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Table of Contents: September 2018

Biomedical research is one of the largest areas of present-day science and embeds the hope and potential to improve the lives of the general public. In order to understand how individual scientists choose individual research questions, Stoeger et al. studied why certain genes are well studied but others are not. While it has been previously observed that most research on human genes only concentrates on approximately 2,000 of the 19,000 genes of the human genome, the reasons for this ignorance are largely unknown. The authors systematically tested explanations for this observation, finding that biomedical research is primarily guided by a handful of generic chemical and biological characteristics of genes, which facilitated experimentation during the 1980s and 1990s, rather than by the physiological importance of individual genes or their relevance to human disease. The image shows "hot" and "cold" regions of biology; genes (dots) are mapped according to generic chemical and biological characteristics. Blue indicates cold regions, where genes are studied less frequently than anticipated under the assumption that every gene would be studied to the same extent.

Image Credit: Thomas Stoeger

Essays

The Sacred Ibis debate: The first test of evolution

Caitlin Curtis, Craig D. Millar, David M. Lambert

Harnessing positive species interactions as a tool against climate-driven loss of coastal biodiversity

Fabio Bulleri, Britas Klemens Eriksson, Ana Queirós, Laura Airoldi, Francisco Arenas, Christos Arvanitidis, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Tasman P. Crowe, Dominique Davoult, Katell Guizien, Ljiljana Iveša, Stuart R. Jenkins, Richard Michalet, Celia Olabarria, Gabriele Procaccini, Ester A. Serrão, Martin Wahl, Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi

Perspectives

Carnivore conservation needs evidence-based livestock protection

Lily M. van Eeden, Ann Eklund, Jennifer R. B. Miller, José Vicente López-Bao, Guillaume Chapron, Mikael R. Cejtin, Mathew S. Crowther, Christopher R. Dickman, Jens Frank, Miha Krofel, David W. Macdonald, Jeannine McManus, Tara K. Meyer, Arthur D. Middleton, Thomas M. Newsome, William J. Ripple, Euan G. Ritchie, Oswald J. Schmitz, Kelly J. Stoner, Mahdieh Tourani, Adrian Treves

Science in the fight to uphold the rights of children

Arthur L. Caplan, Peter J. Hotez

Community Page

EukRef: Phylogenetic curation of ribosomal RNA to enhance understanding of eukaryotic diversity and distribution

Javier del Campo, Martin Kolisko, Vittorio Boscaro, Luciana F. Santoferrara, Serafim Nenarokov, Ramon Massana, Laure Guillou, Alastair Simpson, Cedric Berney, Colomban de Vargas, Matthew W. Brown, Patrick J. Keeling, Laura Wegener Parfrey

Research Articles

Evolutionary emergence of infectious diseases in heterogeneous host populations

Hélène Chabas, Sébastien Lion, Antoine Nicot, Sean Meaden, Stineke van Houte, Sylvain Moineau, Lindi M. Wahl, Edze R. Westra, Sylvain Gandon

Destabilized adaptive influenza variants critical for innate immune system escape are potentiated by host chaperones

Angela M. Phillips, Anna I. Ponomarenko, Kenny Chen, Orr Ashenberg, Jiayuan Miao, Sean M. McHugh, Vincent L. Butty, Charles A. Whittaker, Christopher L. Moore, Jesse D. Bloom, Yu-Shan Lin, Matthew D. Shoulders

The neurodevelopmental precursors of altruistic behavior in infancy

Tobias Grossmann, Manuela Missana, Kathleen M. Krol

EpCAM ectodomain EpEX is a ligand of EGFR that counteracts EGF-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition through modulation of phospho-ERK1/2 in head and neck cancers

Min Pan, Henrik Schinke, Elke Luxenburger, Gisela Kranz, Julius Shakhtour, Darko Libl, Yuanchi Huang, Aljaž Gaber, Miha Pavšič, Brigita Lenarčič, Julia Kitz, Mark Jakob, Sabina Schwenk-Zieger, Martin Canis, Julia Hess, Kristian Unger, Philipp Baumeister, Olivier Gires

