16,884 results match your criteria Current biology : CB[Journal]


Neurophysiology: Charting the Confluence of the Two Eyes' Information Streams.

Authors:
Jan W Brascamp

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R134-R136

Michigan State University, Department of Psychology, 316 Physics Road, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Electronic address:

In primates, the two eyes offer substantially overlapping views of the world. The information they provide is merged into a single, integrated, representation in visual cortex. New evidence changes long-standing ideas about how and where in the processing stream this happens. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.046DOI Listing
February 2019

Bird Evolution: Convergence Fits the Bill.

Authors:
Daniel J Field

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R132-R134

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB1 3AS, UK. Electronic address:

New fossils help pinpoint when some birds started relying on a seed-based diet and reveal that disparate bill shapes evolved repeatedly throughout bird evolutionary history. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.018DOI Listing
February 2019

Fungal Biology: Bidirectional Communication across Fungal Networks.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R130-R132

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA. Electronic address:

Protoplasmic flow carries signals through fungal networks, alerting distant regions to predators or new food sources. A new study now shows that, by regularly alternating its direction, this flow links up all parts of the network, revealing new degrees of control over flow within fungal networks. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.011DOI Listing
February 2019

Evolution: Decoy Receptors as Unique Weapons to Fight Pathogens.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R128-R130

Tumor Immunology Laboratory, LIFE Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Many pathogens must bind to entry receptors on the surfaces of host cells yet avoid any closely-related phagocytic decoy receptors on granulocytes that evolved as a host defense mechanism. The discovery of decoy-receptor polymorphisms in human populations now points to an evolutionary process that allows the host to catch up with pathogens. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.006DOI Listing
February 2019

Vocal Learning: Shaping by Social Reinforcement.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R125-R127

Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA; Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. Electronic address:

Animals modulate their behavior by interacting with others. Nevertheless, popular theories of vocal learning frequently overlook the role of ongoing social interactions. New research suggests that a social feedback loop between young male zebra finches and adult females guides the process of song learning. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.001DOI Listing
February 2019

Neuroscience: Sex Hormones at Work in the Neocortex.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R122-R125

Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 16 Barker Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, 16 Barker Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address:

Sex hormones have easy access to the brain and their receptors are expressed by cortical neurons. Until recently, little was known about what impact, if any, they have on cortical processing. New data reveal that estradiol potently alters inhibitory neurotransmission in the neocortex. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.013DOI Listing
February 2019

Invasion Ecology: Expanding Trade and the Dispersal of Alien Species.

Authors:
Hanno Seebens

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R120-R122

Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany. Electronic address:

China's ambitious aspirations to build a modern Silk Road will open new avenues for species to spread into regions outside their native range. A new study identifies 14 hot spots of biological invasions falling along the planned economic corridors. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.047DOI Listing
February 2019

Termites can decompose more than half of deadwood in tropical rainforest.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R118-R119

Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK.

Termite-mediated decomposition is an important, but often overlooked, component of the carbon cycle. Using a large-scale suppression experiment in Borneo, Griffiths et al. found that termites contribute between 58 and 64% of mass loss from dead wood. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.012DOI Listing
February 2019

A specialized prey-capture apparatus in mid-Cretaceous rove beetles.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R116-R117

State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China.

Cai et al. report specialized prey-capture structures in two species of the stenine rove beetles from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. The discovery provides critical information about the origin and early evolution of both the novel predatory structure and of the subfamily Steninae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.002DOI Listing
February 2019

Evolution of menopause.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R112-R115

Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn TR10 8BG, UK.

Johnstone and Cant introduce menopause and the phenomenon of an extended post-reproductive life found in humans and very few other mammals. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.048DOI Listing
February 2019

Triturus newts.

