Current Biology Feed

Subscribe to Current Biology Feed feed
Current Biology RSS feed.
Updated: 3 hours 6 min ago

Retraction Notice to: How birds outperform humans in multi-component behavior

Mon, 02/24/2020 - 00:00
(Current Biology 27, R996–R998; September 25, 2017)

CenH3-Independent Kinetochore Assembly in Lepidoptera Requires CCAN, Including CENP-T

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 00:00
The lepidopteran kinetochore lacks homologs of CenH3 and CENP-C. Cortes-Silva et al. describe that CENP-T, a newly identified kinetochore protein, and other CCAN homologs are essential for mitotic progression and kinetochore assembly and are conserved in independently derived CenH3-deficient insects.

Science that Inspires

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Science is evolving, and Cell Press is evolving too. You may have already noticed some of our growth and development, but this month we are moving into a new phase by rolling out the first elements of a new look for all of Cell Press. We have a new logo, a new color scheme that is unified across all that we do, and an underlying ethos that looks to the future of science and its role in society. We are a broader and more diverse organization than we used to be, with coverage across many scientific disciplines, and we have reached a point in our evolution where this type of external change is overdue.

Cave art reveals human nature

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Prehistoric artworks have been discovered on numerous cave walls around the world. They tell us about the minds and lives of ancient humans as well as about their relationship with the now extinct megafauna that surrounded them.

Harmit Malik

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Interview with Harmit Malik, who studies genetic conflict at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Beauty over the muck: appreciating wetlands via the tales of people

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Lying in the transitional zone between open water and dry land, wetlands are often muddy, squishy, lumpy, and sometimes smelly. And wetlands are jungles of dense, tangled weeds and breeding factories for mosquitoes and diseases. So not surprisingly, to many of us, wetlands are ugly and messy, certainly not as attractive as coral reefs, savannas, tropical rainforests, or ice-covered poles. Wetlands — the ugly duckling of landscapes — are considered obstacles, wastelands, and places for muck. So, who is going to care about wetlands and even devote their careers and lives to them? And why? Despite increased recognition of the importance of wetlands, these are questions that are still haunting the minds of many, including not only the general public but also young students who are beginning their graduate studies, even in ecology.

Hummingbird vision

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Hummingbirds are widely recognized by their hovering flight. In this Quick guide, Altshuler and Wylie describe the visual specializations that allow for the hummingbird’s flight abilities.

Mid-level vision

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
In this primer, Anderson provides an overview of some central topics in mid-level vision, highlighting some recent advances in our understanding of how the human visual system identifies different environmental sources of optical structure.

Ancient DNA reveals twenty million years of aquatic life in beavers

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Xenikoudakis et al. report a partial mitochondrial genome of the extinct giant beaver Castoroides and estimate the origin of aquatic behavior in beavers to approximately 20 million years. This time estimate coincides with the extinction of terrestrial beavers and raises the question whether the two events had a common cause.

Climate Change: Flowering Time May Be Shifting in Surprising Ways

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
A new study examined how flowering phenology has changed over the past three decades along an elevational gradient. These findings indicate that climate change is shifting flowering time in complex ways, even across local spatial gradients.

Bacterial Division: Journey to the Center of the Cell

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Most bacteria divide by corralling the tubulin-like FtsZ protein to mid-cell, where it assembles into a ring of treadmilling membrane-tethered oligomers. A study in this issue reveals new details about how FtsZ finds its way to the ring.

Marine Conservation: Reef Sharks Need Bigger Protected Areas

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
A new study finds that most marine protected areas around coral reefs are too small to protect reef-associated sharks.

Mate Choice: Should I Mate or Should I Go?

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
A mature virgin female fruit fly will initially resist copulation, while she assesses the desirability of her suitor. A new study identifies a neural circuit that controls rejection and shows how it changes from rejection to acceptance and copulation.

Lateral Root Initiation: The Emergence of New Primordia Following Cell Death

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
The development of lateral roots requires multiple mechanisms that act together for accurate spatiotemporal emergence of the new organ. A new paper shows how cell death in overlying endodermis cells contributes to the formation of new lateral root primordia.

Membrane Biology: Transmembrane Helices Need to Fit the Surrounding Fat

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
A new study compares two sister species of fission yeast that use very different fatty acids to make membrane lipids and reveals an adaptation in transmembrane helix lengths that maintains membrane protein functions.

Ancient Roots: The Hidden World of Deep-Time Forests Reveals a Secret of Global Change

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
As seen from its buried soil, the Earth’s oldest forest was diverse and grew on a periodically dry substrate, a new study shows. The sophisticated roots in this forest are reminiscent of modern seed plants, but come from Archaeopteris and, thus, predate the impact of seed-plant rooting on global forestation.

Cell Biology: Function Guides Form of Auditory Sensory Cells

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Mechanosensory bundles on auditory sensory cells are composed of stereocilia that grow in rows of decreasing height. This pattern depends on the specification of the eventual tallest row, then the assignment of distinct molecular identities to the shorter rows. Mechanotransduction refines and maintains row identity, instructing the bundle’s form.

Marine Life Cycle: A Polluted Terra Incognita Is Unveiled

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
Teleost fishes have a biphasic life cycle, with pelagic larvae dispersing in the open ocean and juveniles or adults living in reef or coastal environments. A recent study reveals that fish larvae concentrate in a specific oceanic compartment, the surface slicks, which are polluted by microplastics that can be ingested by most larvae.

Male-Specific Conditioned Pain Hypersensitivity in Mice and Humans

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 00:00
(Current Biology 29, 192–201.e1–e4; January 21, 2019)

Chromatin Organization in Early Land Plants Reveals an Ancestral Association between H3K27me3, Transposons, and Constitutive Heterochromatin

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 00:00
Montgomery et al. provide a chromosome-scale genome assembly of the early diverging land plant Marchantia polymorpha. Profiling of chromatin marks shows conserved roles of active marks and suggests an ancestral association between H3K27me3 and transposons that is partly retained in Marchantia and replaced by H3K9 methylation in flowering plants.