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Confronting plastic pollution

March 30, 2021

Confronting plastic pollution

Liza Gross and Judith Enck introduce a new collection of evidence-based commentaries that explore critical challenges facing scientists and policymakers working to address the potential environmental and health harms of microplastics.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Tharmapalan Tilaxan

PLOS Biologue

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

PLOS BIOLOGUE

04/02/2021

research article

How preprints accelerated research dissemination in the pandemic

An analysis of bioRxiv and medRxiv during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, by Nicholas Fraser, Liam Brierley, Jonathon Coates and co-authors, reveals that the pandemic has resulted in a cultural shift in the use of preprints for disseminating pandemic-related science.

Image credit: pbio.3000959

How preprints accelerated research dissemination in the pandemic

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue March 2021

04/01/2021

Research Article

Anesthetics' effects on memory

Amnesia is a key aspect of the 200 million general anesthesias administered worldwide every year, but how does it affect the hippocampus? A mouse study by Wei Yang, Mattia Chini, Simon Wiegert and co-workers explores how three commonly used anesthetics influence cellular network activity, spine dynamics and memory consolidation, finding that each anesthetic alters the local field potential, spiking activity and cellular calcium dynamics in a unique way, and all impact long-term spine dynamics.

Image credit: Simon Wiegert

Anesthetics' effects on memory

04/01/2021

research article

Refining the fly's sense of smell

Shadi Jafari, Mattias Alenius and co-authors reveal that the regulation of odorant receptor expression during the Drosophila pupal stage is permissive and imprecise; olfactory sensory neuron activity directly after hatching both directs and refines odorant receptor expression. Hence, during a critical period, activity feedback defines adult odorant expression in Drosophila, as happens in mouse.

Image credit: pbio.3001101

Refining the fly's sense of smell

03/31/2021

research article

HMCES and cytosine deaminase in cancer

APOBEC3A (A3A) cytosine deaminase activity causes DNA damage and drives cancer mutagenesis. A CRISPR screen by Josep Biayna, Fran Supek, Travis Stracker and colleagues identifies HMCES, a suicide enzyme that binds abasic sites, as a major suppressor of A3A-mediated damage in non-small cell lung cancer. Depletion of HMCES is synthetic lethal with A3A expression and p53 loss, suggesting its potential as a drug target.

HMCES and cytosine deaminase in cancer

Image credit: pbio.3001176

03/31/2021

short report

Gut colonization affects inheritance of behavior

Chunlan Hong, Jonathan Lalsiamthara, Alejandro Aballay and co-authors show that microbial colonization of the intestine of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans induces changes in the germline that not only influence the inheritance of pathogen avoidance but also the transmission of pathogenic cues that travel through the gut-neural axis to control aversive behavior.

Gut colonization affects inheritance of behavior

Image credit: pbio.3001169

03/31/2021

research article

How well are bioimages presented in publications?

How well are bioimages presented in publications? This meta-research study by Helena Jambor, Alberto Antonietti, Tracey Weissgerber and co-authors  systematically screens papers in three fields to identify common problems, presenting detailed descriptions and visual examples to help scientists avoid common pitfalls when publishing images.

How well are bioimages presented in publications?

Image credit: Helena Jambor

03/30/2021

Essay

Microplastic in soils

A major concerted effort is required to understand the pervasive effects of microplastics on the functioning of soils and terrestrial ecosystems, including the immense diversity of microplastic particles.

Microplastic in soils

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Race4Water

03/30/2021

Essay

Tackling plastic packaging

The widespread use of plastic packaging for foodstuffs is significantly contributing to the global plastic pollution crisis. Jane Muncke exhorts us to change the conversation about plastic packaging and address the chemicals that migrate into food.

Tackling plastic packaging

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Acabashi

03/30/2021

Essay

Addressing microplastics requires open collaboration

Microplastics challenge traditional risk-based regulatory frameworks; this Essay suggests strategies to address challenges with regulations, policies and research.

Addressing microplastics requires open collaboration

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Dana AlZoubi

03/29/2021

Research Article

SARS-CoV-2 likes it cool

Comparing the viral replication kinetics and host cell response during SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection reveals that the temperature of the human respiratory epithelium influences the viral replication and virus-host dynamics of SARS-CoV-2, but not of SARS-CoV.

SARS-CoV-2 likes it cool

Image credit: pbio.3001158

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