What distinguishes the human brain from that of other mammals? This Primer examines the implications of the recent demonstration the exclusive plasticity of a specific synapse between pyramidal neurons and fast-spiking interneurons of the human neocortex.
This Essay proposes that animals have a limited number of biomechanical strategies to reduce musculoskeletal stress; this fact probably constrained the locomotor speeds of extinct giant animals.
The authors make an economic, ethical and academic case for SEARCH; an innovative approach towards making precious surplus material derived from animal studies in biomedical research more visible and accessible to the scientific community.
This Community Page article presents a webcast of bird nesting as an example of a state-of-the-art Citizen Science project with educational, scientific and popularizing benefits.
Bees are amazing little creatures; while some of them live solitary lifestyles, many bee species form large colonies and function as a superorganism. This article discusses some of the recent advances in our understanding of these fascinating insects. Browse the collection here.
Scaling up no-take marine reserve coverage to 20-30% of fished habitat should benefit both biodiversity and fisheries where they are most threatened.
The soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL-6R) can mediate pro-inflammatory IL-6 trans-signaling throughout the body. This study reveals that sIL-6R is generated by proteolysis in humans, a process that is controlled by a single N-glycosylation site within its extracellular domain.
A new global database of alien bird distributions shows which parts of the world are rich in alien bird species, and why.
Using neuroimaging and computational modelling, this study explains how the human brain represents initial versus subsequent choices during spatial planning in novel environments.
By tracking personal activities and physiology, wearable biosensors can provide information useful in managing human health.
Hippocampal memory traces followed by novelty are more dominant by default but are liable to interference; by contrast, sleep engages a lasting stabilization of cortical traces and consequent trace dominance after pre-exposure.
The transcription factor HIZR-1 is a nuclear receptor that uses zinc ions as a physiological ligand and mediates high zinc homeostasis in an animal. This establishes a new class of ligands for nuclear receptors and a new role as nutritional sensors.
A study of yeast adapted to the fungicide nystatin finds that the first step toward speciation (partial postzygotic reproductive isolation) can evolve rapidly in populations under similar selective pressures.
A population of snow voles provides a rare example of contemporary adaptive evolution in the wild, but without a quantitative genetic perspective this genetic change, and the selective pressure that underlies it, would have gone undetected.
This study reveals the importance of fine-tuned regulation of DNA repair in lung stem cells and progenitor cells, in which both error-prone repair and failure to repair may contribute to lung diseases.
"Locked in" patients suffering from advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with no reliable means of communication, can learn to answer questions requiring a “yes” or “no” thought using frontocentral oxygenation changes measurable by functional near-infrared spectroscopy.