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How do krill tell the time in the Polar Night?

October 19, 2021

How do krill tell the time in the Polar Night?

Jonathan Cohen, Kim Last, Jørgen Berge  and colleagues show that ambient light cycles set an internal rhythm that controls visual sensitivity of Arctic krill during the Polar Night – the darkest part of the year, when the sun remains below the horizon all day.

Image credit: unsplash user v2osk and pbio.0030127

PLOS Biologue

Community blog for PLOS Biology, PLOS Genetics and PLOS Computational Biology.

PLOS BIOLOGUE

10/21/2021

Short Reports

Is working memory electrically active?

Joao Barbosa, Diego Lozano-Soldevilla and Albert Compte show that visual pinging of the brain triggers EEG responses selective to unattended memories by enhancing active neural signals, not by reactivating activity-silent traces as previously proposed. This finding questions key evidence for the activity-silent theory of working memory.

Image credit: pbio.3001436

Is working memory electrically active?

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue September 2021

10/21/2021

Research Article

Plasmodium's specialized apparatus for transmission

Malaria parasites face two bottlenecks in their life cycle: their two transmission events. Kevin Hart, Scott Lindner and co-workers show that Plasmodium has taken the unorthodox approach of duplicating the gene for the NOT1 RNA regulatory scaffold protein, allowing it to dedicate one paralog to functions that are essential for transmission from mammalian hosts to the mosquito vector.

Image credit: pbio.3001434

Plasmodium's specialized apparatus for transmission

10/20/2021

Research Article

Feedback helps understanding of degraded speech

Understanding speech in background noise is critical to human communication. Heivet Hernández-Pérez, Jessica Monaghan, Catherine McMahon and colleagues highlight a critical role for neural feedback circuits that modulate the activity of the inner ear, enabling effective listening to degraded speech.

Image credit: pbio.3001439

Feedback helps understanding of degraded speech

10/20/2021

Methods and Resources

A collection of plant disease resistance proteins

Reference datasets help to define canonical biological features and are essential for benchmarking studies. Jiorgos Kourelis, Sophien Kamoun and co-authors present RefPlantNLR, a comprehensive reference dataset of 481 experimentally validated NLR immune receptors from 31 genera of flowering plants.

A collection of plant disease resistance proteins

Image credit: pbio.3001124

10/20/2021

Research Article

Glucose-sensor's role in spermatogenesis

Male germ cell production is a metabolically-driven and apoptosis-prone process. Patrick Carroll, Robert Eisenman and co-workers show that MLX, a nutrient-sensing transcription factor and member of the MYC network, is not required for embryonic development but is necessary for male murine fertility and male germ cell tumor survival; loss of MLX results in altered metabolism, activation of stress pathways and germ cell apoptosis in the testes.

Glucose-sensor's role in spermatogenesis

Image credit: pbio.3001085

10/19/2021

Methods and Resources

AI allows genome-scale prediction of KM

Enzymes' affinities for their substrates (KM) are difficult to measure experimentally. Alexander Kroll, Martin Engqvist, David Heckmann and Martin Lercher show that a deep learning model that can predict them from structural features of the enzyme and substrate, providing KM predictions for all enzymes across 47 model organisms. Also read the accompanying Primer by Albert Antolin and Marta Cascante.

AI allows genome-scale prediction of KM

Image credit: pbio.3001402

10/14/2021

Short Reports

Snakes' diet diversified after dinosaurs died out

The Cenozoic marked a period of new ecological opportunities; this phylogenetic natural history study offers new insights into the dietary evolution of snake ecological diversity after the K-Pg mass extinction.

Snakes' diet diversified after dinosaurs died out

Image credit: Flickr user USFWS Mountain Prairie

10/13/2021

Research Article

Topology thwarts CRISPR

A novel CRISPR-Cas9 inhibitor derived from phage has an unexpected mechanism; instead of binding Cas9 itself, this “anti-CRISPR” relaxes plasmid DNA and enables Cas9 evasion, suggesting that DNA topology is an underappreciated battleground in phage-bacterial conflicts.

Topology thwarts CRISPR

Image credit: pbio.3001428

10/13/2021

Research Article

It ain't heavy; it's my plasmid

Specific gene interactions are principally responsible for the fitness costs that plasmids impose. The propensity of such conflicts to be resolved by single compensatory mutations may help to explain why plasmids are so widespread.

It ain't heavy; it's my plasmid

Image credit: Edward Ross

10/12/2021

Research Article

Phage resistance in structured environments

This study shows that in the presence of spatial refuges, genetic resistance to phage is less of a problem than commonly assumed, but that eradicating bacterial pathogens may require combined phage-antibiotic therapies.

Phage resistance in structured environments

Image credit: pbio.3001406

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