High-resolution imaging of oxytocin and vasopressin in the developing mouse brain

  • María del Pilar Madrigal
  • Sandra Jurado
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  • Hasan and Berdichevsky report the use of 3D neuronal-astrocyte co-cultures in PDMS confinement to enable the study of aggregation, migration, contractility, and sorting of these cells. They show that aggregation is a neuron mediated process, and formation of astrocyte-rich sheaths in 3D cultures depends on differential attraction between neurons and astrocytes, highlighting the use of this model in future design of neuronal constructs.

    • Md Fayad Hasan
    • Yevgeny Berdichevsky
    Article Open Access
  • Jade Jackson et al. use fMRI concurrent with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in an attention task to evaluate whether the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is involved in facilitation of relevant information, or suppression of irrelevant information. Their results suggest that the dlPFC is causally involved in processing relevant information in an attention task and highlight the utility of a dual fMRI-TMS approach.

    • Jade B. Jackson
    • Eva Feredoes
    • Alexandra Woolgar
    Article Open Access
  • Ferrarini & Lal et al. developed a novel bioinformatic pipeline to explore how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with human respiratory cells using public available host gene expression and viral genome sequence data. Several human genes and proteins were predicted to play a role in the viral life cycle and the host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    • Mariana G. Ferrarini
    • Avantika Lal
    • Vanessa Aguiar-Pulido
    Article Open Access
  • Using an in vitro culture system, Pezet et al. studied the influence of oxygen on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs) in vitro. Low oxygen levels resembling in vivo reduced the cell mtDNA content causing a genetic bottleneck and the segregation of different mtDNA genotypes.

    • Mikael G. Pezet
    • Aurora Gomez-Duran
    • Patrick F. Chinnery
    Article Open Access
  • Components of the seminal fluid are required for specific gene expression and immune changes in the uterus following mating, but the role that sperm play in this process has remained unclear. Here, John Schjenken et al. compare female mice mated to intact and vasectomized males and show that sperm are required for the full post-mating response, indicating a broader role for sperm in reproduction beyond fertilization.

    • John E. Schjenken
    • David J. Sharkey
    • Sarah A. Robertson
    Article Open Access
  • A recent meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory focused on emerging nucleic acid therapies and the essential academic research that has enabled them. The program encompassed everything from chemical innovations to preclinical and clinical progress, and provided a glimpse of the breakthroughs yet to come.

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    Editorial Open Access
  • 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.

    • George Andrew S. Inglis
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • 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
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • 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.

    • Caitlin Karniski
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • 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.

    • Karli Montague-Cardoso
    Research Highlight Open Access
Advances in SARS-Cov-2 Biology

Advances in SARS-Cov-2 Biology

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our lives since it was first identified in Wuhan in late 2019. Since then, the massive efforts of the research community have greatly enhanced our understanding of the properties of and the host responses to the virus. To mark World Immunology Day 2021, we have compiled a Collection of papers published on SARS-Cov-2 so far in Communications Biology, to be updated as we publish more in this field.
  • Communications Biology
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