PLOS Biology

http://www.plosbiology.org/

List of Papers (Total 3,458)

NREM2 and Sleep Spindles Are Instrumental to the Consolidation of Motor Sequence Memories

Although numerous studies have convincingly demonstrated that sleep plays a critical role in motor sequence learning (MSL) consolidation, the specific contribution of the different sleep stages in this type of memory consolidation is still contentious. To probe the role of stage 2 non-REM sleep (NREM2) in this process, we used a conditioning protocol in three different groups of ...

Remotely Sensed High-Resolution Global Cloud Dynamics for Predicting Ecosystem and Biodiversity Distributions

Cloud cover can influence numerous important ecological processes, including reproduction, growth, survival, and behavior, yet our assessment of its importance at the appropriate spatial scales has remained remarkably limited. If captured over a large extent yet at sufficiently fine spatial grain, cloud cover dynamics may provide key information for delineating a variety of habitat ...

Dredging in the Spratly Islands: Gaining Land but Losing Reefs

Coral reefs on remote islands and atolls are less exposed to direct human stressors but are becoming increasingly vulnerable because of their development for geopolitical and military purposes. Here we document dredging and filling activities by countries in the South China Sea, where building new islands and channels on atolls is leading to considerable losses of, and perhaps ...

Crystal Structure of an Ammonia-Permeable Aquaporin

Aquaporins of the TIP subfamily (Tonoplast Intrinsic Proteins) have been suggested to facilitate permeation of water and ammonia across the vacuolar membrane of plants, allowing the vacuole to efficiently sequester ammonium ions and counteract cytosolic fluctuations of ammonia. Here, we report the structure determined at 1.18 Å resolution from twinned crystals of Arabidopsis ...

Modulation of Cortical Oscillations by Low-Frequency Direct Cortical Stimulation Is State-Dependent

Cortical oscillations play a fundamental role in organizing large-scale functional brain networks. Noninvasive brain stimulation with temporally patterned waveforms such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) have been proposed to modulate these oscillations. Thus, these stimulation modalities represent ...

Hemotin, a Regulator of Phagocytosis Encoded by a Small ORF and Conserved across Metazoans

Translation of hundreds of small ORFs (smORFs) of less than 100 amino acids has recently been revealed in vertebrates and Drosophila. Some of these peptides have essential and conserved cellular functions. In Drosophila, we have predicted a particular smORF class encoding ~80 aa hydrophobic peptides, which may function in membranes and cell organelles. Here, we characterise ...

The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex

Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar ...

Honey Bee Inhibitory Signaling Is Tuned to Threat Severity and Can Act as a Colony Alarm Signal

Alarm communication is a key adaptation that helps social groups resist predation and rally defenses. In Asia, the world’s largest hornet, Vespa mandarinia, and the smaller hornet, Vespa velutina, prey upon foragers and nests of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. We attacked foragers and colony nest entrances with these predators and provide the first evidence, in social insects, of ...

Low Genetic Quality Alters Key Dimensions of the Mutational Spectrum

Mutations affect individual health, population persistence, adaptation, diversification, and genome evolution. There is evidence that the mutation rate varies among genotypes, but the causes of this variation are poorly understood. Here, we link differences in genetic quality with variation in spontaneous mutation in a Drosophila mutation accumulation experiment. We find that ...

Transgenerational Epigenetic Contributions to Stress Responses: Fact or Fiction?

There has been increasing interest in the possibility that behavioral experience—in particular, exposure to stress—can be passed on to subsequent generations through heritable epigenetic modifications. The possibility remains highly controversial, however, reflecting the lack of standardized definitions of epigenetics and the limited empirical support for potential mechanisms of ...

Separable Roles for a Caenorhabditis elegans RMI1 Homolog in Promoting and Antagonizing Meiotic Crossovers Ensure Faithful Chromosome Inheritance

During the first meiotic division, crossovers (COs) between homologous chromosomes ensure their correct segregation. COs are produced by homologous recombination (HR)-mediated repair of programmed DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). As more DSBs are induced than COs, mechanisms are required to establish a regulated number of COs and to repair remaining intermediates as non-crossovers ...

