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


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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: August 01, 2019 to August 30, 2019


Expanding beyond carnivores to improve livestock protection and conservation

This Perspective article highlights the fact that despite causing significant amounts of damage to livestock, noncarnivore species such as feral pigs and elephants are often excluded from the livestock protection conversation, potentially leading to missed opportunities to improve mitigation strategies.

Population susceptibility: A vital consideration in chemical risk evaluation under the Lautenberg Toxic Substances Control Act

The Toxic Substances Control Act legally oversees the over 40,000 chemicals in the United States; however, this Perspective article maintains that the US Environmental Protection Agency's chemical evaluation plans do not reflect current science, recommending methods to improve evaluations to protect public health.

Community Page

A standardized citation metrics author database annotated for scientific field

Citation metrics are widely used and misused. This Community Page article presents a publicly available database that provides standardized information on multiple citation indicators and a composite thereof, annotating each author according to his/her main scientific field(s).

Research Articles

Cancer cell population growth kinetics at low densities deviate from the exponential growth model and suggest an Allee effect

This study applied principles that describe the growth dynamics of species within an ecosystem in a novel attempt to understand the growth of tumors. At low cell densities, cooperative interactions among cancer cells may influence growth in a manner reminiscent of the ecological "Allee effect," in contrast to conventional logistic growth models.

Remote reefs and seamounts are the last refuges for marine predators across the Indo-Pacific

Novel pelagic baited cameras reveal the last refuges of declining shark populations, showing that proximity to human activity centres is increasingly limiting the distribution of sharks, and that there is a worrying mismatch between the current placement of protected areas and the remaining shark hotspots.

Strategic deployment of feature-based attentional gain in primate visual cortex

This study documents the neural basis of a sophisticated attentional system that is able to differentially distribute feature-based attention such that the strongest attentional modulation is directed towards those neurons that are the most informative contributors to the task at hand.

The Candida albicans biofilm gene circuit modulated at the chromatin level by a recent molecular histone innovation

A variant histone H3 specific to the CTG clade of ascomycete fungi modulates the expression of the majority of the biofilm genes in the human pathogen Candida albicans by binding differentially to biofilm-relevant gene promoters.

Value-driven attentional capture enhances distractor representations in early visual cortex

Task-irrelevant distractors can automatically capture attention when they were previously associated with a high reward. This study shows that these high-valued distractors increased the fidelity of neural representations in retinotopically organized regions of visual cortex, showing that value-driven attentional capture begins with early sensory modulations of distractor representations in human visual system.

The parietal operculum preferentially encodes heat pain and not salience

The brain activity detected during pain could be due merely to the fact that pain is arousing and attention-grabbing, rather than being directly attributable to the pain itself. This study identifies an area of the brain ' the parietal operculum ' whose activity can only be explained by the painfulness of pain.

Activation of Toll-like receptor 7/8 encoded by the X chromosome alters sperm motility and provides a novel simple technology for sexing sperm

The Toll-like receptors TLR7 and TLR8 are encoded by the X chromosome and expressed in X-containing sperm but not Y-containing sperm. TLR7/8 ligands suppress the motility of X-containing sperm, indicating that this receptor can differentially affect sperm function on the basis of the sex chromosome they bear.

MDT-15/MED15 permits longevity at low temperature via enhancing lipidostasis and proteostasis

Low temperatures delay aging and promote longevity in many organisms. This study shows that at low ambient temperatures, Mediator 15, a transcriptional coregulator, allows the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to live longer by increasing the levels of unsaturated lipids, helping to maintain protein homeostasis.

Coordinated circadian timing through the integration of local inputs in Arabidopsis thaliana

Computational modeling and experiments with Arabidopsis thaliana reveal a new mechanism for the coordination of circadian timing across an organism, acting through a combination of organ-specific sensitivity to environmental inputs and local cell-cell coupling.

Intestinal delta-6-desaturase activity determines host range for Toxoplasma sexual reproduction

The sexual cycle of Toxoplasma gondii is restricted to cats, the only mammals to lack delta-6-desaturase activity, with consequent high levels of linoleic acid. This study shows that inhibition of delta-6-desaturase and diet supplementation with linoleic acid allows Toxoplasma sexual development in mice, potentially opening up alternative model hosts.

Identification of traits and functional connectivity-based neurotraits of chronic pain

A neuroimaging study shows that psychological contributors of chronic pain are represented in patterns of resting state functional connectivity; clustering analysis of these patterns suggests the existence of subtypes of chronic pain patients with specific clinical characteristics.

Chemokine signaling links cell-cycle progression and cilia formation for left'right symmetry breaking

During left-right symmetry breaking in zebrafish, proliferation defects of dorsal forerunner cells are often accompanied by impaired cilia elongation in Kupffer's vesicle. This study shows that Cxcr4a signaling promotes the activity of Cyclin D1-CDK4/6, which accelerates the G1/S transition in dorsal forerunner cells and then facilitates cilia formation via stabilization of Foxj1a.

Agonist-induced membrane nanodomain clustering drives GLP-1 receptor responses in pancreatic beta cells

Nanodomain segregation and clustering of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor, a key target for type 2 diabetes therapy, is regulated by agonist binding, leading to compartmentalization of downstream signaling and clathrin-dependent internalization and impacting pancreatic beta cell responses.

