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.
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.
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.
Mycetoma is a serious and debilitating condition that meets all of the criteria we ordinarily attribute to a neglected tropical disease (NTD). Classically, it is a destructive fungal or bacterial infection of the foot (although other body parts can be affected) that results in disfigurement and social stigma. It overwhelmingly occurs in impoverished areas of a mycetoma belt that extends across the globe, roughly between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, with most of the cases reported from India, Mexico, Sudan, several countries in Africas Sahel (including Chad, Mali, and Mauritania), and Somalia and Yemen.
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system and is an interdisciplinary biological science that extends across multiple fields including chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, physics, and psychology. Neuroscience involves various approaches to the study of the molecular, cellular, computational, systems, and cognitive aspects of the nervous system, using techniques from molecular and cellular studies of individual nerve cells to neuroimaging of complex human behaviors.
The Open Source movement revolutionized the way computer systems were developed and how companies made their businesses. Its philosophy requires that all source code should be freely shared, so that as many people as possible can use, change, learn, and improve upon it. In recent years the increasing availability and low costs of electronic components, processors and 3D printers meant that an open model of development has taken root also in the world of hardware, including the development of scientific lab equipment. The implications for research can hardly be overstated: Open Labware designs are almost always cheaper than closed source ones, allow for distributed development and, critically, customization by the end user, the lab scientist. PLOS welcomes submissions in this field.
PLoS Medicine is an international, multidisciplinary medical journal that publishes outstanding human studies that substantially enhance the understanding of human health and disease. PLoS Medicine aims to promote translation of basic research into clinical investigation, and of clinical evidence into practice. PLoS Medicine encourages papers that cross disciplines.
PLoS ONE will be a high-volume, efficient and economical system for the publication of peer-reviewed research in all areas of science and medicine. It will provide a unique forum for community dialogue using the full potential of the web to accelerate scientific progress.
The Council of Science Editors organized a Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development in October 2007. More than 200 science and health journals, including PLOS Medicine, PLOS Biology, and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, participated by publishing new articles.
In several recent PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases papers on rabies marking the third anniversary of World Rabies Day scientists describe the situation of canine rabies control in developing countries, as well as various recent advances in the development of vaccines and treatments that will contribute to the elimination of human deaths from rabies.
More than half of the world's population is at risk of helminthiases, and millions of people are currently infected with one or more helminth species. Consequences of infection include suffering, stigmatization, morbidity, and premature death. These infections are associated with low work productivity, poor cognitive performance, and slow socioeconomic development, thereby contributing to accentuate poverty and inequality.The Disease Reference Group on Helminth Infections (DRG4) put forward a series of reviews that, taken together, outline a compelling research and development (R&D) agenda for the control and elimination of helminth diseases of humans.
In the February 2011 issue of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NTDs), Simarro and colleagues report in "The Human African Trypanosomiasis Control and Surveillance Programme of the World Health Organization 2000-2009: The Way Forward" that new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), more familiarly known as sleeping sickness, fell below 10,000 in 2009, perhaps signaling the end to this epidemic cycle. Deputy Editor-in-Chief Serap Aksoy elaborates on this finding in her editorial, titled "Sleeping Sickness Elimination in Sight: Time to Celebrate, Reflect but not Relax." To highlight the existing literature PLOS NTDs authors have contributed to the field, Dr. Aksoy combed the archives to find those articles on HAT that we have published with potential applications for disease control.
When global policymakers address the health and economic impact of the soil-transmitted helminth infections, they generally refer to the "unholy trinity" of ascariasis, hookworm infection, and trichuriasis. However, increasing information suggests that strongyloidiasis is an important fourth soil-transmitted helminthiasis. There are many reasons for the global neglect of strongyloidiasis, not the least of which is the inconvenient truth that there are little or no global burden of disease data for this infection, nor even any accurate accounting for the actual number of people infected. We also know very little about the true geographic distribution of strongyloidiasis. This special collection will help to highlight this somewhat mysterious yet very important neglected tropical disease, its enormous potential global impact on human health, and the urgent need for basic and applied research.
Tsetse flies are important vectors of human and animal diseases that adversely impact life in sub-Sahara Africa. A community of tsetse researchers (International Glossina Genome Initiative) have been working to obtain the full genome sequence of the tsetse species Glossina morsitans morsitans. The group have also mined the genome data to advance knowledge on functional aspects of tsetse and African trypanosome biology. This collection describes findings on tsetse's salivary gland biology, olfactory chemistry, lactation process, acquaporin proteins that play a role in lactation, oxidative stress responses during pregnancy, gut peritrophic matrix analysis and horizontal transfer events discovered in tsetse's genome from the symbiont Wolbachia. Further manuscripts reflect on the historical aspects of sleeping sickness epidemics that have plagued sub-Sahara in the 20th century.
Zika is an arbovirus infection transmitted by several different species of Aedes mosquitoes, including Aedes aegypti in the New World. Towards the end of 2015, the Pan American Health Organization announced a possible link between zika and congenital birth defects, in particularly a neurodevastating birth defect known as microcephaly. The causal link between zika and microcephaly has still not been confirmed, but preliminary evidence for an association has been found. The impact of zika virus should be treated with the utmost seriousness as the effects could be devastating. In response a call for research on the outbreak and a new PLOS Collection, which will collate research and other resources related to the outbreak, have been launched.