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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: November 01, 2021 to November 30, 2021


Advanced human mucosal tissue models are needed to improve preclinical testing of vaccines

There is a need for better models to improve preclinical testing of vaccines. This Perspective article argues that advanced mucosal human tissue models could present a solution to this pressing problem in the future.

Community Pages

iSDAsoil: The first continent-scale soil property map at 30 m resolution provides a soil information revolution for Africa

Recent developments in remote sensing and machine learning have allowed African soil properties to be mapped at an unprecedented resolution of 30 m. iSDAsoil is an open access resource that will empower the community to embrace 'hyperlocal' approaches such as field-level agronomy advice for smallholder farmers.

Community Pages

From grassroots to global: A blueprint for building a reproducibility network

Researchers, institutions, funders, and publishers are considering how to improve research culture and quality, but no single part of the research ecosystem can effect change on its own. This Community Page describes how the UK Reproducibility Network was established to facilitate the necessary coordination; its experience can inform the establishment of like-minded networks around the world to drive positive change.


It takes two to tango: Concerted protein translation and degradation necessary for synaptic scaling

This Primer explores the implications of a new study in PLOS Biology which reveals how homeostatic synaptic plasticity requires coordinated and inter-dependent protein synthesis and degradation, as well as remodeling of the miRNA-induced silencing complex.

Meta-Research Article

A survey of biomedical journals to detect editorial bias and nepotistic behavior

Alongside the growing concerns regarding predatory journal growth, other questionable editorial practices have gained visibility recently. This study explores the relationship between hyper-prolific authors and a journal's editorial team, finding a subset of journals where a few authors, often members of the editorial board, were responsible for a disproportionate number of publications.

Research Articles

Neuronal HSF-1 coordinates the propagation of fat desaturation across tissues to enable adaptation to high temperatures in C. elegans

In response to heat, ectotherms exhibit an adaptive response characterized by changes in membrane fluidity. This study in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans shows that neuronal HSF-1 is critical for this remodeling, suggesting a neuronal thermostat-based mechanism that can non-cell-autonomously coordinate the animal's response to heat.

Research Articles

Spatial subsidies drive sweet spots of tropical marine biomass production

How do tropical oceans sustain high productivity and intense coastal fisheries despite occurring in nutrient-poor oceans? This study shows that spatial subsidies dramatically increase local coral reef productivity across the globe, producing localized ˜sweet-spots' of concentrated, exceptionally high productivity.

Research Articles

Assembly of infectious Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus progeny requires formation of a pORF19 pentamer

In herpesviruses, genome packaging and release from the capsid require a unique portal channel. The crystal structure of a pentameric Kaposi sarcoma'associated herpesvirus pORF19 assembly reveals that it resembles the herpesviral portal cap and provides insights how the viral genome is retained within the capsid.

Research Articles

Fitness costs of female choosiness are low in a socially monogamous songbird

Being highly selective in partner choice may be problematic, because widely preferred mates are rapidly claimed. However, this study of the socially monogamous zebra finch reveals that females have evolved effective ways of coping with this situation.

Research Articles

An altered balance of integrated and segregated brain activity is a marker of cognitive deficits following sleep deprivation

Can the cognitive changes that result from sleep deprivation be explained by information processing within and between large-scale networks in the brain? This study shows that the ratio of within- vs between-network integration is tightly associated with deficits in cognitive performance.

Research Articles

Mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 protects animals from lethal SARS-CoV challenge

Studying cross-protection from different coronaviruses is important to inform the research for a universal vaccine. This study uses a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain to show that it confers protection from SARS-CoV challenge, suggesting possible immunity from heterologous challenge following natural infection.

Research Articles

Adult medial habenula neurons require GDNF receptor GFRalpha 1 for synaptic stability and function

The GPI-anchored GDNF receptor GFRa1 is highly expressed in the habenula, but its role in the adult nervous system remains unknown. This study reveals that GFRa1 is needed for the maintenance of adult synapses in the septohabenular pathway, modulation of AMPA-mediated glutamatergic signaling, and tuning of fear and anxiety behaviors.

Research Articles

NAMPT-derived NAD+ fuels PARP1 to promote skin inflammation through parthanatos cell death

A study of chronic skin inflammation reveals that hyperactivation of PARP1 in response to ROS-induced DNA damage, fueled by NAMPT-derived NAD+, mediates skin inflammation via parthanatos cell death, identifying NAMPT, PARP1 and AIFM1 as novel therapeutic targets for psoriasis.

Research Articles

Diversity, taxonomy, and evolution of archaeal viruses of the class Caudoviricetes

Comparative genomics and host range analysis reveals the remarkable diversity and evolution of tailed archaeal viruses of the order Caudoviricetes, which together with their bacterial relatives arguably represent the most abundant and widespread virus group on our planet.