Authors:
Ben Wielstra

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(4):R110-R111

Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands; Naturalis Biodiversity Center, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Ben Wielstra introduces Eurasian newts of the genus Triturus. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.049DOI Listing
February 2019

Coordinated Emergence of Hippocampal Replay and Theta Sequences during Post-natal Development.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 1. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK. Electronic address:

Hippocampal place cells encode an animal's current position in space during exploration [1]. During sleep, hippocampal network activity recapitulates patterns observed during recent experience: place cells with overlapping spatial fields show a greater tendency to co-fire ("reactivation") [2], and temporally ordered and compressed sequences of place cell firing observed during wakefulness are reinstated ("replay") [3-5]. Reactivation and replay may underlie memory consolidation [6-10]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.005DOI Listing
February 2019

Spatial Attention Deficits Are Causally Linked to an Area in Macaque Temporal Cortex.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 9. Epub 2019 Feb 9.

Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Spatial neglect is a common clinical syndrome involving disruption of the brain's attention-related circuitry, including the dorsocaudal temporal cortex. In macaques, the attention deficits associated with neglect can be readily modeled, but the absence of evidence for temporal cortex involvement has suggested a fundamental difference from humans. To map the neurological expression of neglect-like attention deficits in macaques, we measured attention-related fMRI activity across the cerebral cortex during experimental induction of neglect through reversible inactivation of the superior colliculus and frontal eye fields. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.028DOI Listing
February 2019

E93 Integrates Neuroblast Intrinsic State with Developmental Time to Terminate MB Neurogenesis via Autophagy.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 5. Epub 2019 Feb 5.

Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA. Electronic address:

Most neurogenesis occurs during development, driven by the cell divisions of neural stem cells (NSCs). We use Drosophila to understand how neurogenesis terminates once development is complete, a process critical for neural circuit formation. We identified E93, a steroid-hormone-induced transcription factor that downregulates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) levels to activate autophagy for elimination of mushroom body (MB) neuroblasts. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.039DOI Listing
February 2019

Regulation of the Elongation Phase of Protein Synthesis Enhances Translation Accuracy and Modulates Lifespan.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 4. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Nutrition & Metabolism, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA, Australia; Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK; School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia; Hopwood Centre for Neurobiology, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA, Australia. Electronic address:

Maintaining accuracy during protein synthesis is crucial to avoid producing misfolded and/or non-functional proteins. The target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) pathway and the activity of the protein synthesis machinery are known to negatively regulate lifespan in many organisms, although the precise mechanisms involved remain unclear. Mammalian TORC1 signaling accelerates the elongation stage of protein synthesis by inactivating eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K), which, when active, phosphorylates and inhibits eEF2, which mediates the movement of ribosomes along mRNAs, thereby slowing down the rate of elongation. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.029DOI Listing
February 2019

Dissociable Components of Experience-Driven Attention.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 12. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Texas A&M University, 4235 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

What we pay attention to is influenced by current task goals (goal-directed attention) [1, 2], the physical salience of stimuli (stimulus-driven attention) [3-5], and selection history [6-12]. This third construct, which encompasses reward learning, aversive conditioning, and repetitive orienting behavior [12-18], is often characterized as a unitary mechanism of control that can be contrasted with the other two [12-14]. Here, we present evidence that two different learning processes underlie the influence of selection history on attention, with dissociable consequences for orienting behavior. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.030DOI Listing
February 2019

ATL3 Is a Tubular ER-Phagy Receptor for GABARAP-Mediated Selective Autophagy.

Curr Biol 2019 Jan 30. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Key Laboratory of Cell Proliferation and Differentiation of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Membrane Biology, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; Center for Quantitative Biology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. Electronic address:

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) consists of the nuclear envelope and both peripheral ER sheets and a peripheral tubular network [1, 2]. In response to physiological or pathological conditions, receptor-mediated selective ER-phagy, engulfing specific ER subdomains or components, is essential for ER turnover and homeostasis [3-6]. Four mammalian receptors for ER-phagy have been reported: FAM134B [7], reticulon 3 (RTN3) [8], SEC62 [9], and CCPG1 [10]. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09609822193007
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.041DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Cell-Size-Independent Spindle Checkpoint Failure Underlies Chromosome Segregation Error in Mouse Embryos.

