Subject: PLOS Biology Volume 16(6) June 2018 Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: June 01, 2018 to June 29, 2018


Meaningful syntactic structure in songbird vocalizations?

In language, the meaning of an expression depends on the meaning of its parts and the way they are arranged. This Essay proposes that claims of similar linguistic processing in songbird vocalizing are unfounded.


The bench is closer to the bedside than we think: Uncovering the ethical ties between preclinical researchers in translational neuroscience and patients in clinical trials

Failure to act on recommendations to improve the quality of preclinical research is hampering our ability to conduct early human trials safely and ethically.

Meta-Research Article

Reporting bias in the literature on the associations of health-related behaviors and statins with cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality

A meta-research study presents evidence that reporting bias impacts about one-fifth of the meta-analyses of association between health-related behavior and cardiovascular disease and mortality, but not comparable meta-analyses of statins.

Research Articles

Amygdala activity for the modulation of goal-directed behavior in emotional contexts

The amygdala is known to control passive fear responses but does it also contribute to active behaviors? A study of monkeys performing a novel foraging task suggests that amygdala neurons facilitate targeting saccades predictably based on aspects of emotional context, as is necessary for goal-directed and social behavior.

Vitellogenin-like A'associated shifts in social cue responsiveness regulate behavioral task specialization in an ant

The switch from caring for the brood to caring for adult nestmates, in the ant Temnothorax longispinosus, is mediated by shifts in social cue responsiveness which are in turn linked to the activity of the Vitellogenin-like A gene.

The zinc transporter ZIPT-7.1 regulates sperm activation in nematodes

The transmembrane zinc transporter ZIPT-7.1 mediates the final, rapid stage in the development of sperm ("activation") in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, suggesting that zinc signaling regulates this specialized cell differentiation event.

METTL3-mediated m6A modification is required for cerebellar development

The abundant RNA modification N6-methyladenosine plays important roles in the development of the mammalian cerebellum by controlling mRNA decay and alternative splicing.

DENR'MCTS1 heterodimerization and tRNA recruitment are required for translation reinitiation

A combination of structural biology and functional assays shows that two non-canonical initiation factors ' DENR and MCTS1 ' are required for re-initiation of translation after termination of an upstream open reading frame.

Development of novel NEMO-binding domain mimetics for inhibiting IKK/NF-kappa B activation

Computationally identified inhibitors that dissociate Ikappa B kinase complexes reduce acute inflammation and improve muscle pathology and strength in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

An observational study of ballooning in large spiders: Nanoscale multifibers enable large spiders' soaring flight

An observational study of ballooning' flight by large Xysticus spiders reveals that they use 50-60 nanoscale silk fibers to catch light updraft currents in the atmospheric boundary layer.

Is the sky the limit? On the expansion threshold of a species' range

The intrinsic interplay between ecological and evolutionary dynamics explains formation of species' range margins. This theoretical study shows that adaptation fails when genetic drift reduces genetic diversity below that required for adaptation to a heterogeneous environment.

Dietary rescue of lipotoxicity-induced mitochondrial damage in Peroxin19 mutants

In a Drosophila model of peroxisomal biogenesis disorders, medium chain fatty acids were found to play a hitherto unrecognized role in pathogenesis, involving the ceramide synthase Schlank.

Mice learn to avoid regret

On an economic task in which mice must decide whether to invest time to forage for food, mice demonstrate regret-related behaviors after change-of-mind decisions rejecting partial investments. Over time, mice adopt deliberation strategies to avoid future regret episodes.

CDKN1B/p27 is localized in mitochondria and improves respiration-dependent processes in the cardiovascular system'New mode of action for caffeine

Caffeine concentrations equivalent to those reached after four cups of coffee improve the functionality of cardiovascular cells both ex vivo and in vivo in a manner dependent on mitochondrially localized CDKN1B/p27.

Human TSCM cell dynamics in vivo are compatible with long-lived immunological memory and stemness

Our immune system has a remarkable ability to remember pathogens it encountered decades earlier. An interdisciplinary study provides insight into how this memory is dynamically maintained by a dedicated population of stem cell-like memory T (TSCM) cells.

