Reviews & Analysis

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  • Bacteriophages fight back with the double whammy of an anti-CRISPR protein and integration into the CRISPR array to protect themselves from the CRISPR–Cas9 immune system of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    • Joseph Bondy-Denomy
    News & Views
  • A network science framework for understanding and predicting human and animal susceptibility to viral infections is proposed.

    • Gregory F. Albery
    • Daniel J. Becker
    • Colin J. Carlson
  • The mammalian immune system has evolved to tolerate commensal microbes that inhabit our mucosal surfaces. Two recent studies explore how intestinal immunity achieves this state of tolerance and show that IgA enforces commensalism of pathobiont Candida species.

    • Ivy M. Dambuza
    • Gordon D. Brown
    News & Views
  • Diverse CRISPR–Cas systems protect prokaryotes against invasive genetic elements like phages. A new study finds that evolution has fused a multi-subunit CRISPR complex into a single protein that cuts RNA and interacts with an ancillary caspase-like peptidase, which may trigger cell suicide.

    • Megan L. Hochstrasser
    • James K. Nuñez
    News & Views
  • 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
  • Proviral host factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection, cellular processes that are important in SARS-CoV-2 replication and host factors that could be targeted by antiviral therapies for COVID-19 are reviewed.

    • Jim Baggen
    • Els Vanstreels
    • Dirk Daelemans
    Review Article
  • 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