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Symmetry breaking in oocytes: tipping the seesaw

September 7, 2021

Symmetry breaking in oocytes: tipping the seesaw

Mammalian oocyte meiotic divisions are highly asymmetric, but how does the required symmetry breaking and spindle rotation occur? Benoit Dehapiot, Guillaume Halet and co-workers show that spindle rotation in activated mouse oocytes relies on spontaneous symmetry breaking, resulting from an unstable configuration generated by cleavage furrow ingression and cortical chromosome attraction.

Image credit: pbio.3001376

PLOS Biologue

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PLOS BIOLOGUE

09/09/2021

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Preregistration of animal studies: how's it going?

Mira van der Naald, Kimberley Wever and co-authors present a 3-year evaluation of the first platform dedicated to preregistration of animal studies, www.preclinicaltrials.eu, and comparable platforms, encouraging the scientific community to embrace preregistration in a move towards more effective animal research.

Image credit: pbio.3001397

Preregistration of animal studies: how's it going?

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue August 2021

09/09/2021

Research Article

Herpesvirus 8 tricks its way in

Herpesviruses are known to hijack cellular receptors to enter cells, but Taylor Light, Kalina Hristova, Marija Backovic and co-authors show that human herpesvirus 8 takes this to another level by using its envelope glycoprotein complex gH/gL to mimic the EphA2 receptor's natural ligands, ephrins.

Image credit: pbio.3001392

Herpesvirus 8 tricks its way in

09/09/2021

Research Article

How Plasmodium dumps lactate

The malaria parasite's lactate transporter, PfFNT, is a potential drug target due to its housekeeping role in lactate efflux during the red blood cell stage. Xi Peng, Nan Wang, Angqi Zhu, Hanwen Xu, Jialu Li, Chuangye Yan, Xin Jiang, Dong Deng and colleagues use cryo-EM structures of PfFNT alone or in complex with the anti-malarial drug MMV007839 to reveal the mechanism of lactate transport and drug inhibition.

Image credit: pbio.3001386

How Plasmodium dumps lactate

09/09/2021

Methods and Resources

Tracking blood in single vessels

Xuming Chen, Yuanyuan Jiang, Xin Yu and co-authors present a phase contrast-based, high field MRI-based approach for the functional mapping of cerebral blood velocity in individual cortical arterioles and venules in the rat cortex; this approach can be combined with previously established approaches to map BOLD, CBV, and blood velocity from penetrating microvessels.

Tracking blood in single vessels

Image credit: pbio.3000923

09/08/2021

Research Article

What triggers preterm labor?

Intrauterine inflammation sometimes causes preterm labor, but not always; why is this? Monica Cappelletti, Pietro Presicce, Suhas Kallapur and colleagues show that preterm labor is driven by upregulation of specific pathways involved in augmentation of inflammation, by invasion of neutrophils in the amnion layer of the fetal membranes, and by production of specific inflammatory mediators.

What triggers preterm labor?

Image credit: pbio.3001385

09/07/2021

Research Article

Embryonic epigenetics vs cell proliferation

Daniil Pokrovsky, Ralph Rupp and co-workers show that inhibition of cell proliferation in Xenopus embryos is largely compatible with embryo survival and cellular differentiation but results in an excess of transcriptionally repressive histone marks. On release from cell cycle block, embryos reverted towards normality on morphological, molecular and epigenetic levels.

Embryonic epigenetics vs cell proliferation

Image credit: pbio.3001377

09/07/2021

Methods and Resources

Mapping critical ion channel residues

Rapid screen of hundreds of ion channel variants containing non-canonical amino acids; introducing photocrosslinking amino acids into the ion channel hASIC1a shows how this approach can provide insights into function and pharmacology.

Mapping critical ion channel residues

Image credit: pbio.3001321

09/07/2021

Research Article

Learning languages

Statistical learning in language is key for apprehending words and structural rules. A combination of computational modelling and functional MRI reveals a link between online language statistical learning and reinforcement learning at the algorithmic and implementational levels.

Learning languages

Image credit: pbio.3001119

08/30/2021

Research Article

Encoding location, head direction and self-motion

Calcium imaging of neurons in freely behaving mice reveals how the lateral septum effectively represents information about not only location, but also head direction and self-movement, and may send this information to downstream brain regions.

Encoding location, head direction and self-motion

Image credit: pbio.3001383

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