Subject: PLOS Biology Volume 17(1) January 2019 Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: January 01, 2019 to January 31, 2019

Research Matters

Open notebook science can maximize impact for rare disease projects

This Research Matters article proposes that open notebooks present an opportunity for researchers to showcase their work, push the boundaries of open research practises and rapidly advance science in their field by making an immediate impact in their communities.

Continued poxvirus research: From foe to friend

The eradication of smallpox was one of the greatest medical successes in history. In this Research Matters article, Susanna Bidgood explores the future of using poxviruses as versatile tools for cell biology research.


Resolving the apparent transmission paradox of African sleeping sickness

African sleeping sickness is an important disease of sub-Saharan Africa that is approaching elimination, but this Essay maintains that an overlooked anatomical reservoir ' human skin ' may impact control efforts.

Unsolved Mystery

Arbovirus coinfection and co-transmission: A neglected public health concern?

Overlapping outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses have resulted in numerous coinfections, but we know little about their occurrence and consequences. This Unsolved Mystery article assesses the impact of coinfection on clinical disease and discusses the possibility of co-transmission.


Large carnivores under assault in Alaska

This Perspective article argues that current large carnivore management in Alaska is a reversion to short-sighted and discredited concepts of the past and occurs without monitoring programs designed to scientifically evaluate the impacts on predator populations.

Evidence that nonsignificant results are sometimes preferred: Reverse P-hacking or selective reporting?

There is concern that the scientific literature is biased towards reporting statistically significant results. By contrast, this Perspective article presents evidence for an unusual situation in which there is a systematic bias towards publishing non-significant findings.

Community Pages

Annotated primary scientific literature: A pedagogical tool for undergraduate courses

This Community Page article presents Science in the Classroom (SitC), a tool for undergraduate educators to introduce their students to primary scientific literature. Annotations scaffold the readers so that authentic scientific practices are explained and recognized for their importance in scientific communications.

Bio-On-Magnetic-Beads (BOMB): Open platform for high-throughput nucleic acid extraction and manipulation

This Community Page article presents open-source nucleic acid purification and handling protocols based on functionalised magnetic beads, with the aim of transforming life science research practice and its economics.

Developing a modern data workflow for regularly updated data

This Community Page article describes a data management workflow that can be readily implemented by small research teams and which solves the core challenges of managing regularly updating data. It includes a template repository and tutorial to assist others in setting up their own regularly updating data management systems.

Meta-Research Article

Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions

Scientists waste substantial time writing grant proposals, potentially squandering much of the scientific value of funding programs. This Meta-Research Article shows that, unfortunately, grant-proposal competitions are inevitably inefficient when the number of awards is small, but efficiency can be restored by awarding funds through a modified lottery, or by weighting past research success more heavily in funding decisions.

Research Articles

Differential and convergent utilization of autophagy components by positive-strand RNA viruses

The cellular autophagy pathway sculpts intracellular membranes to degrade or transport cytoplasmic contents. This study identifies components of this pathway that are hijacked by polio-, dengue and Zika viruses for their own membrane-associated amplification and dissemination.

Triplet-pore structure of a highly divergent TOM complex of hydrogenosomes in Trichomonas vaginalis

The highly divergent outer membrane translocase (TOM) from the Trichomonas hydrogenosome (an organelle related to mitochondria) is composed of conserved core and lineage-specific subunits, and has an unconventional skull-like triplet-pore structure.

A transient helix in the disordered region of dynein light intermediate chain links the motor to structurally diverse adaptors for cargo transport

A highly conserved mechanism links the microtubule minus end'directed motor dynein to structurally diverse cargo adaptors through its light intermediate chain; this interaction is crucial for dynein function in vivo.

Identification and characterization of a mosquito-specific eggshell organizing factor in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

An RNAi functional screen of 40 Aedes aegypti genes specific to the mosquito lineage helped to identify EOF1, a protein that plays an essential role in mosquito eggshell formation and melanization.

Drosophila melanogaster cloak their eggs with pheromones, which prevents cannibalism

Maternal sex pheromones incorporated within the wax layer of the fruit fly eggshell prevent the egg from leaking, and conceal it from predation by same-species larvae in an anti-cannibalistic strategy that may operate through chemical deception.

The brown algal mode of tip growth: Keeping stress under control

A combination of experimentation and biophysical modeling shows that tip growth in the brown alga Ectocarpus relies on a gradient of cell wall thickness, and not on a gradient of cell wall mechanical properties.

