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How to prioritize taxonomic research?

June 1, 2021

How to prioritize taxonomic research?

In order to inform conservation effort, there is urgent need for rigorous taxonomic research to describe species under threat of extinction. Using a new prioritization method, Jane Melville, Reid Tingley and colleagues identified 282 Australian reptile species needing taxonomic research, of which 17.6% represent undescribed species of conservation concern; this approach could be readily implemented across many faunal groups.

Image credit: A. O’Grady

PLOS Biologue

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

PLOS BIOLOGUE

06/04/2021

Discovery Report

Unexpected modes of G protein interaction

Cryo-EM structures of the G protein-coupled receptor CCK1R bound to the CCK peptide agonist CCK-8 and two distinct transducer proteins (its primary transducer Gq, and the more weakly coupled Gs), by Jesse Mobbs, Matthew Belousoff, Denise Wootten, David Thal, Laurence Miller, Patrick Sexton and co-workers, reveal unexpected modes of G protein interaction.

Image credit: pbio.3001295

Unexpected modes of G protein interaction

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue May 2021

06/03/2021

Research Article

Re-wiring agriculture

Is nutrient-sparing agriculture a viable alternative to the current U.S. food system? Using a model of nitrogen-sparing agriculture (NSA), Gidon Eshel finds that exclusive reliance on NSA could markedly improve the nutritional quality of the national diet, enhance protein availability, permit some beef consumption, and reduce eutrophication. It will require, however, substantially elevated reliance on plants as the backbone of the diet.

Image credit: pbio.3001264

Re-wiring agriculture

06/02/2021

Research Article

SRMS, FKBP51 and tumor growth

Jung Mi Park, Malia Potts and co-authors identify a nutrient-sensitive signaling pathway that drives growth and inhibits autophagy in mammalian cells. This pathway, which involves the non-receptor tyrosine kinase SRMS and the PHLPP scaffold protein FKBP51, promotes tumor growth and is amenable to pharmacological inhibition.

Image credit: pbio.3001281

SRMS, FKBP51 and tumor growth

06/02/2021

Research Article

Human cortico-hippocampal networks

Episodic memory depends on interactions between the hippocampus and interconnected neocortical regions. Alexander Barnett, Charan Ranganath and colleagues use network analyses of intrinsic brain networks at rest to identify and characterize brain networks that interact with the hippocampus and have distinct functions during memory-guided decision making.

Human cortico-hippocampal networks

Image credit: pbio.3001275

06/01/2021

Discovery Report

Fungus-host persulfide wars

Monica Sueiro-Olivares, Jorge Amich and co-workers reveal that the post-translational modification persulfidation is important for both fungal virulence and the host antifungal response. The level of persulfidation in the host, which correlates with its antifungal potency, impacts the level required in the fungus to counteract host attack, reflecting a functional correlation. Modulating persulfidation may be a promising therapeutic strategy.

Fungus-host persulfide wars

Image credit: pbio.3001247

06/01/2021

Short Reports

Fluid flow, brain activity and Alzheimer's

Feng Han, Xiao Liu, and colleagues, including the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, reveal strong coupling between the global fMRI signal and cerebrospinal fluid influx, finding that this is correlated with Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology, disease severity, and cognitive decline.

Fluid flow, brain activity and Alzheimer's

Image credit: pbio.3001233

06/01/2021

Research Article

Sources of tumor heterogeneity

This study distinguishes genetic, epigenetic, and stochastic sources of heterogeneity in an in vitro tumor model, using whole-exome sequencing, single-cell RNA sequencing, drug-response profiling, and stochastic simulations.

Sources of tumor heterogeneity

Image credit: pbio.3000797

05/26/2021

Research Article

RHEB/mTOR hyperactivity and epilepsy

Hyperactivation of the mTOR pathway can cause cortical malformations and epilepsy. These effects can be uncoupled; mTOR hyperactivity in a limited set of neurons induces hyperexcitability in non-targeted, healthy neurons.

 RHEB/mTOR hyperactivity and epilepsy

Image credit: pbio.3001279

05/26/2021

Research Article

Chemokines as “find-me” signals

Phosphatidylserine-binding chemokines endow extracellular apoptotic bodies with “find-me” signals that trigger phagocyte migration for potential apoptotic cell clearance.

Chemokines as “find-me” signals

Image credit: pbio.3001259

05/26/2021

Research Article

Sensing formaldehyde

The formaldehyde sensor efgA plays an important role in the endogenous formaldehyde stress response in Methylorubrum extorquens, halting cell growth in response to elevated levels of this toxic intermediate, and is found almost exclusively in methylotrophic taxa.

Sensing formaldehyde

Image credit: pbio.3001208

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