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Volume 3 Issue 2, February 2018

Archaeal cell size adds up

Single-cell analysis reveals that Halobacterium salinarum achieve homogeneity in cell size by growing a constant size between two cell cycle events, consistent with an adder model of growth. Production of photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) by halophilic archaea, including H. salinarum, give rise to the vivid orange colour found in the salt pond at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, located in San Francisco Bay, an aerial view of which is presented on this month’s cover.

See Eun et al.

Image: Cris Benton. Cover Design: Samantha Whitham.


  • By sparking imagination and interest during childhood, and by finding and supporting champions to nurture microbial fascination through to adulthood, the fundamental importance of microorganisms can attain a justified and necessary place in the public psyche, but more on-screen time will be needed.



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News & Views

  • APOBEC3G is an antiviral protein that has long been known to inhibit retrovirus replication by hypermutating viral DNA. An additional mechanism is now identified, in which APOBEC3G binds to the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, inhibiting viral DNA synthesis.

    • Paul D. Bieniasz
    News & Views
  • Functional and structural studies highlight the remarkable evolution and features of the typhoid toxin from Salmonella Typhi. This reveals that attachment of the toxin to specific N-glycan chains accounts for its tropism for selected human tissues.

    • Sandrine Bourdoulous
    • Emmanuel Lemichez
    News & Views
  • Detailed biochemical, structural and growth studies reveal how Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron coordinates a complex enzymatic response to deconstruct pectins — complex dietary components that comprise a tremendous diversity of monosaccharide units and glycosidic linkage combinations.

    • Roderick I. Mackie
    • Isaac Cann
    News & Views
  • In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation of the role metabolism plays in controlling nearly all aspects of cellular function. Three recent articles explore how host metabolic cues influence different aspects of Plasmodium biology during infection, including parasite growth and sexual differentiation.

    • Kim C. Williamson
    • Rodney L. Levine
    • Louis H. Miller
    News & Views
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  • The colonization resistance paradigm is explored, with a focus on the benefits and limitations of current murine models used to assess the role of the microbiota in enteric infection.

    • Caroline Mullineaux-Sanders
    • Jotham Suez
    • Gad Frankel
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Amendments & Corrections

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