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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 J. Craig Venter Institute's Global Ocean Sampling Expedition revealed an enormous amount of previously unexplored diversity in the world's oceans. In addition to the research articles, this collection includes commentary and analysis highlighting the achievements and challenges of this work.
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.
This collection represents those articles published in PLOS ONE on the general topic of Paleontology (the study of fossils and of life forms that existed in past geological periods). The discipline is very broad, overlapping with both biology and geology, and the findings reported in these articles span several geological eras and further our understanding of organisms from multiple phyla. We welcome submissions in this field.