The authors of the research presented in this special collection used the first description of the B73 maize genome to probe some of the most intriguing questions in genetics and plant biology. Read about maize centromeres, new insights into transposon types and distribution, the abundance of very short FLcDNAs encoding predicted peptides, and many other "genetic jewels" contained herein.
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This collection was launched with the mission to share knowledge about lab organization and scientific management. Each Perspective article represents an interview with a Principal Investigator, who shares his or her experience of running a lab by discussing selected topics in an informal and personal style. By creating this collection at PLOS Computational Biology, a journal committed to open knowledge, the collection editors hope to create a dialog through which we all can learn from each other.
Without reliable methods to evaluate how the mucosal immune system responds to an experimental HIV vaccine, important information about how well that vaccine worked is missed. The HIV Mucosal Immunology Group (MIG) was established to address the challenge of assessing the impact of potential HIV vaccines on the mucosal immune system. The MIG comprises of expert scientists who are coordinating their efforts to improve mucosal sampling, specimen storage and assay technologies. This collection reports the results of those efforts, providing important, practical details on studying immune responses in the genital and rectal mucosa.
This collection focuses on a rapidly evolving field in which the study of both species-specific and ubiquitous aging mechanisms informs the biological process of aging. Yet the field is not without substantial controversy, differing views arise as we come to understand aging across model systems - from bacteria to humans.
The PLOS Medicine series on Big Food aims to examine and stimulate debate about the activities and influence of the food industry in global health. We define Big Food as the multinational food and beverage industry with huge and concentrated market power. The series adopts a multi-disciplinary approach and includes critical perspectives from around the world. It represents one of first times such issues have been examined in the general medical literature.
Saba Bank is the largest submarine atoll in the Atlantic Ocean, adjacent to the nearby island of Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles. The submerged platform is ~2200 sq km, with a 50 km fringing reef crest. Large vessels traveling to and from an oil terminal on nearby St. Eustatius Island routinely anchor on Saba Bank, damaging benthic habitats. Marine biodiversity research was necessary to help inform any national and international protective measures. This collection of articles represents an international collaboration to characterize the richness, diversity, and habitat affinities of marine taxa on Saba Bank. Multibeam bathymetry, satellite imagery, scuba transects, roving surveys, remotely operated vehicles, and fish traps were used to study the biotic assemblages. This poorly studied region was found to have unusually high biodiversity, including several undescribed species.
This collection presents some of the recent advances in biogeography and taxonomy within deep-sea chemosynthetic environments: patterns, processes, and synthesis resulting from the Census of Marine Life ChEss Program (2002-2010). Over 110 ChEss researchers have studied various elements of the biogeography of species from deep-water hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, and whale falls, to oxygen minimum zones. Through their concerted efforts our knowledge of these extraordinary habitats and their faunal composition has been greatly expanded. An overall synthesis paper by the ChEss Office summarises the program and the collection contributions.
Bioinformatics is being introduced into the school curriculum earlier and earlier as the field matures. PLOS Computational Biology's Education section introduces a new collection, Bioinformatics: Starting Early, which is devoted to teaching bioinformatics in secondary schools.
'Blue marble health' is a recent concept that recognizes a paradoxical disease burden among poor people living in G20 and other wealthier countries. Socioeconomic disparities caused by income, ethnicity and relative poverty constitute a major and growing determinant of health to at-risk populations regardless of the average income of their country of residence. Neglected Tropical Diseases found among poor people in wealthy countries contribute substantially to health disparities, whilst non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and coronary artery disease, urgently require action as increasingly prevalent causes of illness and death in lower-and middle-income countries.
Millennium Development Goal 4 calls for a reduction of two-thirds in the under-5 mortality rate between 1990 and 2015. Reliable estimates of child mortality are critical to the monitoring of progress toward this important goal. The UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) annually reports on country, regional and global trends in child mortality. In this collection of research articles and reviews the independent Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the UN IGME introduces the group's methodological innovations in estimating child mortality.The Collection is produced with support from UNICEF and the TAG of the UN IGME.
