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Volume 19 Issue 2, February 2021

Volume 19 Issue 2

‘Opening the door’, inspired by the review article on page 110.

Cover design: Philip Patenall.

Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    This study describes the isolation of a new compound, turbinmicin, which shows potent activity in mice against multidrug-resistant fungi and might have a novel mechanism of action.

    • Katie Kingwell
  • In Brief |

    This study reports the widespread endogenization of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses in diverse green algae.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that the toxin of a toxin−antitoxin system triggers the rapid transformation of spiral-shaped Helicobacter pylori into coccoids.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study links anthropogenic disturbance, coral symbioses and heat stress resilience.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study provides new evidence that rotavirus-infected cells produce pancrine signals that uninfected cells respond to, leading to intercellular calcium waves and ultimately to diarrhoea.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study found that slow movement is important when bacteria move as dense collectives because faster bacteria cause topological defects that trap cells in place.

    • Ashley York

News & Analysis

  • Under the Lens |

    This month’s Under the Lens discusses the application of high-speed atomic force microscopy to image fragile bacterial membrane vesicles by briefly touching them with a gentle tapping force, revealing species-specific heterogeneity in membrane vesicle size distribution linked to biological function.

    • Ruth Cohen-Khait


  • Review Article |

    The gut microbiota contributes to host physiology through the production of a myriad of metabolites. In this Review, Bäckhed and colleagues discuss the major classes of microbial metabolites, highlight examples of how microbial metabolites affect host health and provide a potential framework for integration of discovery-based metabolite studies with mechanistic work.

    • Kimberly A. Krautkramer
    • Jing Fan
    • Fredrik Bäckhed


  • Review Article |

    In this Review, Chen, Boyaci and Campbell examine universal pathways and diverse regulatory mechanisms in transcription initiation in evolutionarily divergent bacteria, and they discuss the mechanisms whereby antimicrobials inhibit transcription initiation and the insights those mechanisms provide into the transcription cycle.

    • James Chen
    • Hande Boyaci
    • Elizabeth A. Campbell
  • Review Article |

    Recent crystallography and electron microscopy studies have refined our model of herpesvirus entry into cells. In this Review, Connolly, Jardetzky and Longnecker discuss recent insights into herpesvirus entry by analysing the structures of entry glycoproteins, including the diverse receptor-binding glycoproteins and conserved fusion proteins.

    • Sarah A. Connolly
    • Theodore S. Jardetzky
    • Richard Longnecker



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