Curr Biol 2019 Jan 17. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, 900 Rue St-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 0A9, Canada; Département d'Obstétrique-Gynécologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, 175 chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada. Electronic address:

Chromosome segregation errors during mammalian preimplantation development cause "mosaic" embryos comprising a mixture of euploid and aneuploid cells, which reduce the potential for a successful pregnancy [1-5], but why these errors are common is unknown. In most cells, chromosome segregation error is averted by the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which prevents anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C) activation and anaphase onset until chromosomes are aligned with kinetochores attached to spindle microtubules [6, 7], but little is known about the SAC's role in the early mammalian embryo. In C. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.042DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Acacia Ants Respond to Plant-Borne Vibrations Caused by Mammalian Browsers.

Curr Biol 2019 Jan 23. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, Bochum 44780, Germany.

Living in the African savanna is dangerous, especially for plants. Many plants therefore engage in mutualism with ants, in which plants provide food and shelter in exchange for protection against herbivores. Ants become alarmed when the plant takes on some sort of damage. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.007DOI Listing
January 2019

New Caledonian Crows Use Mental Representations to Solve Metatool Problems.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):686-692.e3. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

School of Psychology, University of Auckland, 23 Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.

One of the mysteries of animal problem-solving is the extent to which animals mentally represent problems in their minds. Humans can imagine both the solution to a problem and the stages along the way [1-3], such as when we plan one or two moves ahead in chess. The extent to which other animals can do the same is far less clear [4-25]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.008DOI Listing
February 2019

Natural Selection and Spatial Cognition in Wild Food-Caching Mountain Chickadees.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):670-676.e3. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

University of Nevada Reno, Department of Biology and Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Graduate Program, Reno, NV 89557, USA. Electronic address:

Understanding how differences in cognition evolve is one of the critical goals in cognitive ecology [1-5]. In food-caching species that rely on memory to recover caches, enhanced spatial cognition has been hypothesized to evolve via natural selection [2, 6-8], but there has been no direct evidence of natural selection acting on spatial memory. Food-caching mountain chickadees living at harsher, higher elevations, with greater reliance on cached food have better spatial learning abilities and larger hippocampi containing more and larger neurons compared to birds from milder, lower elevations [9, 10]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.006DOI Listing
February 2019

Using Geographic Distance as a Potential Proxy for Help in the Assessment of the Grandmother Hypothesis.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):651-656.e3. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Département de Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 boul. de l'Université, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada.

Life-history theory predicts that selection could favor the decoupling of somatic and reproductive senescence if post-reproductive lifespan (PRLS) provides additional indirect fitness benefits [1, 2]. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that prolonged PRLS evolved because post-reproductive grandmothers gain inclusive fitness benefits by helping their daughters and grandchildren [3, 4]. Because most historical human data do not report direct evidence of help, we hypothesized that geographic distance between individuals may be inversely related to their capacity to help. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.027DOI Listing
February 2019

Microtubule End-Clustering Maintains a Steady-State Spindle Shape.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):700-708.e5. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. Electronic address:

Each time a cell divides, the microtubule cytoskeleton self-organizes into the metaphase spindle: an ellipsoidal steady-state structure that holds its stereotyped geometry despite microtubule turnover and internal stresses [1-6]. Regulation of microtubule dynamics, motor proteins, microtubule crosslinking, and chromatid cohesion can modulate spindle size and shape, and yet modulated spindles reach and hold a new steady state [7-11]. Here, we ask what maintains any spindle steady-state geometry. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6383811PMC
February 2019

Adaptation to Host-Specific Bacterial Pathogens Drives Rapid Evolution of a Human Innate Immune Receptor.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):616-630.e5. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie, Fachbereich Biologie, Universität Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany; Konstanz Research School-Chemical Biology, Universität Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany. Electronic address:

The selective pressure by infectious agents is a major driving force in the evolution of humans and other mammals. Members of the carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule (CEACAM) family serve as receptors for bacterial pathogens of the genera Haemophilus, Helicobacter, Neisseria, and Moraxella, which engage CEACAMs via distinct surface adhesins. While microbial attachment to epithelial CEACAMs facilitates host colonization, recognition by CEACAM3, a phagocytic receptor expressed by granulocytes, eliminates CEACAM-binding bacteria. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.058DOI Listing
February 2019

