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  • Mimicking microbial degradation of sinking marine particles in the laboratory reveals a complex relationship between settling and decomposition rates that informs our view on how the ocean’s biological carbon pump is controlled.

    • Philip W. Boyd
    • Fraser Kennedy
    News & Views
  • Dysbiosis of the gut mycobiota is associated with increased mortality after allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

    • Jianfeng Lin
    • Scott G. Filler
    News & Views
  • A complex network of fungal transcription factors regulates plant invasion by Magnaporthe oryzae.

    • Jessica Cooper
    • Nicole Donofrio
    News & Views
  • Cell entry mechanisms of the non-enveloped viruses bluetongue and rhesus rotavirus are delineated using structural and molecular biology.

    • Yves Gaudin
    News & Views
  • Systematic single-cell analyses of human cytomegalovirus infection reveal that host factors modulate the progression of infection, but the course of viral infection itself is determined by virus genes.

    • Laurent Perez
    News & Views
  • Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasingly prevalent and difficult to treat. A new study identifies the unique vulnerabilities of a class of antibiotic-resistant mutants at the genomic scale, giving new insights into drugs that can be used in combination with antibiotics to suppress resistance.

    • Anupama Khare
    News & Views
  • Roles for dimethylsulfoniopropionate-based infochemical signalling in ocean microbiome ecosystems are reported in a pair of Nature Microbiology papers.

    • Virginia P. Edgcomb
    News & Views
  • Breastmilk contains human milk oligosaccharides that promote the growth of Bifidobacterium species in the infant gut. These beneficial bacteria can produce aromatic lactic acids that may impact immune function in early life.

    • Christopher J. Stewart
    News & Views
  • Single-cell sequencing of nasal swab samples from people uninfected or infected with SARS-CoV-2 shows that children have a primed innate immune response, which may protect them from severe disease.

    • Emily Speranza
    News & Views
  • Extracellular electron transport in Geobacter has long been ascribed to conductive pili. Cryogenic electron microscopy now reveals non-conductive filaments made of pilin-heterodimer subunits. The combined data support a role for Geobacter pili in cytochrome-nanowire secretion instead of conduction.

    • Thomas Boesen
    • Lars Peter Nielsen
    • Andreas Schramm
    News & Views
  • A promising vaccine fails to provide durable protection against infection and clinical malaria in infants, a key malaria vaccine target population, in a phase 2b clinical trial. The need for a highly effective vaccine against malaria remains as urgent as ever.

    • Irene N. Nkumama
    • Faith H. A. Osier
    News & Views
  • Direct sampling of lung alveoli of critically-ill patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 shows that lung microbiota and an impaired alveolar immune response together are predictive of poor clinical outcomes.

    • Robert P. Dickson
    News & Views
  • Multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium abscessus clones from individuals who smoke have infiltrated the narrow niche of patients with cystic fibrosis, which has resulted in surprising specialization and subsequent worldwide dissemination.

    • Thierry Wirth
    News & Views
  • Roots of different plant species are colonized by distinct microbiota, even when grown in the same soil. A comprehensive combination of experimental manipulation of plant species, plant mutations, plant signalling, community composition and order of community application reveals how community assembly differs among plant species.

    • A. M. O’Brien
    • T. L. Harrison
    News & Views
  • The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum survives fever during human infection by using a transcription factor to regulate its heat-shock response.

    • Vandana Thathy
    • David A. Fidock
    News & Views
  • To grow and divide properly, bacteria need to coordinate DNA replication with cell division. A recent study identifies CcrZ as a protein from Streptococcus pneumoniae that links these two processes by interacting with FtsZ, the orchestrator of cell division, and modulating the activity of DnaA, the initiator of DNA replication.

    • Joe Lutkenhaus
    News & Views
  • Entropy-driven protein sorting traffics membrane-anchored exposed proteins to the surface of Gram-positive bacteria.

    • Jan Maarten van Dijl
    • Marines du Teil Espina
    News & Views
  • Experimental evolution of persistence during Mycobacterium canettii infections of mice sheds light on the origins of virulence in ancestral Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    • Frédéric J. Veyrier
    • Marcel A. Behr
    News & Views
  • Oomycete hyphae slice plant surfaces with a knife-like cutting action to invade underlying host cells.

    • Richard A. Wilson
    News & Views
  • Quiescent fungal conidia are heterogeneous and prepare for the future through transcriptional programmes that depend on the environment in which the conidia develop.

    • Michael Blatzer
    • Jean-Paul Latgé
    News & Views