Editorials

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  • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress through 2021, microbiology remains in the public eye. Here, we reflect on the content that we published over the past year, from SARS-CoV-2 to all other areas of the field.

    Editorial
  • Epidemiological surveillance highlights a role for flies, spiders and cockroaches in the antimicrobial-resistance pandemic.

    Editorial
  • In the past five years Nature Microbiology has championed research and commentary across the breadth of the discipline. Going forwards, we will expand our scope to include the biology and applications of microorganisms that can help to address the pressing issues of global change and sustainable living.

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  • Microbiology has been front and centre during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We reflect on the content we published this year and look ahead to aligning output with the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021.

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  • Do you ‘beat’ or ‘treat’ a virus infection? Are you strong if you survive SARS-CoV-2 but weak if you don’t? Language matters if we are to galvanize people to follow public health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • As the international community responds to an outbreak of coronavirus-induced pneumonia in Wuhan, China, early and open data sharing — which are vital for its control — depend on the trust that the data will not be used without proper attribution to those who generated it.

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  • Nature Microbiology will offer authors the option of publishing a peer-review file that includes anonymous peer-review reports, author responses and our decision letters. We will also request that articles include more source data and are more transparent in reporting data availability.

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  • It’s an exciting time to be a microbiologist and we have the honour and privilege of having front-row tickets to see the field develop and progress. As we take stock of the past year, we will count down the days until 2020 by celebrating the field and the season with a microbiology advent calendar.

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  • With drug resistance on the rise, improvements in clinical antibiotic susceptibility testing and investment in widespread implementation are needed to usher in a new generation of diagnostics that can inform on diverse types of drug resistance and quickly predict drug susceptibility with high accuracy.

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  • Attending conferences is an essential part of scientific careers; yet, travelling — particularly by air — can often be an individual’s single largest contribution to their carbon footprint. With increasing calls to substantially cut emissions by as early as 2020, compromises must be made to safeguard the health of our planet.

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  • Faecal microbiota transplantation can efficiently treat recurring Clostridioides difficile infection and is being investigated for other indications. However, strict quality control of the donor stool is necessary to avoid putting patients at unnecessary risk.

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  • Following recent discussions of pervasive ghostwriting of referee reports by early career researchers in the life sciences, we shine a light on the peer review process at Nature Microbiology and hopefully bust some myths along the way.

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  • Long-known to happen in other realms of the microscopic and macroscopic worlds, social interactions in viruses are increasingly being appreciated and have the potential to influence many processes, including viral pathogenesis, resistance to antiviral immunity, establishment of persistence and even life cycle choice.

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  • Access to life-saving vaccines is still a problem for millions around the world, while others endanger public health by refusing available, safe and effective vaccines. Yet some outbreaks increasingly occur in highly vaccinated populations, highlighting the need for further vaccine development to provide long-lasting immunity.

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  • When accurate and thoughtfully presented, reporting of good science in the popular press should be celebrated and encouraged by researchers. In return, tabloid headline writers should dial down their hyperbolic rhetoric and avoid sensationalism when reporting scientific discoveries.

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  • Researchers can be expected to employ a vast range of experimental techniques in pursuit of a scientific question. Making efforts to seek expert advice and develop the competency to generate, store and analyse high-quality data when first using an approach will save time in the long run.

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  • Despite major advances in dissecting how pathogens cause disease and the development of treatments to combat infection, infectious diseases remain a major cause of death today. This month’s issue includes a special ‘Focus on Infectious Disease’, which highlights efforts to develop new ways to prevent, detect and treat infections.

    Editorial