Feature-Based Attention Samples Stimuli Rhythmically.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):693-699.e4. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Departments of Psychology and Cognitive Science, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Electronic address:

Attention supports the allocation of resources to relevant locations and objects in a scene. Under most conditions, several stimuli compete for neural representation. Attention biases neural representation toward the response associated with the attended object [1, 2]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.010DOI Listing
February 2019

Estrus-Cycle Regulation of Cortical Inhibition.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):605-615.e6. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philippstraße 13, Haus 6, 10115 Berlin, Germany; Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health; Neuroscience Research Center, NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Female mammals experience cyclical changes in sexual receptivity known as the estrus cycle. Little is known about how estrus affects the cortex, although alterations in sensation, cognition and the cyclical occurrence of epilepsy suggest brain-wide processing changes. We performed in vivo juxtacellular and whole-cell recordings in somatosensory cortex of female rats and found that the estrus cycle potently altered cortical inhibition. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.045DOI Listing
February 2019

Oldest Finch-Beaked Birds Reveal Parallel Ecological Radiations in the Earliest Evolution of Passerines.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):657-663.e1. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Beak shape plays a key role in avian radiations and is one of the most intensely studied aspects of avian evolution and ecology [1-4]. Perhaps no other group is more closely associated with the study of beak shape than Passeriformes (passerines or perching birds), the most species-rich ordinal clade of modern birds. However, despite their extraordinary present-day diversity, our understanding of early passerine evolution has been hindered by their sparse fossil record [5, 6]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.040DOI Listing
February 2019

The Long and Short of Hearing in the Mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):709-714.e4. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address:

Mating behavior in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes occurs mid-air and involves the exchange of auditory signals at close range (millimeters to centimeters) [1-6]. It is widely assumed that this intimate signaling distance reflects short-range auditory sensitivity of their antennal hearing organs to faint flight tones [7, 8]. To the contrary, we show here that male mosquitoes can hear the female's flight tone at surprisingly long distances-from several meters to up to 10 m-and that unrestrained, resting Ae. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.026DOI Listing
February 2019

Neural Substrates of Drosophila Larval Anemotaxis.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):554-566.e4. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 19700 Helix Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA; Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. Electronic address:

Animals use sensory information to move toward more favorable conditions. Drosophila larvae can move up or down gradients of odors (chemotax), light (phototax), and temperature (thermotax) by modulating the probability, direction, and size of turns based on sensory input. Whether larvae can anemotax in gradients of mechanosensory cues is unknown. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380933PMC
February 2019

Kisspeptin Neurons in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus Orchestrate Circadian Rhythms and Metabolism.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):592-604.e4. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address:

Successful reproduction in female mammals is precisely timed and must be able to withstand the metabolic demand of pregnancy and lactation. We show that kisspeptin-expressing neurons in the arcuate hypothalamus (Kiss1) of female mice control the daily timing of food intake, along with the circadian regulation of locomotor activity, sleep, and core body temperature. Toxin-induced silencing of Kiss1 neurons shifts wakefulness and food consumption to the light phase and induces weight gain. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.022DOI Listing
February 2019

Limits to Fitness Benefits of Prolonged Post-reproductive Lifespan in Women.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):645-650.e3. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Department of Biology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.

Recent advances in medicine and life-expectancy gains have fueled multidisciplinary research into the limits of human lifespan [1-3]. Ultimately, how long humans can live for may depend on selection favoring extended longevity in our evolutionary past [4]. Human females have an unusually extended post-reproductive lifespan, which has been explained by the fitness benefits provided from helping to raise grandchildren following menopause [5, 6]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.052DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

Epithelial Viscoelasticity Is Regulated by Mechanosensitive E-cadherin Turnover.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 7;29(4):578-591.e5. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, Dresden, Germany; Biotechnologisches Zentrum, Technische Universität Dresden, Tatzberg 47/49, Dresden, Germany; Center for Systems Biology Dresden, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, Dresden, Germany; Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life, Technische Universität Dresden, 01602 Dresden, Germany. Electronic address:

