Reviews & Analysis

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  • Social isolation can lead to poor mental and physical health. A new study determines that social isolation increases food and nicotine-seeking during abstinence, but that social housing can reverse these effects.

    • Rebecca S. Hofford
    News & Views
  • A new CRISPR/Cas9 method that can generate F0 mutant zebrafish has the potential to cut costs, spare time, and reduce animal use for researchers interested in screening loss-of-function alleles in vivo.

    • Wouter Masselink
    News & Views
  • In this perspective, the authors discuss the use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study host–microbe interactions, highlighting innovative methodologies and key findings from recent studies.

    • Cassandra Backes
    • Daniel Martinez-Martinez
    • Filipe Cabreiro
  • To achieve knockdown rather than knockout of particular genes, a new paper demonstrates a CRISPR/Cas13 method that can efficiently edit mRNA in zebrafish, medaka, killifish, and mouse embryos.

    • Rebecca Leech
    • Karuna Sampath
    News & Views
  • This Review discusses the strengths of the zebrafish model for microbiome research, and highlights important insights gleaned from observational and manipulative microbiome studies in zebrafish.

    • Keaton Stagaman
    • Thomas J. Sharpton
    • Karen Guillemin
    Review Article
  • Caged neurotransmitters are widely used to study neurobiological processes such as synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, uncaging has been primarily restricted to in vitro and ex vivo experimental systems. Using caged neurotransmitters in vivo has posed a huge hurdle because photoactivatable cages bind to GABA-A receptors, acting as competitive antagonists towards GABA. This reduced inhibition leads to epileptiform-like activity, which can cause problems for circuit level studies in vivo. To circumvent this off-target effect, a recent publication introduces a new caged glutamate: G5-MNI-glutamate. Using a novel technique called ‘cloaking,’ GABA-A receptor antagonism is abolished, opening up new possibilities for future in vivo studies with caged neurotransmitters.

    • Roberto Ogelman
    • In-Wook Hwang
    • Won Chan Oh
    News & Views
  • Human cancer is a disease of cooperating genetic events that is complex to model in vivo. A new study combines somatic base editing with a mouse model of breast cancer, demonstrating the potential to rapidly investigate the function of disease-specific point mutations.

    • Kirsteen J. Campbell
    • Karen Blyth
    News & Views
  • Further questions about a novel Sex-Differentiated Pavlovian fear response in rats.

    • Natalie Odynocki
    • Andrew M. Poulos
    News & Views
  • Deep phenotyping can reveal how genetics, environment and stochasticity affect the development, physiology and behavior of an organism. In this Review, Dhaval S. Patel, Nan Xu and Hang Lu outline the technological and analytical developments that have enabled deep-phenotyping studies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    • Dhaval S. Patel
    • Nan Xu
    • Hang Lu
    Review Article
  • A potential new method for non-invasively monitoring physiological parameters in small animals takes advantage of radio frequency near-field coherent sensing technology

    • Paulin Jirkof
    • Petra Seebeck
    News & Views
  • A unique paradigm to investigate the intersection between memory, pain, and stress reveals new details about the processes that underlie pain memory. In both mice and men, males seem more susceptible.

    • Zoë Dworsky-Fried
    • Anna M. W. Taylor
    News & Views