Research Articles

Lineage-tracing and translatomic analysis of damage-inducible mitotic cochlear progenitors identifies candidate genes regulating regeneration

Cochlear supporting cells are glia-like cells essential for hearing. Genetic ablation of Lgr5+ supporting cells reveals a population of damage inducible, mitotically activated progenitors in the greater epithelial ridge, which can divide and migrate into the organ of Corti to replenish ablated supporting cells. Translatomic analyses provide insights into the genes that may regulate this regenerative potential.

Research Articles

p38gamma and p38delta regulate postnatal cardiac metabolism through glycogen synthase 1

This study elucidates the role of the protein kinases p37? and p38d in regulating the metabolic switch that occurs in early postnatal development, revealing that they inhibit glycogen synthase 1 and glycogen metabolism. Deregulation of this mechanism results in cardiac defects and metabolic alterations which can be prevented by maternal fatty acid diet supplementation during pregnancy and lactation.

Research Articles

Respiration modulates oscillatory neural network activity at rest

Despite recent advances, it remains unclear to what extent breathing modulates brain oscillations at rest. This magnetoencephalography study in human participants identifies a widespread brain network of neural oscillations that are coupled to the respiratory rhythm.

Research Articles

A shared transcriptional code orchestrates temporal patterning of the central nervous system

How is the full array of neuronal subtypes in the vertebrate nervous system produced? This study reveals a temporal transcriptional program that diversifies neuronal subtype identity throughout the nervous system and operates in parallel with spatial patterning mechanisms.

Research Articles

FERONIA and microtubules independently contribute to mechanical integrity in the Arabidopsis shoot

In all living organisms, cells must resist mechanical stress to survive. This study of the model plant Arabidopsis reveals that the candidate cell wall mechanoreceptor FERONIA and microtubules independently contribute to this mechanical feedback.

Research Articles

The economics of managing evolution

Humans are altering biological systems at unprecedented rates and these alterations often have longer-term evolutionary impacts, such as the spread of resistance to pesticides and antibiotics. In this study, a simple mathematical criterion is derived determining when it is economically beneficial to invest in strategies for controlling and managing evolutionary change.

Research Articles

Identification of astroglia-like cardiac nexus glia that are critical regulators of cardiac development and function

Do astrocyte-like cells exist in the peripheral nervous system? This study reveals that astrocyte-like cells termed cardiac nexus glia populate the heart, and that these cells are important for cardiac homeostasis, modulating heart rate and rhythm during development.

Research Articles

Homeostatic scaling is driven by a translation-dependent degradation axis that recruits miRISC remodeling

Homeostatic plasticity in neurons has been separately linked to translation or proteasomal degradation. This study reveals that RNA-dependent synergy between translation, degradation and miRISC remodeling is needed to achieve synaptic homeostasis during chronic changes in network activity.

Short Reports

Predicting novel candidate human obesity genes and their site of action by systematic functional screening in Drosophila

A combination of human exome sequencing and systematic functional screening in Drosophila identifies a number of novel obesity-associated genes which control adiposity in flies, and uncovers a potential role for the Hippo signaling pathway in obesity.

Short Reports

Acquisition of ionic copper by the bacterial outer membrane protein OprC through a novel binding site

How do Gram-negative bacteria acquire copper? This study shows that the outer membrane protein OprC from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is abundant during infection and mediates highly selective acquisition of both copper redox states via an extracellular "methionine track" and an unprecedented near-irreversible binding site.

Short Reports

Upregulation of DNA repair genes and cell extrusion underpin the remarkable radiation resistance of Trichoplax adhaerens

The placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens is able to tolerate high levels of radiation and is resilient to DNA damage; this study reveals that exposure to X-rays triggers the extrusion of cell clusters which subsequently die, and that radiation exposure induces the overexpression of genes involved in DNA repair.

Update Article

Attention controls multisensory perception via 2 distinct mechanisms at different levels of the cortical hierarchy

A combination of psychophysics, computational modelling and fMRI reveals novel insights into how the brain controls the binding of information across the senses, such as the voice and lip movements of a speaker.

Methods and Resources

Exploring bacterial diversity via a curated and searchable snapshot of archived DNA sequences

This study presents the first uniformly assembled, comprehensively described and searchable dataset of 661,405 bacterial genomes; this resource will empower more scientists to harness the multitude of data in public sequencing archives, but also reveals the biased composition of these archives, with 90% of the data originating from just 20 species.

Methods and Resources

A cloud-based toolbox for the versatile environmental annotation of biodiversity data

In ecology and evolution, processes, data collection, and inference or prediction usually occur at different scales in space and time. This study introduces a cloud-based toolbox for the flexible fusion of biodiversity records with remotely sensed and other environmental information that supports an assessment and accounting of such scale dependencies.

Methods and Resources

Systematic exploration of Escherichia coli phage'host interactions with the BASEL phage collection

This study presents the BASEL collection of phages that infect the model bacterium Escherichia coli; this resource for the community is representative of natural E. coli phage diversity and has been extensively characterized phenotypically and genomically.


Correction: Stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with slow rTMS enhances verbal memory formation


Correction: Extracellular phosphorylation of a receptor tyrosine kinase controls synaptic localization of NMDA receptors and regulates pathological pain


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