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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.