Studying how epithelia respond to mechanical stresses is key to understanding tissue shape changes during morphogenesis. Here, we study the viscoelastic properties of the Drosophila wing epithelium during pupal morphogenesis by quantifying mechanical stress and cell shape as a function of time. We find a delay of 8 h between maximal tissue stress and maximal cell elongation, indicating a viscoelastic deformation of the tissue. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.021DOI Listing
February 2019

Evolution: A Plant Plastid Genome that Has Forsaken Guanine and Cytosine.

Authors:
David Roy Smith

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R99-R101

Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

The plastid genomes of the non-photosynthetic plants Balanophora reflexa and B. laxiflora are among the most GC-biased genomes observed to date. A new study shows that ∼80% of the plastid-derived proteome is represented by only six amino acids, and several genes are in excess of 95% AT. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09609822183165
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.025DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

Shape Perception: Boundary Conditions on a Grey Area.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R97-R99

Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB, UK. Electronic address:

Modulations in light intensity across a visual image could be caused by a flat object with varying pigmentation, such as wallpaper, or differential light reflection from a three-dimensional shape made of uniform material, such as curtains. A new study identifies key image cues that help the brain work out which interpretation to select. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.015DOI Listing
February 2019

Brain Evolution: Mapping the Inner Neandertal.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R95-R97

Department of Anthropology and Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology, The George Washington University, USA.

Human populations that migrated out of Africa interbred with Neandertals. A new study assesses the effects of Neandertal gene variants on brain shape in modern humans, providing insights into the genomic basis of the uniquely globular human brain. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.024DOI Listing
February 2019

Palaeontology: The Rhynie Chert Is the Gift that Keeps on Giving.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R93-R95

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. Electronic address:

The earliest record of a terrestrial testate amoeba is reported. This provides further evidence that early terrestrial ecosystems were more complex and modern in aspect than previously considered, in terms of biota, ecological interactions and biogeochemical cycling. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.014DOI Listing
February 2019

Connectomics: Arrested Development.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R90-R92

University of Leipzig, Institute for Biology, Talstraße 33, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address:

Connectomics, the reconstruction of neuronal wiring diagrams via electron microscopy, is bringing us closer to understanding how brains organize behavior. But high-resolution imaging of the brain can do more. A new study now provides insights into how neuronal circuits develop. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.069DOI Listing
February 2019
1 Read

Symbiosis: Wolf Lichens Harbour a Choir of Fungi.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R88-R90

Living Systems Institute, Biosciences, University of Exeter, Geoffrey Pope Building, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK. Electronic address:

Identification of the fungus Tremella as a consistent fourth component of wolf lichens further challenges the conventional view of lichen symbiosis as a mutualistic interaction between two players. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.034DOI Listing
February 2019

Sleep: Rock and Swing versus Toss and Turn.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R86-R88

School of Psychology and Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. Electronic address:

It has been known for centuries that gentle rocking promotes sleep. Two new studies now shed light on the underlying mechanism in both humans and mice. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.035DOI Listing
February 2019

Electroencephalography.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R80-R85

The Laboratory for Investigative Neurophysiology (The LINE), Department of Radiology, University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland; Ophthalmology Department, University of Lausanne, Fondation Asile des Aveugles, Lausanne, Switzerland; EEG Brain Mapping Core, Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM) of Lausanne and Geneva, Lausanne, Switzerland; Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. Electronic address:

Electroencephalography (EEG) is the non-invasive measurement of the brain's electric fields. Electrodes placed on the scalp record voltage potentials resulting from current flow in and around neurons. EEG is nearly a century old: this long history has afforded EEG a rich and diverse spectrum of applications. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.052DOI Listing
February 2019

Defensive symbionts.

