollection by slow gamma dominating mid-frequency gamma in hippocampus CA1

A study in mice reveals that the transient dominance of slow gamma over mid-frequency gamma oscillations in the hippocampus is a signature of recollection; excessive recollection of inappropriate memories explains the cognitive inflexibility in the Fmr1-KO mouse, a model for Fragile X Syndrome in humans.

Hippo signaling controls cell cycle and restricts cell plasticity in planarians

Inhibition of the Hippo signaling pathway in planarians does not increase cell proliferation but rather inhibits apoptosis, impairs cell cycle progression and increases cell plasticity; together these result in overgrowth of undifferentiated cells.

Evolution of mitotic spindle behavior during the first asymmetric embryonic division of nematodes

An extensive comparative study of subcellular traits across 42 species of nematode reveals evolutionary variations in the positioning and movement of the mitotic spindle during the crucial first asymmetric embryonic cell division.

Identification of osmoadaptive strategies in the halophile, heterotrophic ciliate Schmidingerothrix salinarum

NMR spectroscopy and ion-imaging provide the first experimental evidence for the biosynthesis and accumulation of glycine betaine and ectoine as adaptations to a hypersaline environment by the heterotroph, halophile ciliate Schmidingerothrix salinarum.

Unique properties of TCR-activated p38 are necessary for NFAT-dependent T-cell activation

MAP kinase p38 that has been activated via T cell antigen receptor signaling has unique specificities. This study shows that these alternative specificities are responsible for the activation and upregulation of transcription factors involved in important T cell functions.

Role of the AP-5 adaptor protein complex in late endosome-to-Golgi retrieval

A combination of genome editing and global subcellular proteomics reveals a role for the AP-5 adaptor protein complex in trafficking from a very late endosomal compartment back to the Golgi apparatus.

Contrasting impacts of competition on ecological and social trait evolution in songbirds

Comparative analyses reveal that competition between species affects the dynamics of trait evolution in a continental radiation of tanagers, the largest family of songbirds.

Short Reports

"Pomacytosis"'Semi-extracellular phagocytosis of cyanobacteria by the smallest marine algae

Electron microscopy of the ubiquitous oceanic picoeukaryotic alga Braarudosphaera bigelowii shows that these 1.3-micron organisms can perform remarkable incomplete ingestion of the similar-sized (0.8-micron) cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus, a process the authors call pomocytosis.

Genome downsizing, physiological novelty, and the global dominance of flowering plants

Genome downsizing during the Cretaceous can explain how flowering plants outcompeted the ferns and gymnosperms that had previously dominated terrestrial ecosystems, by enabling them to construct smaller cells.

Mitochondria are physiologically maintained at close to 50 C

GA study using a temperature-sensitive fluorescent probe targeted to mitochondria suggests that 60-80% of the energy released by mitochondrial oxidation emerges as heat, possibly raising the local temperature to about 50 C.

Methods and Resources

An atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans chemoreceptor expression

A molecular map of nearly 250 chemosensory receptors in the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides an entry point for functional studies and offers a host of markers for studying neuronal patterning and plasticity.


Correction: Regulating toxic chemicals for public and environmental health


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