TSC1/mTOR-controlled metabolic'epigenetic cross talk underpins DC control of CD8+ T-cell homeostasis

Dendritic cells (DCs) play pivotal roles in T cell homeostasis and activation, but the basis of the metabolic programming of distinct DC functions remains unclear. This study identifies a novel metabolic-epigenetic node enabling DC control of CD8 T cell homeostasis, involving mTOR-ACC1 as a rheostat that balances fatty-acid synthesis and histone acetylation.

mGluR5/ERK signaling regulated the phosphorylation and function of glycine receptor alpha 1ins subunit in spinal dorsal horn of mice

Activity-dependent phosphorylation of the glycine receptor a1ins subunit by metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 and ERK kinase signalling causes endocytosis of a1ins and glycinergic disinhibition in the spinal cord dorsal horn, contributing to pain sensitization.

Astroglial dysfunctions drive aberrant synaptogenesis and social behavioral deficits in mice with neonatal exposure to lengthy general anesthesia

The extended use of general anesthetics can cause neurobehavioral deficits in the developing brain, leading to clinical concerns regarding their use in children younger than 3 years. This study shows that general anesthetics target glial cells to disrupt neural circuit formation in the developing brain, an effect that may underlie the observed learning, cognitive, or emotional deficits.

Evolution of intron splicing towards optimized gene expression is based on various Cis- and Trans-molecular mechanisms

An experimental evolution study involving an inefficiently spliced intron reveals that the splicing machinery, introns, and RNA quality control factors evolve in Cis and in Trans when cells optimize their transcriptome to new challenges.

Feeling fooled: Texture contaminates the neural code for tactile speed

Our ability to sense the speed at which a surface moves across our skin is highly unreliable and depends on the texture of the surface. This study shows that speed illusions can be predicted from the responses of a specific population of nerve fibers and of their downstream targets; because the skin is too sparsely innervated to compute tactile speed accurately, the nervous system relies on a heuristic to estimate it.

Selective suppression and recall of long-term memories in Drosophila

A novel genetic approach enables the visualization and manipulation of memory engram cells in Drosophila, providing a key methodological opportunity to characterize associative memory at the cellular and circuit level.

Targeting oxidative pentose phosphate pathway prevents recurrence in mutant Kras colorectal carcinomas

This study shows that CDCP1-positive cancer stem cells represent a critical driving force behind tumor relapse in colorectal tumors that have mutant Kras and reveals a unique role for the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway in this process.

Helicobacter pylori senses bleach (HOCl) as a chemoattractant using a cytosolic chemoreceptor

A pathogenic bacteria is found to be attracted to bleach. Helicobacter pylori, notorious for causing stomach ulcers and cancer, senses bleach as an attractant, enabling it to localize to sites of inflamed gastric tissue (hypochlorous acid, the active agent of bleach, is produced by host neutrophils as an antimicrobial).

Direct auditory cortical input to the lateral periaqueductal gray controls sound-driven defensive behavior

Threatening sounds can evoke a defensive behavior in animals to avoid potential harm. This study identifies a novel neural pathway in mice that projects directly from the auditory cortex to the lateral periaqueductal gray and controls defense-like behaviors evoked by a loud noise, supporting the notion that such behaviors are controlled by multiple neural circuits.

Reticulon and CLIMP-63 regulate nanodomain organization of peripheral ER tubules

Stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution microscopy shows that endoplasmic reticulum'shaping proteins regulate not only the macroscale organization of the ER (sheets versus tubules) but also the nanodomain heterogeneity and dynamics of peripheral ER tubules.

Short Reports

Environmental pollution is associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders in the US and Denmark

Exploratory analyses of two independent datasets comprising 151 million Americans and 1.4 million Danes revealed that polluted air was associated with a significantly increased risk of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Volitional control of vocalizations in corvid songbirds

Songbirds are renowned for their acoustically elaborate songs, but it is unclear whether they have cognitive control over their vocal output. Using operant conditioning, this study shows that carrion crows, songbirds of the corvid family, can exert control over their vocalizations.

Methods and Resources

The lipidome of primary murine white, brite, and brown adipocytes'Impact of beta-adrenergic stimulation

Quantitative lipidomics reveal that the cell membrane lipidome of brite and brown adipocytes is comparable, but significantly different to that of white adipocytes. Beta-adrenergic stimulation of brown adipocytes induces generation of saturated lysophosphatidylcholine from phosphatidylcholine, increasing uncoupling protein (UCP) 1-mediated leak respiration.

Tagger'A Swiss army knife for multiomics to dissect cell type'specific mechanisms of gene expression in mice

This Methods and Resources paper describes Tagger, a knock-in mouse line bearing a quad-cistronic transgene that enables the capture of translating mRNAs, mature miRNAs, pulse-labeled total RNA, and the nucleus, all from specific cells of complex tissues.

Nessys: A new set of tools for the automated detection of nuclei within intact tissues and dense 3D cultures

A new computational method allows researchers to measure the properties of individual nuclei in situations in which cells are tightly packed together, for example, during differentiation of stem cells in culture or during early postimplantation development.


Correction: An Unexpected Sequence of Events: Mismatch Detection in the Human Hippocampus

Correction: JMJD5 links CRY1 function and proteasomal degradation


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