Biology

Stochastic assembly produces heterogeneous communities in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine

The gut microbiome varies greatly between individuals, and this variation could have important health consequences. These differences may be due to deterministic differences such as genetic differences between individuals or differences in individual history and environmental exposure; stochasticity may also play a role in variation between individual communities.

Research Priorities for Harnessing Plant Microbiomes in Sustainable Agriculture

A growing appreciation of microbial diversity and function in combination with advances in omics (i.e., the study of large-scale biological datasets, including genes, transcripts, proteins and metabolites) and data analytics technologies are fueling rapid advances in microbiome research. One driving motivation—harnessing beneficial microbes and reducing impacts of detrimental microbes—is common to both humans and crop plants.

Spatial Learning Depends on Both the Addition and Removal of New Hippocampal Neurons

It was classically assumed that once the development of the central nervous system ended, “everything can die, nothing can regenerate and be renewed”. This dogma, restricting neurogenesis to a developmental phenomenon has, however, been challenged by the discovery that new neurons are created in specific regions of the adult mammalian brain.

Widespread Genetic Incompatibilities between First-Step Mutations

The number of different evolutionary pathways available to populations adapting to a new environment depends on the range and characteristics of possible genetic solutions. Even populations adapting to the same environmental challenge can diverge genetically from each other if different mutations happen to establish. The long-term impact of this initial divergence depends on the fitness interactions between the available alleles that underlie adaptation to a given environment (“epistasis”).

Spontaneous mutation rate is a plastic trait associated with population density across domains of life

The probability of spontaneous genetic mutations occurring during replication evolves among organisms. This mutation rate can also vary at a particular site in a particular genotype, dependent upon the environment.

Viral Genetic Variation Accounts for a Third of Variability in HIV-1 Set-Point Viral Load in Europe

The outcome of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1, henceforth “HIV” for simplicity) is highly variable across individuals, with time to AIDS ranging from 2 years to more than 20 years [1–4]. Quantifying the fraction of this variability explained by genetic variability in the virus is important to our understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis and of the evolution of virulence [5].

What Makes a Reach Movement Effortful?

Should I rather bring the groceries from the car trunk to the kitchen in 1 trip or in 2 trips? Even in a seemingly simple decision like this, multiple decision parameters are at odds. When doing a single trip, this bothersome task will certainly be finished more quickly but will require an intense physical effort

What Drives Cooperative Breeding?

Soon after W. D. Hamilton revolutionized behavioral ecology with his ground-breaking papers formalizing the theory of inclusive fitness [1], field biologists swarmed out into the world to critically examine behavioral phenomena that were potentially dependent on genetic relatedness for their evolution. Among the more notable of these behaviors was that of cooperative breeding, in which individuals of the same species beyond a breeding pair—“helpers” or “helpers at the nest”—appear to altruistically cooperate to raise young at a single nest or brood.

Seed size and its rate of evolution correlate with species diversification across angiosperms

Angiosperms are one of the most species-rich clades on Earth and have dominated terrestrial plant communities since the Late Cretaceous Period. The astounding diversity of flowering plants is distributed extremely unevenly across the Tree of Life (ToL). Each of the 5 most species-rich angiosperm families contains more than 10,000 species, while more than 200 families contain less than 100 species each.

Seawall Construction

Well-built seawalls have long been used as an inexpensive way to control coastal erosion. Seawalls are associated with reduced aesthetic value, and increased erosion at the ends and in front of the seawall.

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