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  • A participatory research initiative generates actionable data on avian diseases in New York City, showcases how a community-based approach can tackle misinformation, and actively engages students from historically underrepresented communities in science, technology, engineering and maths.

    • Christine Marizzi
    • Latasha Wright
  • Climate changes can destabilize soil microbial communities, but compound and sequential extreme climate events will magnify the destabilizing effects to other trophic levels — thereby impacting terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    • Jingjing Shi
    • Madhav P. Thakur
  • Critical thresholds are abrupt changes in ecosystems triggered by environmental disturbances, which can be used to assess resilience and vulnerability. Here, we propose how a trait-based approach could be used to harness the predictive power of microbial dynamics to manage ecosystem response to environmental changes.

    • Eleonora Egidi
    • Claudia Coleine
    • Brajesh K. Singh
  • The Nagoya Protocol was drafted to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the international use of genetic resources, but the lack of unified procedures and unclear definitions relating to microorganisms present considerable hurdles to microbiology research.

    • Hassan Salem
    • Martin Kaltenpoth
  • The global outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus and its high toll on animal populations raise concerns about spillover into humans, but human host barriers need to be considered when estimating transmission potential.

    • Kevin Ciminski
    • Geoffrey Chase
    • Martin Beer
  • Diagnosis is the weakest aspect of tuberculosis (TB) care and control. We describe seven critical transitions that can close the massive TB diagnostic gap and enable TB programmes worldwide to recover from the pandemic setbacks.

    • Madhukar Pai
    • Puneet K. Dewan
    • Soumya Swaminathan
  • The extent and diversity of exposures to microbial stimuli have a crucial role in regulating the capacity of a host to mount an immune response to a challenge, such as vaccination, making exposure history an important factor to optimize in rodent models.

    • Yuhao Li
    • Megan T. Baldridge
  • The SARS-CoV-2 Africa dashboard is an interactive tool that enables visualization of SARS-CoV-2 genomic information in African countries. The customizable app allows users to visualize the number of sequences deposited in each country, and the variants circulating over time. Our dashboard enables near real-time exploration of public data that can inform policymakers, healthcare professionals and the public about the ongoing pandemic.

    • Joicymara S. Xavier
    • Monika Moir
    • Tulio de Oliveira
  • Here the implications of gender inequity in the face of infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 in Africa are discussed, with a proposal as to how we can address the unequal burden of outbreaks on women.

    • Agnes Binagwaho
    • Kedest Mathewos
  • Despite evidence of sex-specific pathogenesis, few studies of infectious diseases report or analyse sex or gender, unless it is the primary focus. Using HIV as an example, it is argued here that this leaves potentially informative data unexplored and that integrating sex and gender in analyses may accelerate research in microbial pathogenesis.

    • Eileen P. Scully
  • Understanding the interplay between the microbiome and menopause holds promise for new interventions to alleviate menopausal symptoms and improve quality of life for women.

    • Paweł Łaniewski
    • Melissa M. Herbst-Kralovetz
  • Space exploration carries with it risks of biological contamination. Here, the planetary protection efforts currently in place to control microbial contamination during space exploration are discussed, including plans related to sample and crew returns to Earth from other Solar System destinations such as Mars.

    • J. Andy Spry
  • Many bacteria and archaea are polyploid. Here, the means by which some of these prokaryotes carry genomes that are not always equivalent in sequence and/or function are described, and the importance of such non-equivalent genomes is discussed.

    • Jörg Soppa
  • Crystallizing biological complexity into animation has been Arkitek Scientific’s mission for the past 25 years. Co-founder Beth Anderson explains how she got started in science animation and why it remains her passion.

    • Beth Anderson