Worker ants promote outbreeding by transporting young queens to alien nests

  • Mathilde Vidal
  • Florian Königseder
  • Jürgen Heinze
Article

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  • Richardson et al. investigate the relationship between task performance and teamwork in ant colonies. Targeted removals of prominent leaders and followers during ‘tandem running’ - a cooperative team task in which one ant physically leads another to a resource - reveal that leadership, and specifically the consistency of leaders, influences tandem performance but ‘followership’ does not.

    • Thomas O. Richardson
    • Andrea Coti
    • Laurent Keller
    Article Open Access
  • Chan Yang, Qinghua Liu, et al. use in vitro and SNAT-null mouse models to investigate the role of melatonin in ovarian aging. Their results suggest that melatonin can delay ovarian aging by inhibiting follicle activation, growth and atresia, providing more insight into how melatonin impacts reproduction.

    • Chan Yang
    • Qinghua Liu
    • Changjiu He
    Article Open Access
  • Massen, Hartlieb, Martin et al. study the duration of yawns across mammals and birds to test the brain cooling hypothesis. Consistent with this hypothesis, their findings indicate that brain mass and neuron numbers influence yawn duration, and that mammals yawn longer than birds with similar brain and body masses.

    • Jorg J. M. Massen
    • Margarita Hartlieb
    • Andrew C. Gallup
    Article Open Access
  • Eric Kees et al. explore whether ecological competition differs between surface-attached biofilms and planktonic culture using two differentially-reproducing strains of Shewanella oneidensis. They observed that, regardless of different growth rates, the first bacterial species to colonize a surface would persist and would not be excluded by a faster growing competitor.

    • Eric D. Kees
    • Caleb E. Levar
    • Antony M. Dean
    Article Open Access
  • Allen et al. determine crystal structure of the N-terminus of SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling factor subunit BAF155. They identify an interconnected structure of MarR-like, BRCT and chromodomains, visualise the potential effect of cancer-associated missense mutations and suggest a binding site and target for small molecule inhibitors.

    • Mark D. Allen
    • Stefan M. V. Freund
    • Giovanna Zinzalla
    Article Open Access
  • Using spheroids as a model, the authors report the molecular signatures of ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells exhibiting stemness phenotype under various conditions in vitro, and found that there is a large degree of heterogeneity in the transcriptional profiles of stem cells induced under different conditions. They suggest that maintenance of the OSE may not require a single stem cell population, but heterogeneous stem cells that can be induced transiently under diverse environmental cues.

    • Lauren E. Carter
    • David P. Cook
    • Barbara C. Vanderhyden
    Article 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.

    Q&A Open Access
  • 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
  • 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.

    Editorial Open Access
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.
  • Communications Biology
Collection

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