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  • Multidrug tolerant bacterial persister cells frequently arise in response to the activation of toxin–antitoxin systems. However, this prevailing view may be less general than assumed. ATP depletion may mediate another route to the persister state for the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

    • Ralph Bertram
    News & Views
  • A linear-mixed modelling genome-wide association approach for detecting genes and genetic variants underlying antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens heralds a new era for microbial genome-wide association studies.

    • Daniel Falush
    News & Views
  • Methylation of HIV RNA has been identified as a way to modulate export of viral transcripts, thereby impacting viral gene expression and particle production. Thus epitranscriptomics adds a new layer of complexity in viral gene expression regulation and also new opportunities for developing therapeutic strategies.

    • Angela Ciuffi
    News & Views
  • Functional selection of novel antibiotic resistance genes and metagenomic sequencing reveal how antibiotic treatment and bacterial resistance genes interact to shape the fragile microbiome of premature infants.

    • Kristen Meyer
    • Kjersti Aagaard
    News & Views
  • A viral infection can reduce expression of a host phosphatase that would otherwise dampen the oncogenic activity of a bacterial virulence factor. The results suggest a possible mechanism for cooperation of infections in the development of stomach cancer.

    • Paul Farrell
    News & Views
  • Genomic analysis of Salmonella Enteritidis isolates taken from a single individual with a chronic and relapsing infection reveals how these bacteria have adapted to their host surroundings. Increased within-host fitness comes at the expense of ancillary traits such as virulence.

    • Brian K. Coombes
    News & Views
  • Parasite access to the central nervous system is a severe complication of infection. Toxoplasma gondii can achieve this by directly infecting, replicating in and lysing blood–brain barrier endothelial cells.

    • Aarti Krishnan
    • Dominique Soldati-Favre
    News & Views
  • A systems biology approach to analyse yeast auxotrophs shows that, even when supplemented, they have profoundly altered transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic profiles.

    • Alain Jacquier
    News & Views
  • A transmembrane protein receptor that is critical for adeno-associated virus infection has been identified through an unbiased, genome-wide screen. Its role in viral entry could potentially be harnessed to develop enhanced gene therapy vectors and better animal models of human disease.

    • Sabrina Sun
    • David V. Schaffer
    News & Views
  • Recombination of genes responsible for synthesis of major surface lipooligosaccharides, and consequent loss of these compounds in a Mycobacterium canettii-like progenitor, increased virulence and drove evolution from an environmental, relatively non-pathogenic status to virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of the present-day TB epidemic.

    • Patrick J. Brennan
    News & Views
  • Natural volcanic CO2 seeps (mofettes) provided a natural experiment to use omic and biogeochemical approaches to explore how flooding a system with CO2 impacts algal photosynthesis and methanogenesis.

    • Joshua Schimel
    News & Views
  • Surface topography and fluid flow combine to modify quorum sensing communication in bacterial biofilms, changing the way we think about the interaction of biofilms with external physical forces and the implications for persistence in chronic infections and industrial fouling.

    • Paul Stoodley
    News & Views
  • A recent analysis of microbial community dynamics shows that, contrary to current assumption, too much cooperation among species can destabilize their communities. This is a first step towards understanding what makes a stable microbiome and, thus, transforming microbiome research into a more predictive science.

    • Luke McNally
    • Sam P. Brown
    News & Views
  • High-throughput population genomics reveals how the evolution of chromosome arrangement and sequence divergence followed by secondary contact upon glacier retreat initiates homoploid hybrid speciation in natural populations of the budding yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus.

    • Rike B. Stelkens
    • Duncan Greig
    News & Views