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Volume 3 Issue 6, June 2018

Plasmodium of the apes

Sequencing of gorilla- and chimpanzee-infecting Plasmodium species elucidates the evolutionary history of the Laverania subgenus and highlights features of the human-infecting Plasmodium falciparum species that enable parasite transmission in humans.

See Otto et al.

Image: USO / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty. Cover Design: Samantha Whitham.


  • Although the spotlight on CRISPR–Cas systems has shone on their immense potential as genome-editing tools, the field’s origins are rooted in the microbiology of phage–bacterium interactions. Furthering our understanding of these processes can uncover more systems and generate new reagents with revolutionary properties.



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News & Views

  • Comparative genomics of all known Laverania species that infect African great apes reveals interspecies gene transfer and convergent evolution, and identifies features of Plasmodium falciparum, the only human-infective species within this subgenus, that may have led to its speciation and spread globally.

    • Jane M. Carlton
    News & Views
  • Genetic integration of a humanized chemotaxis receptor unexpectedly reveals that a widely expressed immune protein is targeted by Staphylococcus aureus Panton–Valentine leukocidin in a novel way, changing our fundamental understanding of toxin–receptor biology and host–pathogen interaction.

    • Brandon Lee
    • Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg
    News & Views
  • The discovery and characterization of a phylum-level archaeal lineage in iron-rich hot springs—the Marsarchaeota—expands the phylogenetic depth and physiological diversity of aerobic archaea.

    • Andreas Teske
    News & Views
  • Antibodies that potently neutralize highly diverse HIV-1 variants offer great potential for therapy and prevention. Passive administration of HIV-specific neutralizing antibodies genetically modified to have a long serum half-life has now been shown to confer long-lasting protection from infection in the rhesus macaque model.

    • Michelle Zanoni
    • David Palesch
    • Guido Silvestri
    News & Views
  • The small intestine microbiome has been revealed to play a critical role in nutritional signal transduction that enables the host to adapt its fat digestion and absorption capacities, suggesting that this microbial community may serve as a target to improve conditions of over- and undernutrition.

    • Michiel Kleerebezem
    News & Views
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  • This Review Article details various methods that can be used for phylogeny-aware analyses of microbiome datasets, together with online tutorials, including the considerations and challenges of each method depending on the research question.

    • Alex D. Washburne
    • James T. Morton
    • Rob Knight
    Review Article
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