Adapted from Borer et al. 2020

Spatial self-organization during bacterial range expansion

Latest Research

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    • Michael P. Donovan
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    By integrating transcriptome, regulatory element and chromosome topology profiles, Schwartz et al identify redistribution of p53 and CTCF genomic binding to be associated with transcriptional and phenotypical changes during Ras-induced transformation of mammary epithelial cells.

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    Pinotsis and Miller present a simplified neural mass model for estimating the laminar dynamics that contribute to non-invasively recorded time frequency data. Using two independent MEG datasets, they give evidence for deep cortical layers contributing to inter-individual variability in visually induced oscillations. Their study links non-invasive brain imaging data, laminar dynamics and top-down control.

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    Using genetic code expansion, Zhao, Shi et al. generate light-sensitive tyrosine analogues to obtain insights into the activation of the NGF receptor, TrkA. They identify light-sensitive and NGF-insensitive phosphorylation sites, validating the approach and providing insights into TrkA signaling

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News & Comment

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    The CRISPR-Cas toolbox allows genetic manipulation of cultured cells, plants and animals on the basis of simpler RNA-guided DNA recognition. It has provided breakthrough scientific opportunities to engineer desirable traits, cure genetic diseases and enable point-of-care diagnostics. A recent study by Joseph Bondy-Denomy and colleagues further equips this toolbox to cut larger chunks of DNA from a cell’s genome.

    • Anam Akhtar
  • Research Highlight
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    It doesn’t take much to disrupt our sleep. Whilst we are aware of environmental factors that can disturb our circadian rhythms, the precise mechanisms that control molecular time cues have remained elusive. Beesley and co-workers demonstrate that diseases associated with cytoplasmic crowding affect the sleep-wake cycle. They also pinpoint a precise time-limiting step in the trafficking of the pacemaker protein PERIOD.

    • Karli Montague-Cardoso
  • Research Highlight
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    While much of the work examining the ecological effects of marine warming events focuses on the magnitude and duration of elevated temperatures, a recent study from Amatzia Genin and colleagues investigates how the rate of onset of warming affects the mortality of reef fish in the Red Sea. These authors document fish mortality following two warming events with dramatic increases in temperature and report that piscivores and benthic grazers were disproportionately represented among the found carcasses. Many of these fish were infected with a bacterial pathogen following the warming event. This study points to the rate of warming increase as a critical parameter to be considered when assessing the ecological effects of marine warming events, including those for which the peak temperature is not anomalous.

    • Caitlin Karniski
  • Research Highlight
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    Aberrant cell signalling has been associated with a number of diseases. Belluati and coworkers make use of dual polymer nanocompartments encapsulating different enzymes, that function in unison as in a native signalling cascade. Their functionality is integrated into native cell metabolism and physiology, using substrates already present in the extracellular medium. They succeed in amplifying a natural signalling cascade and influencing cellular homoeostasis.

    • Anam Akhtar
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Gillman and Wright propose a re-evaluation of taxonomical nomenclature to reinstate indigenous species names. These authors discuss the consideration of indigenous names for new and existing species in order to reflect the importance and precedence of indigenous knowledge in biology.

    • Len Norman Gillman
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  • Research Highlight
    | Open Access

    Sabre-toothed carnivores are among the most famed vertebrate fossils in the world. The sabre-tooth ecomorph has been converged upon repeatedly by distantly related species throughout mammalian evolution. Lautenschlager et al. employ a range of biomechanical analyses to investigate the functional diversity of sabre-toothed skulls. Across 66 species, broad functional diversity is recovered with implications for prey specialization and niche partitioning, despite being morphologically convergent.

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Marco Fritzsche


Biomechanical factors shape cellular function through influencing the structural integrity, morphology, and dynamics of cells and tissues. Here we present a collection of articles published in Communications Biology that address how mechanical forces affect biology.

Christina Karlsson Rosenthal

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