Worker ants promote outbreeding by transporting young queens to alien nests

  • Mathilde Vidal
  • Florian Königseder
  • Jürgen Heinze
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  • Recent advances in sequencing and barcoding technologies have enabled researchers to simultaneously profile gene expression, chromatin accessibility, and/or protein levels in single cells. However, these multiomic techniques often pose technical and financial barriers that limit their practicality. Kevin Wu and colleagues recently developed BABEL, a deep learning algorithm that can effectively translate between transcriptomic and chromatin profiles in single cells, thereby enabling researchers to perform multiomic analyses from an individual dataset.

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  • Leila Akkari began her independent career in 2017 as an Assistant Professor at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam after working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. Two years ago, she was selected as one of the junior members of the Oncode Institute, a virtual group of cancer research labs based on the Netherlands. In this short Q&A, she tells us about her research and how her diverse background has helped her as a scientist. Dr. Akkari also shares some great pointers on the biggest hurdles women in STEM face and tips to overcome them.

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  • The progressive loss of CD4 + T cells has been recognised as being central to HIV-1 pathogenesis, however a precise understanding of the underlying mechanisms and, consequently, improved therapies have yet to be achieved. Zhang et al. have recently shown in HIV-1 patients that the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, which plays a key role in innate immunity, is a crucial mediator of the loss of CD4 + T cells. This advance could inform the development of innovative anti-HIV-1 therapies.

    • Karli Montague-Cardoso
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  • Climate change has been shown to affect the interannual variation and synchrony among individuals in seed production of masting trees, yet the proximate mechanisms driving these patterns remain unclear. A recent study by Michał Bogdziewicz and colleagues shows that the relationship between weather cues and seed initiation weakens in European beech as warming increases, resulting in progressive asynchrony of seed maturation. This study emphasizes the vulnerability of the relationship between environmental cues and forest reproduction to climate change.

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  • Sepsis-associated encephalopathy, as well as increasing mortality, has been associated with long-lasting depressive behaviour, which is thought to be caused by infection-induced neuroinflammation in the brain. Saito et al. have recently demonstrated in a mouse model of sepsis that infiltrated regulatory T cells in the cerebral cortex mediate the resolution of neuroinflammation and alleviate anxious/depressive behaviour. Their study paves the way for further research that investigates the role of T cells in the underlying mechanisms mediating recovery of sepsis-associated depression.

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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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Earth Day 2021

Earth Day 2021

In line with the Earth Day 2021 theme to “Restore Our Earth,” the Communications Biology editors present a Collection of articles that feature important research on climate & conservation, forests, and evolution that further the goal of protecting and restoring our Earth’s biodiversity.
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