Vocal practice regulates singing activity–dependent genes underlying age-independent vocal learning in songbirds

Shin Hayase, Hongdi Wang, Eri Ohgushi, Masahiko Kobayashi, Chihiro Mori, Haruhito Horita, Katsuhiko Mineta, Wan-chun Liu, Kazuhiro Wada

Midgut-derived neuropeptide F controls germline stem cell proliferation in a mating-dependent manner

Tomotsune Ameku, Yuto Yoshinari, Michael J. Texada, Shu Kondo, Kotaro Amezawa, Goro Yoshizaki, Yuko Shimada-Niwa, Ryusuke Niwa

Aging alters the epigenetic asymmetry of HSC division

M. Carolina Florian, Markus Klose, Mehmet Sacma, Jelena Jablanovic, Luke Knudson, Kalpana J. Nattamai, Gina Marka, Angelika Vollmer, Karin Soller, Vadim Sakk, Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid, Yi Zheng, Medhanie A. Mulaw, Ingmar Glauche, Hartmut Geiger

mDia1/3 generate cortical F-actin meshwork in Sertoli cells that is continuous with contractile F-actin bundles and indispensable for spermatogenesis and male fertility

Satoko Sakamoto, Dean Thumkeo, Hiroshi Ohta, Zhen Zhang, Shuangru Huang, Pakorn Kanchanawong, Takayoshi Fuu, Sadanori Watanabe, Kentaro Shimada, Yoshitaka Fujihara, Shosei Yoshida, Masahito Ikawa, Naoki Watanabe, Mitinori Saitou, Shuh Narumiya

Jagged1/Notch2 controls kidney fibrosis via Tfam-mediated metabolic reprogramming

Shizheng Huang, Jihwan Park, Chengxiang Qiu, Ki Wung Chung, Szu-yuan Li, Yasemin Sirin, Seung Hyeok Han, Verdon Taylor, Ursula Zimber-Strobl, Katalin Susztak

Transcriptional outcomes and kinetic patterning of gene expression in response to NF-κB activation

Mingming Zhao, Jaimy Joy, Weiqiang Zhou, Supriyo De, William H. Wood III, Kevin G. Becker, Hongkai Ji, Ranjan Sen

Copper-dependent amino oxidase 3 governs selection of metabolic fuels in adipocytes

Haojun Yang, Martina Ralle, Michael J. Wolfgang, Neha Dhawan, Jason L. Burkhead, Susana Rodriguez, Jack H. Kaplan, G. William Wong, Norman Haughey, Svetlana Lutsenko

Protein kinase A negatively regulates Ca2+ signalling in Toxoplasma gondii

Alessandro D. Uboldi, Mary-Louise Wilde, Emi A. McRae, Rebecca J. Stewart, Laura F. Dagley, Luning Yang, Nicholas J. Katris, Sanduni V. Hapuarachchi, Michael J. Coffey, Adele M. Lehane, Cyrille Y. Botte, Ross F. Waller, Andrew I. Webb, Malcolm J. McConville, Christopher J. Tonkin

Hook length of the bacterial flagellum is optimized for maximal stability of the flagellar bundle

Imke Spöring, Vincent A. Martinez, Christian Hotz, Jana Schwarz-Linek, Keara L. Grady, Josué M. Nava-Sedeño, Teun Vissers, Hanna M. Singer, Manfred Rohde, Carole Bourquin, Haralampos Hatzikirou, Wilson C. K. Poon, Yann S. Dufour, Marc Erhardt

Lso2 is a conserved ribosome-bound protein required for translational recovery in yeast

Yinuo J. Wang, Pavanapuresan P. Vaidyanathan, Maria F. Rojas-Duran, Namrata D. Udeshi, Kristen M. Bartoli, Steven A. Carr, Wendy V. Gilbert