Clinical immunology is the study of diseases caused by disorders of the immune system (failure, aberrant action, and malignant growth of the cellular elements of the system), and also involves diseases where immune reactions play a part in their pathology and clinical features. The Collection has been organized into broad categories in response to the commonly articulated request from our users that we provide more structured and efficient access to papers of interest in the PLOS corpus. The Clinical Immunology Collection includes sections on Allergies & Anaphylaxis, Tumor Immunology, Immunodeficiency and Autoimmune Diseases. More sections will follow.
In this collection PLOS NTDs highlights the contributions of Indian authors, labs, and institutions to the global fight against neglected tropical diseases. It includes over 40 primary research articles reporting significant advances in the fields of epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, vaccine development and applications, and vector control.
This collection of papers highlights research performed under the auspices of the Natural Geography in Shore Areas(NaGISA) project, a component of the Census of Marine Life program. NaGISA is a collaborative effort aimed at inventorying and monitoring biodiversity in rocky bottom macroalgal and soft bottom seagrass communities from the high intertidal zone to 20 meters in depth at a global scale. The papers of this collection describe large-scale distribution patterns of assemblages associated with rocky shores around the globe, as well as specific patterns for taxa such as macroalgae, polychaetes, and echinoderms.
In response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, PLOS editors curated content from across the journals, PLOS Currents and the PLOS Blogs Network into a rapidly evolving collection of research. Like all our content, these papers are freely and openly available to download, use and reuse. Incidents such as the Ebola outbreak reinforce the importance of rapid, Open Access publishing to ensure that the latest critical data and research is accessible to those who most need it without restriction.
The ecological impacts of climate change are broad and diverse, altering species' range limits, plant phenology and growth, carbon and nutrient cycling, as well as biodiversity and extinction risk. Recent PLOS articles have used a variety of experimental and observational approaches to examine these impacts. The broad range of papers within this Collection emphasize not only the multi-faceted impacts of climate change on ecological and human systems, but also the breadth and depth of research on these subjects being reported in PLOS journals.
Ocean Science or Oceanography covers a wide range of scientific topics, including complex ecosystems, sustainability, marine organisms, ocean currents, climate change and the geology of the sea floor. In this Editors Picks, PLOS ONE Associate Editor Eileen Clancy selects recent PLOS publications highlighting the varied and critical research ongoing into understanding the worlds oceans. PLOS welcomes submissions in these fields.
Recognizing the need for training and education in bioinformatics and computational biology specifically targeted to biologists, PLOS Computational Biology launched its Education section in January 2006. The goals are to provide practical tutorials and background information on important computational methods used to investigate key biological questions as well as resources for training scientists at all stages of their careers.
With exciting new research opportunities comes the much needed consideration of ethical challenges. This Focus Feature, led by Philip E. Bourne, addresses the ethical challenges that accompany the use of big data in biology and medicine. PLOS Computational Biology "Focus Features" are a resource to encourage community engagement and discussion on a focussed topic. A Focus Feature is directed by the editors with a view to shape the debate on a topic of interest to the computational biology community. By consisting of a small number of articles, each Focus Feature may draw on the new and old research in order to further the conversation.
The burden of HIV is heavily disproportionate in sex workers, where the high rates of partner change and their vulnerability increase the likelihood of sexual transmitted infections. This collection presents analyses of the influence of direct and indirect intervention programs aimed at interrupting this high-incidence of infection. Calls are made for a rapid scale-up of combination prevention programs and HIV care and treatment in order to improve conditions for sex workers. Publication of the collection was made possible by the generous financial support of World Bank, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID; Linkages Across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project cooperative agreement; and Research to Prevention (R2P) Project and Supporting Operational AIDS Research (SOAR).
The January 2012 issue of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases presented an Editorial, a Viewpoint, and two accompanying Expert Commentaries that focussed on the application of genetically modified (GM) insects for control of animal and plant diseases. These articles describe the technological advances these tools represent, the regulatory framework, and the societal dialogue that is necessary for their wide-scale application for disease control. Here, we have assembled a collection of articles published in the PLOS journals that describe the technical and applied aspects of GM insects. We also included articles that are not strictly GM, but aim to modify the disease transmission traits of insects through the use of symbiotic microbes.