CD4 occupancy triggers sequential pre-fusion conformational states of the HIV-1 envelope trimer with relevance for broadly neutralizing antibody activity

Comprehensive mapping of conformational stages adopted by the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimer during entry into the cell reveals the preference of broadly neutralizing antibodies for distinct pre-fusion states of the trimer.

Organic cation transporter 3 (Oct3) is a distinct catecholamines clearance route in adipocytes mediating the beiging of white adipose tissue

White adipocytes use the organic cation transporter Oct3 for the uptake and subsequent degradation of norepinephrine, a major regulator of thermogenesis; Oct3-deficient mice show increased browning of white fat, dependent on adrenergic signaling.

Structure of the DP1'DP2 PolD complex bound with DNA and its implications for the evolutionary history of DNA and RNA polymerases

A cryo-EM reconstruction of the archaeal PolD DNA polymerase assembly bound to DNA defines the minimal catalytic fold for two-barrel DNA and RNA polymerases and suggests a scenario for the evolution of the eukaryotic replicative apparatus.

Intervention against hypertension in the next generation programmed by developmental hypoxia

A study in sheep suggests that maternal antioxidant treatment (with vitamin C) could be considered as clinical intervention during human pregnancy complicated by fetal growth restriction, as it counteracts the developmental programming of hypertension in the adult offspring.

Asymmetric diversification of mating pheromones in fission yeast

An asymmetric pheromone/receptor system in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe might allow flexible adaptation of pheromones to mutational changes while maintaining stringent recognition for mating partners, perhaps as a first step toward prezygotic mating isolation.

Evolutionary dynamics of bacteria in the gut microbiome within and across hosts

A population genetic analysis of human gut metagenomes reveals short-term evolution within individual species of gut bacteria, both within individual hosts, and across the larger population.

Environment-dependent pleiotropic effects of mutations on the maximum growth rate r and carrying capacity K of population growth

Mutations simultaneously influence the maximum growth rate r and carrying capacity K of a population, but the impacts can be concordant or antagonistic depending on the environment; this study uses data from thousands of yeast recombinants to reveal complex r-K relationships and the underlying causes.

The Cdk8/19-cyclin C transcription regulator functions in genome replication through metazoan Sld7

The firing of DNA replication origins in metazoa implicates both broadly conserved and newly evolved processes, involving MTBP (the metazoan orthologue of yeast Sld7) and the cyclin C-dependent kinases Cdk8/Cdk19.

Insulin resistance disrupts epithelial repair and niche-progenitor Fgf signaling during chronic liver injury

This study identifies a novel role for insulin in promoting paracrine crosstalk between the fibrotic stroma and progenitors during chronic liver injury, providing new insights into the impact of insulin resistance on tissue repair.

A Notch-mediated, temporal asymmetry in BMP pathway activation promotes photoreceptor subtype diversification

During specification of pineal photoreceptors in zebrafish, activation of the BMP signaling pathway is asynchronous between sister cells after division, and this Notch-controlled asynchrony is crucial for photoreceptor fate diversification.

Coordinated electrical activity in the olfactory bulb gates the oscillatory entrainment of entorhinal networks in neonatal mice

New-born rodents are blind, deaf, do not whisker, and move little, so it has been assumed that sensory inputs contribute little to the development of the limbic system. This study shows, however, that both intrinsically-generated and odor-induced patterns of electrical activity in the olfactory bulb of neonatal mice control network entrainment in the entorhinal cortex, the gatekeeper of limbic circuits.

Short Reports

Avoidance response to CO2 in the lateral horn

In the fruit fly, olfactory associations are formed in the mushroom body, while the lateral horn is thought to process innate olfactory responses. Here, a behavioral screen in fruit flies reveals neurons in the lateral horn that are selectively involved in the innate aversive response to carbon dioxide.

Pathogen diversity drives the evolution of generalist MHC-II alleles in human populations

Whereas specialist major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules initiate immune response against only relatively few pathogens, generalists provide protection against a broad range. Accordingly, this study shows that the geographical distribution of generalist MHC alleles in human populations reflects exposure to diverse infectious diseases.


Correction: Preservation of myocardial contractility during acute hypoxia with OMX-CV, a novel oxygen delivery biotherapeutic


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