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  • Epstein–Barr virus infects most of the human population and, depending on other risk factors, contributes to the development of multiple sclerosis. In this Review, Soldan and Lieberman discuss supporting evidence and potential mechanisms that link Epstein–Barr virus to multiple sclerosis.

    • Samantha S. Soldan
    • Paul M. Lieberman
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Bjarnsholt and colleagues propose a revised conceptual model of the biofilm life cycle that encompasses the three major steps of biofilm formation — aggregation, growth and disaggregation — independently of surfaces, and initiation from single-cell planktonic bacteria, and thus represents a broader range of biofilm systems.

    • Karin Sauer
    • Paul Stoodley
    • Thomas Bjarnsholt
    Review Article
  • A study in cell lines suggests that SARS-CoV-2 potentially spreads through tunnelling nanotubes.

    • Ursula Hofer
    In Brief
  • The human microbiota can undergo dramatic changes during different phases of life (for example, during colonization after birth, after disturbances or in old age). In this Review, Knight and colleagues discuss the microbiota successions that occur from the cradle to the grave.

    • Cameron Martino
    • Amanda Hazel Dilmore
    • Rob Knight
    Review Article
  • The discovery of giant viruses, with virions as large as some bacteria and eukaryotes, megabase-range genomes, and a variety of traits typically found only in cellular organisms, was one of the most remarkable breakthroughs in biology. In this Review, Schulz, Abergel and Woyke explore insights into the biology, diversity, biogeography and ecology of giant viruses provided by culture and genomic technologies.

    • Frederik Schulz
    • Chantal Abergel
    • Tanja Woyke
    Review Article
  • A study in spore-forming bacteria shows that phage-encoded sigma factors can disrupt dormancy.

    • Ursula Hofer
    In Brief
  • In this Review, Chandra, Grigsby and Philips discuss how Mycobacterium tuberculosis evades immune-mediated clearance while capitalizing on the host inflammatory response at different phases of its life cycle. They focus on recent studies, highlight gaps in knowledge and consider how our current understanding will inform new therapies, vaccines and diagnostics.

    • Pallavi Chandra
    • Steven J. Grigsby
    • Jennifer A. Philips
    Review Article
  • The ongoing monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries is likely to be a consequence of the failure to curtail the spread of the disease in endemic regions of Africa despite decades of constant outbreaks. A globally driven one health approach to prevention and treatment of the disease is essential to control present and future outbreaks.

    • Emmanuel F. Alakunle
    • Malachy I. Okeke
  • This Genome Watch highlights how studying endosymbiotic gene transfer in more recently established endosymbioses sheds light on how the algal plastid evolved more than a billion years ago.

    • Bishoy Kamel
    • Alan Kuo
    Genome Watch
  • A field study investigates three different routes by which plant litter and soil microbiomes can disperse.

    • Ursula Hofer
    In Brief
  • A study on a marine bacterium shows that it can form multicellular aggregates, which enable division of labour.

    • Ursula Hofer
    In Brief
  • This study shows that flaviviruses promote the proliferation of acetophenone-producing skin commensal bacteria, which enhances mosquito attraction and thus flavivirus transmission.

    • Andrea Du Toit
    Research Highlight
  • A recent study uncovered the geographical origins of the Black Death pandemic, offering a new perspective on the phylogenetic polytomy that served as a foundation for the expansion of Yersinia pestis across Eurasia and North Africa more than 600 years ago.

    • Adrian Gonzalez Lopez
    Research Highlight
  • Bacteriophages are obligate parasites of their bacterial hosts; nevertheless, on a population level, phage–bacterium interactions can have beneficial outcomes. In this Review, Shkoporov, Turkington and Hill discuss the evidence for such mutualistic interactions in the gut microbiota and their roles.

    • Andrey N. Shkoporov
    • Christopher J. Turkington
    • Colin Hill
    Review Article