The Genome Network Project/FANTOM3 collection features articles describing findings that redefine the landscape of the mammalian transcriptome by introducing an extensive collection of novel cDNAs and millions of sequenced tags corresponding to 5'- and 3'-ends of mRNAs. The high-resolution cDNA collection and its analysis represent an important world resource for discovery, and demonstrate the value of large-scale transcriptome approaches toward understanding genome function.
This collection of essays, perspectives, and reviews from six PLOS journals provides insights into how genomics can revolutionize our understanding of emerging infectious disease. Produced with support from Google
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for two-thirds of the world's deaths, one-fourth of which occur before the age of 60. Nearly 80% of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where they are also increasing most rapidly. With these global needs and disparities in mind, PLOS Medicine launched a collection of research and commentary on NCDs directed toward improving population health and reducing health disparities.
Estimates of global health indicators - which give insight into death and disease rates, document advances in development, and help policymakers monitor progress - are absolutely essential for improving global health. Estimates, however, are always imperfect and are sometimes fiercely debated. Recently, new players from academia have entered the game of global health estimation, once the chief domain of United Nations agencies such as WHO. In November 2010, PLOS Medicine published a collection articles from a series of experts that provide insights and opinion on what estimates mean for global health and how to move forward with better data, measurement, coordination, and leadership. The collection includes the perspectives of WHO, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and stakeholders from low- and middle-income countries.
In this PLOS Collection, global health leaders chart the path to a dramatic reduction in the global burden of disease by 2035. This ambitious convergence in global health will require strategic investments in research and development as well as an aggressive scale-up of health-care delivery systems to ensure that existing health tools and services reach those who need them. Grand Convergence: Aligning Technologies and Realities in Global Health describes how to reduce avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels within a generation by aggressively scaling up health tools and continuing to invest in the tools of tomorrow.
The History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) is a global research initiative to study the past ocean life and human interaction with the sea, and is part of the global Census of Marine Life. About 100 researchers have developed an interdisciplinary research program using historical and environmental archives to analyze marine population data before and after human impacts on the ocean became significant. The overall goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of how the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life in the world's oceans has changed over the long term. The HMAP Collection draws together representative examples of the results of this initiative.
In order to revisit the health consequences of the Asian tsunami of December 2004 six months on, PLOS Medicinecommissioned a collection of Magazine articles that were published in April 2005. We later updated this collection to include a new research article and an additional essay of relevance.
The healthy adult body hosts ten times as many microbial cells as human cells.The metagenome carried collectively by these microbial communities dwarfs the human genome in size, and their influences on normal development, diet and obesity, immunity, and disease are under active research. Funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund, the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was established to provide a comprehensive baseline of the microbial diversity at 18 different human body sites.These data join resources generated by computational tool development for analysis of the microbiome, research on the ethical, legal, and social implications of the microbiota, technology development for investigating these microbial communities, and a range of disease-focused microbiome demonstration projects.
Immunobiology is the study of the components that make up the body's immune system, how these arise during embryogenesis and function together, and how they evolve in different organisms in response to pathogens and the environment encountered. This collection collates some of the best and most recent immunobiology articles published at PLOS, featuring papers that examine cellular and molecular immunology, evolutionary immunology, animal models of the human immune system and ontogeny of the immune system. The biology featured in this collection serves to complement the studies in the Clinical Immunology Collection that highlight immune-related challenges faced by individuals and the health care profession.
The HIV Modelling Consortium aims to strengthen the support that mathematical modelling and related quantitative disciplines can provide to global decision-making in HIV. In November 2011 the HIV Modelling Consortium held a meeting in South Africa to focus on the cross-cutting issues of the impact of new scientific findings about HIV treatment preventing new infections. The group considered the feasibility of interventions, potential epidemiological impact, affordability, and new scientific observational studies and community trials. The nine reviews and one research article which comprise this collection arose from that meeting and provide insights into the factors which will support evidence-based decision-making in HIV prevention, with a focus on the use of antiretroviral treatment to prevent HIV transmission.
In this collection of newly published research articles, Ruth Nussinov (Editor-in-Chief) and Amarda Shehu (George Mason University, USA) highlight some of the latest advancements in computational treatments of macromolecules focusing upon recent computational methods investigating various aspects of the relationship between macromolecular structure, dynamics, and function. Through this the editors hope to convey and celebrate the tremendous progress that computational structural biology has made over the last two decades.
