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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.