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Galactic Cosmic Rays: Now Available on Earth

May 19, 2020

Galactic Cosmic Rays: Now Available on Earth

Lisa Simonsen, Tony Slaba, Peter Guida and Adam Rusek describe how NASA’s new earth-based galactic cosmic ray simulator can accelerate our understanding of the effects of space radiation exposure on astronauts and to validate countermeasures for exploration missions.

Image credit: Courtesy of NASA

PLOS Biologue

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

PLOS Biologue

05/20/2020

Research Article

Second-Guessing the Next Epidemic

Tobias Brett and Pejman Rohani develop an operational algorithm for the detection of the (re-)emergence of infectious disease. The authors illustrate its utility by successfully applying it to four (re-)emerging threats - mumps, pertussis, dengue and plague, providing early warning that could enable intervention measures.

Image credit: pbio.3000697

Second-Guessing the Next Epidemic

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue May 2020

05/18/2020

Research Article

Finding Retinoic Acid Target Genes

Identification of the target genes required to implement the downstream functions of transcription factors is challenging. Marie Berenguer, Karolin Meyer, Jun Yin and Gregg Duester use ChIP-seq of retinoic acid-regulated epigenetic marks combined with RNA-seq to identify a small number of important retinoic acid target genes; disruption of several genes reveals required functions in body axis and/or limb development.

Image credit: pbio.3000719

Finding Retinoic Acid Target Genes

05/18/2020

Research Article

How Well Do Human Gene Duplicates Replace Yeast Genes?

To understand the extent to which ancestral functions are retained among duplicated genes, Jon Laurent, Aashiq Kachroo, Edward Marcotte and colleagues systematically swap hundreds of essential yeast genes with their human orthologs from expanded gene families; the results reveal widespread differential replaceability within assayed families, and 50 new human-yeast complementation pairs.

Image credit: pbio.3000627

How Well Do Human Gene Duplicates Replace Yeast Genes?

05/15/2020

Research Article

Sensitive Bugs Help Contain Drug Resistance

Elsa Hansen, Jason Karslake, Kevin Wood and co-workers show that adding antibiotic-susceptible cells to otherwise resistant bacterial populations can be used to slow microbial growth in the presence of antibiotics; this provides support for a containment strategy that aims to maintain the maximum tolerable number of pathogens, exploiting competitive suppression to achieve chronic control.

Sensitive Bugs Help Contain Drug Resistance

Image credit: pbio.3000713

05/13/2020

Methods and Resources

Vascularized Human Cortical Organoids

Yingchao Shi, Le Sun, Mengdi Wang, Jianwei Liu, Qian Wu, Xiaoqun Wang and colleagues establish a method to generate vascularized cortical organoids, finding that in addition to reducing hypoxia and cell death, the vascular system promotes neural development in organoids.

Vascularized Human Cortical Organoids

Image credit: pbio.3000705

05/12/2020

Short Reports

Shh....! Processing the Sound of Threatening Silence

When others stop and silence ensues, animals respond as if threatened. Ana Pereira, Matheus Farias and Marta Moita identify the dorsal subnucleus of the medial geniculate body, the ventral area of the auditory cortex, and the lateral amygdala as the brain areas involved in processing dangerous silence.

Shh....! Processing the Sound of Threatening Silence

Image credit: Flickr user LaVladina

05/06/2020

Research Article

Cross-Frequency Coupling

This study identifies genuine inter-areal cross-frequency coupling (CFC) from human resting state activity using MEG, stereo-EEG, and novel network approaches. CFC couples slow theta and alpha oscillations to faster oscillations across brain regions.

Cross-Frequency Coupling

Image credit: pbio.3000685

05/05/2020

Short Reports

Genetic Levels of Brain Water Channel Affect Human Sleep

A common genetic haplotype linked to lower levels of the astrocyte channel aquaporin 4 is associated with more intense NREM sleep and an improved response to extended wakefulness.

Genetic Levels of Brain Water Channel Affect Human Sleep

Image credit: pbio.3000623

05/04/2020

Methods and Resources

Plasmodium's Life in the Blood

Analysis of individual Plasmodium vivax parasites reveals tight control of most genes during the intra-erythrocytic cycle, differentiation of gametocytes, and differences between P. vivax and P. falciparum.

Plasmodium's Life in the Blood

Image credit: Steven Glenn user Wikimedia Commons

04/30/2020

Research Article

Correction of Autism Mouse Model

Mice carrying an autism spectrum disorder risk mutation in an NMDA receptor subunit show reduced currents and LTD, and abnormal anxiolytic-like behavior. Early treatment of mice with the agonist D-cycloserine rescues these phenotypes.

Correction of Autism Mouse Model

Image credit: pbio.3000717

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