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Natural Variation and Tradeoff in Anticipation

January 27, 2015

Natural Variation and Tradeoff in Anticipation

Jue Wang, Michael Springer and colleagues show that yeast can anticipate the depletion of a preferred nutrient by preemptively activating genes for alternative nutrients; this varies across natural strains and is subject to a fitness tradeoff.

Image credit: Jue Wang, Renan Escalante-Chong

01/29/2015

research article

Yeast Longevity is Transmissible

Calorie restriction extends lifespan in many multicellular organisms; here, Szu-Chieh Mei and Charles Brenner find that substances secreted by calorie-restricted yeast induce longer life in other yeast cells, suggesting that cellular communication is a component of this phenomenon, even in a single-celled organism.

Image credit: Flickr Users Col Ford and Natasha de Vere

Yeast Longevity is Transmissible

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Current Issue January 2015

01/28/2015

research article

Bat Flight in Dark and Light Conditions

A model of animal flight guidance, developed by Nadav Bar, Yossi Yovel and colleagues, suggests that bats use estimates of angular velocity and time-integrated sensory information to find their targets, and explains why bats fly straighter in the light than in the dark.

Image credit: Jens Rydell

Bat Flight in Dark and Light Conditions

01/27/2015

research article

Switching Nutrients: Gambling and Anticipation

A study by Ophelia Venturelli, Hana El-Samad and colleagues of the dynamic response of yeast to combinations of sugars reveals that a fraction of a population gamble on the exhaustion of one sugar by anticipating use of a second; this strategy allows rapid adaptation to shifts in nutrient availability.

Image credit: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002042

Switching Nutrients: Gambling and Anticipation

01/21/2015

primer

Transmission Dynamics and Control of Ebola Virus Disease

Gerardo Chowell and Hiroshi Nishiura describe how carefully calibrated transmission models have the potential to guide public health officials on the interventions required to control the ongoing Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa. Also read the accompanying Research Article.

Transmission Dynamics and Control of Ebola Virus Disease

Image credit: NIAID, Flickr

01/26/2015

ESSAY

Adult Neurogenesis: Are Humans like Rodents?

New neurons generated in the adult brain have been shown in rodents to mediate specific functions, including neural plasticity. Aurélie Ernst and Jonas Frisén discuss recent work on human adult neurogenesis, examining how it compares to that in other mammals.

Adult Neurogenesis: Are Humans like Rodents?

Image credit: Allan Ajifo, Flickr

01/27/2015

perspective

Illegal Drugs Laws: Blocking Research for 50 Years

For over 50 years, many medical drugs have been effectively banned from research and clinical treatment in the vain hope that this will stop recreational use. David Nutt argues that the scientific community should now challenge this pointless ban and get governments to improve their regulations so science can flourish.

Illegal Drugs Laws: Blocking Research for 50 Years

Image credit: Flickr user Victor

01/27/2015

research article

Conservation Priorities: Restoration? Protection? Both?

In conservation, prevention is not always better than cure. It can be better for biodiversity and ecosystem services to start habitat restoration before all available intact habitat has been protected.

Conservation Priorities: Restoration? Protection? Both?

Image credit: Flickr user Roberto Verzo

01/20/2015

research article

Targeting Diabetes: A Selective Epac2 Agonist

An analogue of cAMP selectively activates Epac2, potentiating glucose-induced insulin secretion from human pancreatic β-cells.

Targeting Diabetes: A Selective Epac2 Agonist

Image credit: Holger Rehmann

01/20/2015

perspective

Where Next for Microbiome Research?

The last decade has seen a staggering transformation in our knowledge of microbial communities. What might the next ten years hold in store?

Where Next for Microbiome Research?

Image credit: doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002606.g002