Hyperexpansion of RNA Bacteriophage Diversity

Bacteriophage modulation of microbial populations impacts critical processes in ocean, soil, and animal ecosystems. However, the role of bacteriophages with RNA genomes (RNA bacteriophages) in these processes is poorly understood, in part because of the limited number of known RNA bacteriophage species. Here, we identify partial genome sequences of 122 RNA bacteriophage phylotypes ...

DNAdigest and Repositive: Connecting the World of Genomic Data

There is no unified place where genomics researchers can search through all available raw genomic data in a way similar to OMIM for genes or Uniprot for proteins. With the recent increase in the amount of genomic data that is being produced and the ever-growing promises of precision medicine, this is becoming more and more of a problem. DNAdigest is a charity working to promote ...

Using Sex to Cure the Genome

The diversification of prokaryotes is accelerated by their ability to acquire DNA from other genomes. However, the underlying processes also facilitate genome infection by costly mobile genetic elements. The discovery that cells can uptake DNA by natural transformation was instrumental to the birth of molecular biology nearly a century ago. Surprisingly, a new study shows that this ...

MamO Is a Repurposed Serine Protease that Promotes Magnetite Biomineralization through Direct Transition Metal Binding in Magnetotactic Bacteria

Many living organisms transform inorganic atoms into highly ordered crystalline materials. An elegant example of such biomineralization processes is the production of nano-scale magnetic crystals in magnetotactic bacteria. Previous studies implicated the involvement of two putative serine proteases, MamE and MamO, during the early stages of magnetite formation in Magnetospirillum ...

MKS5 and CEP290 Dependent Assembly Pathway of the Ciliary Transition Zone

Cilia have a unique diffusion barrier (“gate”) within their proximal region, termed transition zone (TZ), that compartmentalises signalling proteins within the organelle. The TZ is known to harbour two functional modules/complexes (Meckel syndrome [MKS] and Nephronophthisis [NPHP]) defined by genetic interaction, interdependent protein localisation (hierarchy), and proteomic ...

Self-Generated Chemoattractant Gradients: Attractant Depletion Extends the Range and Robustness of Chemotaxis

Chemotaxis is fundamentally important, but the sources of gradients in vivo are rarely well understood. Here, we analyse self-generated chemotaxis, in which cells respond to gradients they have made themselves by breaking down globally available attractants, using both computational simulations and experiments. We show that chemoattractant degradation creates steep local gradients. ...

Energetic Constraints on Species Coexistence in Birds

The association between species richness and ecosystem energy availability is one of the major geographic trends in biodiversity. It is often explained in terms of energetic constraints, such that coexistence among competing species is limited in low productivity environments. However, it has proven challenging to reject alternative views, including the null hypothesis that species ...

The Structural Basis of Coenzyme A Recycling in a Bacterial Organelle

Bacterial Microcompartments (BMCs) are proteinaceous organelles that encapsulate critical segments of autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolic pathways; they are functionally diverse and are found across 23 different phyla. The majority of catabolic BMCs (metabolosomes) compartmentalize a common core of enzymes to metabolize compounds via a toxic and/or volatile aldehyde ...

Invagination of Ectodermal Placodes Is Driven by Cell Intercalation-Mediated Contraction of the Suprabasal Tissue Canopy

Ectodermal organs such as teeth, hair follicles, and mammary glands begin their development as placodes. These are local epithelial thickenings that invaginate into mesenchymal space. There is currently little mechanistic understanding of the cellular processes driving the early morphogenesis of these organs and of why they lead to invagination rather than simple tissue thickening. ...

Peer-Led Team Learning Helps Minority Students Succeed

Active learning methods have been shown to be superior to traditional lecture in terms of student achievement, and our findings on the use of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) concur. Students in our introductory biology course performed significantly better if they engaged in PLTL. There was also a drastic reduction in the failure rate for underrepresented minority (URM) students with ...