1 °C summer warming increases spatial competition among Antarctic marine macrofauna

  • David K. A. Barnes
  • Gail V. Ashton
  • Lloyd S. Peck
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  • A new year symbolizes new hope for the future, especially this year as we start to see the first wave of vaccines administered against COVID-19. Here, we take stock of the year behind us and look forward to seeing where science takes us in 2021.

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  • While loss-of-function mutations affecting the α2-Na/K ATPase are known to cause familial hemiplegic migraine, it is unclear how reduced protein activity could contribute toward migraine or paralysis observed in patients. A recent study from Sarah Smith and colleagues demonstrates that conditional deletion of the α2-Na/K ATPase in astrocytes can evoke episodic paralysis in mice, potentially due to altered metabolic processing of serine and glycine. By feeding juvenile α2-Na/K ATPase mutant mice a serine- and glycine-free diet, the authors are able to prevent the onset of episodic paralysis. This study suggests that loss of α2-Na/K ATPase in astrocytes may affect amino acid metabolism in the brain, ultimately leading to episodic paralysis.

    • George Andrew S. Inglis
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  • A huge amount of intrigue surrounds the aging process. Senescence—the decreased likelihood of reproduction and the increased chance of mortality—is a hallmark of aging. The reduced ability of senescent cells to maintain protein homeostasis (proteostasis) has been well-established in nematodes but this phenomenon had yet to be directly demonstrated in human cells. Sabath et al. recently provided compelling evidence that proteostasis collapse is indeed intrinsic to human cell senescence, which may have broad implications in the underlying processes of human aging.

    • Karli Montague-Cardoso
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  • Lorin Crawford began his independent career at Brown University School of Public Health with his own lab in the summer of 2017. He is currently a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, New England while also keeping his faculty position at Brown University. In this short Q&A he tells us about his research and the effect the pandemic has had on his lab and science. Dr. Crawford also shares some great tips on academic careers and making biostatistics approachable to wider audience and his views on the most exciting application of machine learning.

    Q&A Open Access
  • Protein aggregation and phase separation appear to play important roles in diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD), but the interplay between different participating molecular events-which may facilitate or inhibit one another-can be difficult to study by conventional ensemble methods. In a recent study, Kevin Rhine and co-workers make use of point mutations to demonstrate the contrasting behaviour of condensates arising from Glycine and Arginine FUS mutants using single molecules fluorescence measurements.

    • Krishnananda Chattopadhyay
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World Cancer Day 2021

World Cancer Day 2021

In honour of World Cancer Day, a global initiative that seeks to unite the effort to fight cancer, our editors have selected some of our research highlights in cancer research from the last year to reflect on this ongoing journey. We contemplate the many emerging techniques that are furthering our understanding to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention processes, and look forward to another year of exciting developments.
  • Communications Biology
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