Drug research in malaria often focuses on blood stage parasites because they are responsible for the symptoms of the disease and are easier to manipulate in the laboratory.This collection describes multiple parasite and host processes engaged in infection in blood, the blocking of which could stop human illness. However, control and eradication of malaria will also require the development of drugs against stages responsible for mosquito transmission and those that remain latent in the liver, also summarized in the collection. Although these selected papers represent significant research at the highest levels, they are only a fraction of the malaria drug discovery literature. The collection highlights PLOS authors contribution to basic drug discovery research.
This collection presents research in the field of Marine Barcoding under the auspices of MarBOL: a joint effort of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life and the Census of Marine Life to enhance our capacity to identify marine life by utilizing DNA barcoding. DNA barcoding uses a short DNA sequence from a standardized and agreed-upon position in the genome as a molecular diagnostic for species-level identification. The MarBOL collection highlights the variety of applications of DNA barcodes. Primarily they are very useful tools to accelerate species-level analysis of biodiversity and to facilitate conservation efforts. Barcodes have been used for identification of prey in gut contents, detection of invasive species, forensics, reveal cryptic species, and discover new species. Recent advances in sequencing technology allow the use of barcodes for rapid and increasingly automated biodiversity assessment.
The Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam) was a 5 year research program carried out under the umbrella of the Census of Marine Life. Its principal goal was to create an international network of scientists to address key research questions about seamounts. This collection brings together the latest seamount research, enabling a wide variety of scientific results to be linked.
The Marine Megafauna Collection presents research focused on the biology, ecology and conservation of the most captivating creatures in the ocean. These articles represent a broad survey of fascinating organisms and systems, and provide a core set of reading materials for marine science educators seeking to increase the engagement of students in class using compelling examples.
This collection presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field. Coverage indicators are widely used to assess whether interventions are reaching women and children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through population-based household surveys. The collection shows that while some indicators can be measured accurately, others may not provide valid results and therefore need further investigation and development. It explores issues around measurement using household surveys, assessment of health inequalities, consideration of survey error, and the generation of indicators for global monitoring, and presents recommendations for transforming the findings of these and previous studies into better measurement, reporting and interpretation of coverage estimates.
Between October 2009 and February 2010 PLOS Medicine published a seven part series of articles proposing "packages of care" for mental, neurological, and substance-use disorders in low- and middle-income countries. In the introduction to the series, Guest Editors Vikram Patel and Graham Thornicroft explain that a large mental health "treatment gap" exists, in which 90% of people with these mental health disorders in the developing world go untreated.
The ability to live for long periods in the absence of normal gravity requires comprehensive understanding of structural and functional changes that occur in the bodies of humans and other mammals. The Italian Space Agency contracted a spaceflight payload (Mice Drawer System) for mice research on the International Space Station, including wild type and transgenic strains. These studies examined changes that occurred in the flight animals in a wide range of physiological systems, such as muscle, bone, organs and glands, blood, brain (and behavior), and neurosensory, and collectively offer an integrative view of the mammal's physiological response to ?G.
In May and June 2011, PLOS Medicine published a commissioned six-part series on migration and health. If internal and international migrants comprised a nation, it would be the third most populous country in the world, just after China and India. Thus, there can be little doubt that population mobility is among the leading policy issues of the 21st century. However, policies to protect migrants and global health have so far been hampered by inadequate policy attention and poor international coordination. More coordination is needed across borders and policy sectors. In an editorial published at the end of the series, the PLOS Medicine Editors highlight one particularly troubling aspect of migration - sex trafficking - and what needs to be done to address it.
This collection presents a global framework for monitoring progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) conducted by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank Group. UHC is defined as the desired outcome of health system performance whereby all people who need health services promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation receive them without undue financial hardship. These articles demonstrate the essential and interlinked components, explaining how UHC monitoring can be fully integrated into the overall monitoring of health system performance. The technical reviews provide insight into current international consensus around UHC and address issues related to the measurement of financial protection, service coverage, effective coverage, and equity. The case studies each discuss progress towards UHC in the featured countries as written by national experts.