Authors:
Kayla C King

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R78-R80

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. Electronic address:

Interactions in nature vary from competitive to neutral to symbiotic. An interesting case of symbiosis is seen when one organism provides protection to the other-a relationship termed 'defensive symbiosis'. Kayla King highlights this interesting type of relationship, which can be found throughout the tree of life. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.028DOI Listing
February 2019

Developmental Biology: Go with the Flow to Keep the Body Straight.

Authors:
Daniel T Grimes

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):R101-R103

Institute of Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA. Electronic address:

It has long been noticed that zebrafish defective in ciliary beating develop abnormal body curvatures. Recently, insights into how cilia keep the body straight have emerged, with implications for understanding human scoliosis. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.011DOI Listing
February 2019

Hybridogenesis.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb;29(3):539

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.020DOI Listing
February 2019

Individual Dopaminergic Neurons of Lamprey SNc/VTA Project to Both the Striatum and Optic Tectum but Restrict Co-release of Glutamate to Striatum Only.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 31;29(4):677-685.e6. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

The Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solnavägen 9, Stockholm 171 65, Sweden.

Dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SNc) innervate both striatum and the superior colliculus in mammals, as well as its homolog the optic tectum in lampreys, belonging to the oldest group of living vertebrates [1-3]. In the lamprey, we have previously shown that the same neuron sends axonal branches to both striatum and the optic tectum [3]. Here, we show that most neurons in the lamprey SNc and ventral tegmental area (VTA) (also referred to as the nucleus of the posterior tuberculum) express not only tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), in lamprey a marker of dopaminergic neurons [4], but also the vesicular glutamate transporter (vGluT), suggesting that glutamate is a co-transmitter. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.004DOI Listing
February 2019

Diet Evolution and Habitat Contraction of Giant Pandas via Stable Isotope Analysis.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 31;29(4):664-669.e2. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservational Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation, Ministry of Education, China West Normal University, Nanchong 637009, China; Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China. Electronic address:

The ancestral panda Ailurarctos lufengensis, excavated from the late Miocene, is thought to be carnivorous or omnivorous [1]. Today, giant pandas exclusively consume bamboo and have distinctive tooth, skull, and muscle characteristics adapted to a tough and fibrous bamboo diet during their long evolution [1, 2]. A special feature, the pseudo-thumb, has evolved to permit the precise and efficient grasping of bamboo [3, 4]. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09609822193000
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.051DOI Listing
February 2019
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Inverse Control of Turning Behavior by Dopamine D1 Receptor Signaling in Columnar and Ring Neurons of the Central Complex in Drosophila.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 31;29(4):567-577.e6. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Department of Basic & Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, King's College London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Action selection is a prerequisite for decision-making and a fundamental aspect to any goal-directed locomotion; it requires integration of sensory signals and internal states to translate them into action sequences. Here, we introduce a novel behavioral analysis to study neural circuits and mechanisms underlying action selection and decision-making in freely moving Drosophila. We discovered preferred patterns of motor activity and turning behavior. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.017DOI Listing
February 2019

Female Social Feedback Reveals Non-imitative Mechanisms of Vocal Learning in Zebra Finches.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 31;29(4):631-636.e3. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Department of Psychology, Uris Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address:

Learning of song in birds provides a powerful model for human speech development [1-3]. However, the degree to which songbirds and humans share social mechanisms of vocal learning is unknown. Although it has been demonstrated as a vocal learning mechanism in human infants [3-6], learning via active social feedback is considered rare and atypical among non-human animals [7]. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.026DOI Listing
February 2019

Implicit Vocabulary Learning during Sleep Is Bound to Slow-Wave Peaks.

Curr Biol 2019 Feb 31;29(4):541-553.e7. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Institute of Psychology and Center for Cognition, Learning, and Memory, University of Bern, Fabrikstrasse 8, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

Learning while asleep is a dream of mankind, but is often deemed impossible because sleep lacks the conscious awareness and neurochemical milieu thought to be necessary for learning. Current evidence for sleep learning in humans is inconclusive. To explore conditions under which verbal learning might occur, we hypothesized that peaks of slow waves would be conducive to verbal learning because the peaks define periods of neural excitability. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.038DOI Listing
February 2019