Volume 8 Issue 2, February 2007

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    Certain neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the progressive accumulation of insoluble deposits of misfolded proteins. Amyloid β-protein (Aβ) oligomers affect synaptic structure and plasticity in Alzheimer's disease, and recent findings in other neurodegenerative diseases indicate that a broadly similar process of neuronal dysfunction is induced by diffusible oligomers of misfolded proteins.

    • Christian Haass
    •  & Dennis J. Selkoe
  • Review Article |

    Turnover of mRNA is a key mechanism in regulated gene expression. In addition to turnover pathways for normal transcripts, there are surveillance mechanisms that degrade aberrant mRNAs. mRNA decay is regulated in response to cellular signals and coordinated with other mRNA-metabolic processes.

    • Nicole L. Garneau
    • , Jeffrey Wilusz
    •  & Carol J. Wilusz
  • Review Article |

    The bacterial RecA protein promotes a number of DNA transactions that feature the complete strand separation of hundreds of base pairs, or the efficient unidirectional movement of a DNA branch over thousands of base pairs. These reactions require ATP hydrolysis, which makes RecA a motor protein.

    • Michael M. Cox
  • Review Article |

    Getting a good night's sleep is on everyone's to-do list. Recent insights into the role of post-translational modifications now highlight how our timepieces are controlled and provide clues as to how we might be able to manipulate them.

    • Monica Gallego
    •  & David M. Virshup
  • Review Article |

    In budding yeast, multiple cyclins activate a single cyclin-dependent kinase to control progression through the cell cycle. Different mechanisms of cyclin specificity are thought to be important for the correct order and timing of cell-cycle events.

    • Joanna Bloom
    •  & Frederick R. Cross



  • Opinion |

    Recent findings challenge the view that γ-tubulin-dependent formation of new microtubules is restricted to conventional microtubule-organizing centres and indicate that the spatio-temporal control of microtubule nucleation is more complex than was previously thought. So, how, where and when are microtubules made?

    • Jens Lüders
    •  & Tim Stearns
  • Innovation

  • Innovation |

    Plant metabolomics — the high-throughput analysis of plant compounds — is an invaluable tool for understanding plant metabolism. Recent innovations in mass-spectrometry-based analyses are shedding light on the structure and regulation of biosynthetic pathways and the temporal and spatial dynamics of the plant metabolome.

    • Robert L. Last
    • , A. Daniel Jones
    •  & Yair Shachar-Hill