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Insulin-Like Peptide Matches Weapon Size to the Beetle

November 27, 2019

Insulin-Like Peptide Matches Weapon Size to the Beetle

Animals can evolve sexually selected weapons and ornaments as the exaggerations of specific body parts, often linked to nutritional status. Yasukazu Okada, Kensuke Okada and co-workers show that in the broad-horned flour beetle, one insulin-like peptide (among the five encoded by their genome) specifically regulates weapon growth.

Image credit: Yasukazu Okada

PLOS Biologue

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PLOS Biologue

11/26/2019

Research Article

Predicting Virulence of RNA Viruses

Comparative analysis using machine learning, by Liam Brierley, Amy Pedersen and Mark Woolhouse, shows that specificity of tissue tropism and transmission biology can act as predictive risk factors for the virulence of human RNA viruses.

Image credit: Flickr user NIAID

Predicting Virulence of RNA Viruses

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue November 2019

11/26/2019

Essay

Microbiome Rights

What do microbes have to do with social equity? Suzanne Ishaq, Hannah Tavalire and co-authors explore the argument that access to beneficial microorganisms is a facet of public health, and that health inequality may be compounded by inequitable microbial exposure.

Image credit: Flickr user Alpha Tauri

Microbiome Rights

11/26/2019

Research Article

APC Loss Inures Colorectal Cancer to IL-22

The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene is mutated in 85% of colorectal cancers. Yu Chen, Inke Näthke, Mahima Swamy and colleagues show that when APC is mutated in murine intestinal epithelial cells, they no longer respond to IL-22, a cytokine that is considered important for colorectal cancer progression; this has implications for IL-22 as a therapeutic target for cancer treatment.


Image credit: pbio.3000540

APC Loss Inures Colorectal Cancer to IL-22

11/25/2019

Methods and Resources

G Protein-Coupled Receptors in Cancer

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most commonly used family of drug targets in most disease settings other than cancer. Krishna Sriram, Paul Insel and co-authors reveal that GPCRs (including many which are already targets of approved drugs) show elevated expression in solid tumors. Expression of certain GPCRs appears to have prognostic relevance, and many GPCRs undergo widespread mutation and copy number variation.

G Protein-Coupled Receptors in Cancer

Image credit: pbio.3000434

11/27/2019

Essay

Halfway to Language?

Pedro Tiago Martins and Cedric Boeckx argue that the evolution of language cannot be as simple as prominent linguists Berwick and Chomsky have recently proposed, showing that the jump from the atomicity of Merge to a single-mutation scenario is not valid, and therefore cannot be used as justification for theory of language evolution along those lines. Also read the response by Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky.

Halfway to Language?

Image credit: Flickr user MouthGuy2013

11/25/2019

Research Article

Sins of the Father (and Mother)

Why do individuals within populations vary enormously in mortality risk and longevity? A study of neriid flies by Zachariah Wylde, Russell Bonduriansky and co-workers shows that paternal age can affect offspring longevity as strongly as maternal age does, and that breeding age effects can interact over two generations in both matrilines and patrilines.

Sins of the Father (and Mother)

Image credit: Flickr user giovzaid85

11/22/2019

Short Reports

Novel Benefits of Gene Duplication

Duplicated genes can resolve the conflict between expression plasticity and noise by functioning as one unit with expression control that is both environmentally responsive and low-noise. Read the accompanying Primer.

Novel Benefits of Gene Duplication

Image credit: pbio.3000519

11/21/2019

Research Article

The Propagation of Parkinson's

An agent-based model informed by infectious disease epidemiology recapitulates the distribution of atrophy in Parkinson's disease, suggesting that connectomics and local gene expression interact to shape the spatial progression of the disease.

The Propagation of Parkinson's

Image credit: pbio.3000495

11/21/2019

Short Reports

The Peculiar Immune System of the Naked Mole-Rat

A single-cell transcriptomic study of the immune system of the cancer-resistant naked mole-rat reveals that this animal lacks natural killer (NK) cells, thought to be crucial for cancer resistance.

The Peculiar Immune System of the Naked Mole-Rat

Image credit: Flickr user John Brighenti

11/15/2019

Research Article

Type I Interferon and Anaphylaxis

A novel role for type I interferon in mast cell homeostasis: spontaneous type I interferon signaling regulates the biogenesis of secretory granules and maturation of mast cells via STAT1 and STAT3, limiting the onset of systemic anaphylaxis.

Type I Interferon and Anaphylaxis

Image credit: pbio.3000530

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