Coding of self-motion-induced and self-independent visual motion in the rat dorsomedial striatum

Reliable visual detection of predators or prey requires the ability to distinguish between moving objects and the consequences of one's own movement. This study shows that neurons in the striatum can selectively code for locomotion-congruent and self-independent visual motion percepts in rats.

Descending pathways generate perception of and neural responses to weak sensory input

Electrophysiological and behavioral studies in the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus reveal a novel function for feedback pathways in generating neural and behavioral responses to weak stimuli that would otherwise not be detected.

The role of inferior frontal junction in controlling the spatially global effect of feature-based attention in human visual areas

A combination of fMRI and advanced effective connectivity analyses reveals a source for the spatially global effect of feature-based attention in the human prefrontal cortex ' the inferior frontal junction.

Haploid selection, sex ratio bias, and transitions between sex-determining systems

Systems of sex determination are strikingly diverse and labile in many clades; what drives this? A modelling study reveals that new sex-determining systems evolve in more scenarios than expected, including cases where sex-linkage is reduced and/or sex ratio biases increase.

Cell-nonautonomous local and systemic responses to cell arrest enable long-bone catch-up growth in developing mice

When proliferation is blocked in a subset of cells in developing foetal long-bones, normal body proportions are preserved via hyperproliferation of the spared cells and by systemic growth reduction.

Condensin ATPase motifs contribute differentially to the maintenance of chromosome morphology and genome stability

Targeted analysis of the ATPase domain of the condensin subunit Smc4 reveals key insights into the process of ATP hydrolysis by condensin and how this activity contributes to genome remodeling and stability during cell division.

Intracellular attenuation of BMP signaling via CKIP-1/Smurf1 is essential during neural crest induction

Maintenance of neural crest induction in chick embryos requires intermediate levels of BMP signaling. This study shows that these levels are set by intracellular attenuation of Smad signaling by the balance between scaffold protein CKIP-1 and ubiquitin ligase Smurf1.

A speed'fidelity trade-off determines the mutation rate and virulence of an RNA virus

A study of poliovirus suggests that high mutation rates evolve as a by-product of selection for increased replicative speed; within-host spread is associated with polymerase speed rather than fidelity.

Short Reports

A sensory-motor neuron type mediates proprioceptive coordination of steering in C. elegans via two TRPC channels

Caenorhabditis elegans is coordinated by the sensing of mechanical stretches by the proprioceptive SMDD neurons, using two TRPC channels, TRP-1 and TRP-2.

Structure of the herpes simplex virus portal-vertex

Herpes viruses package their genomes into preformed capsids, pumping their DNA through a unique portal assembly. This study used cryo-electronmicroscopy to determine the structure of the portal vertex in Herpes Simplex Virus type 1.

Visual attention is not deployed at the endpoint of averaging saccades

Assessment of visual sensitivity before averaging saccades reveals that attention is not obligatorily coupled to the endpoint of a saccade, thereby providing evidence that spatial visual attention is not an obligatory consequence of oculomotor programming.

Loss of RXFP2 and INSL3 genes in Afrotheria shows that testicular descent is the ancestral condition in placental mammals

The degenerate remnants of two genes (RXFP2 and INSL3) resolve the controversial evolution of testicular descent by showing that Afrotherian mammals lost this developmental process.

Methods and Resources

Classes and continua of hippocampal CA1 inhibitory neurons revealed by single-cell transcriptomics

Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of a well-understood system of cortical neurons (inhibitory interneurons in hippocampal area CA1) shows that continuous variation in gene expression correlates with axon target location.

Reporters to mark and eliminate basal or luminal epithelial cells in culture and in vivo

This study describes new luminal and basal epithelial cell reporters that can both mark and conditionally kill cells by administration of toxins. The authors generate a mouse strain that expresses both reporters, and use this to identify Amigo2 as novel regulator of invasion in keratin14+ cancer epithelia.


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