Multiple origins and modularity in the spatiotemporal emergence of cerebellar astrocyte heterogeneity

Valentina Cerrato, Elena Parmigiani, María Figueres-Oñate, Marion Betizeau, Jessica Aprato, Ishira Nanavaty, Paola Berchialla, Federico Luzzati, Claudio de’Sperati, Laura López-Mascaraque, Annalisa Buffo

Short Reports

Anthropoid primate–specific retroviral element THE1B controls expression of CRH in placenta and alters gestation length

Caitlin E. Dunn-Fletcher, Lisa M. Muglia, Mihaela Pavlicev, Gernot Wolf, Ming-An Sun, Yueh-Chiang Hu, Elizabeth Huffman, Shivani Tumukuntala, Katri Thiele, Amrita Mukherjee, Sandra Zoubovsky, Xuzhe Zhang, Kayleigh A. Swaggart, Katherine Y. Bezold Lamm, Helen Jones, Todd S. Macfarlan, Louis J. Muglia

Related Articles

  1. The placenta goes viral: Retroviruses control gene expression in pregnancy

The human lymph node microenvironment unilaterally regulates T-cell activation and differentiation

Konstantin Knoblich, Sara Cruz Migoni, Susan M. Siew, Elizabeth Jinks, Baksho Kaul, Hannah C. Jeffery, Alfie T. Baker, Muath Suliman, Katerina Vrzalikova, Hisham Mehenna, Paul G. Murray, Francesca Barone, Ye H. Oo, Philip N. Newsome, Gideon Hirschfield, Deirdre Kelly, Steven P. Lee, Biju Parekkadan, Shannon J. Turley, Anne L. Fletcher

Morphology of mitochondria in spatially restricted axons revealed by cryo-electron tomography

Tara D. Fischer, Pramod K. Dash, Jun Liu, M. Neal Waxham

Manipulating the revision of reward value during the intertrial interval increases sign tracking and dopamine release

Brian Lee, Ronny N. Gentry, Gregory B. Bissonette, Rae J. Herman, John J. Mallon, Daniel W. Bryden, Donna J. Calu, Geoffrey Schoenbaum, Etienne Coutureau, Alain R. Marchand, Mehdi Khamassi, Matthew R. Roesch

Related Articles

  1. Learning what to approach

Methods and Resources

Plasmodium vivax-like genome sequences shed new insights into Plasmodium vivax biology and evolution

Aude Gilabert, Thomas D. Otto, Gavin G. Rutledge, Blaise Franzon, Benjamin Ollomo, Céline Arnathau, Patrick Durand, Nancy D. Moukodoum, Alain-Prince Okouga, Barthélémy Ngoubangoye, Boris Makanga, Larson Boundenga, Christophe Paupy, François Renaud, Franck Prugnolle, Virginie Rougeron

Integrative proteomics and bioinformatic prediction enable a high-confidence apicoplast proteome in malaria parasites

Michael J. Boucher, Sreejoyee Ghosh, Lichao Zhang, Avantika Lal, Se Won Jang, An Ju, Shuying Zhang, Xinzi Wang, Stuart A. Ralph, James Zou, Joshua E. Elias, Ellen Yeh

Refined RIP-seq protocol for epitranscriptome analysis with low input materials

Yong Zeng, Shiyan Wang, Shanshan Gao, Fraser Soares, Musadeqque Ahmed, Haiyang Guo, Miranda Wang, Junjie Tony Hua, Jiansheng Guan, Michael F. Moran, Ming Sound Tsao, Housheng Hansen He

Meta-Research Article

Large-scale investigation of the reasons why potentially important genes are ignored

Thomas Stoeger, Martin Gerlach, Richard I. Morimoto, Luís A. Nunes Amaral

Related Articles

  1. Human genes: Time to follow the roads less traveled?

Research Matters

To fight tuberculosis, fund basic research

Christoph Grundner