Cover: Limpets were fitted with light-emitting diodes so that their barely discernible movements could be recorded by automatic cameras. They were found to move very slowly but like sharks. Similar movement patterns, known as ‘Levy walks’, have been seen across all biological scales from the sub-cellular to the ecological level. They are evident in molecular motors, T cells, swarming bacteria, honeybees, a diverse range of aquatic marine predators, wandering albatrosses and even in human hunter-gatherers. Their origins and biological significance were the topic of a Company of Biologists’ Workshop, reported on by Andy Reynolds (see bio030106). Image by the University of Florence and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
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Current status and future directions of Lévy walk research
Summary: Movement patterns resembling Lévy walks are found in a wide variety of organisms, from cells to humans. In this Review the latest research into their origins and biological significance is discussed.
Dnd1-mediated epigenetic control of teratoma formation in mouse
Summary: Teratoma development from primordial germ cells is repressed by downregulation of Ccnd1 via histone H3 lysine 27 methylation controlled by Dnd1-mediated maintenance of Ezh2.
Niclosamide rescues microcephaly in a humanized in vivo model of Zika infection using human induced neural stem cells
Summary: Injecting hiNSCs into developing chick brains and systemically infecting with ZIKV produces embryos with severe microcephaly. Using this humanized model we show that niclosamide rescues ZIKV-induced microcephaly and decreases infection of hiNSCs in vivo.
A dual role of the extracellular domain of Drosophila Crumbs for morphogenesis of the embryonic neuroectoderm
Summary: Using a transgenomic approach we determine specific roles of the intra- and extracellular domain of the Crumbs protein for the maintenance of apico-basal epithelial polarity and epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila embryos.
miR-9a mediates the role of Lethal giant larvae as an epithelial growth inhibitor in Drosophila
Summary: Mir-9a overexpression can suppress the overgrowth phenotype caused by Lgl knock-down in epithelia. Gene profiling identifies pathways dysregulated in lgl mutants and shared features between flies and human cancer cells.
The GSK3 kinase inhibitor lithium produces unexpected hyperphosphorylation of β-catenin, a GSK3 substrate, in human glioblastoma cells
Summary: GSK3 inhibitors have potential use against Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. In this study, a classic inhibitor produced unexpected molecular effects on key components of the Wnt signaling pathway.
Assembly and turnover of neurofilaments in growing axonal neurites
Summary: Immunofluorescent and radiolabel analyses demonstrate that neurofilaments establish a resident population within growing axonal neurites that undergoes exchange with a surrounding, transporting pool.
Compensation for chronic oxidative stress in ALADIN null mice
Summary: ALADIN knock-out mice present with an unexpected compensated metabolism of glutathione after application of chronic oxidative stress, whilst lacking a phenotype resembling human triple A syndrome.
Feeding amount significantly alters overt tumor onset rate in a zebrafish melanoma model
Summary: The rate of tumor formation in a BRAF-driven zebrafish melanoma model can be significantly altered by increased feeding and opens a new avenue for studying the underlying metabolic pathways involved.
QTL mapping for microtuber dormancy and GA3 content in a diploid potato population
Summary: Quantitative trait locus’ (QTLs) for dormancy and gibberellic acid production in potato are localized to the same genomic region in potato.
Functional analysis of thyroid hormone receptor beta in Xenopus tropicalis founders using CRISPR-Cas
Summary: Using knocked-out Xenopus tropicalis founders generated by CRISPR-Cas, TRβ was shown to have significant effects on developmental timing but is not required for completion of metamorphosis.
LIF-activated Jak signaling determines Esrrb expression during late-stage reprogramming
Summary: Esrrb is a downstream target and effector of LIF during reprogramming. Forced Esrrb expression accelerates pluripotency establishment in the absence of LIF signaling. The activation of Esrrb is LIF dependent in the reprogramming process.
Hepatic metabolomic profiling changes along with postnatal liver maturation in breeder roosters
Summary: This study revealed that hepatic metabolomic changes are related to functional adaption in breeder roosters, which contribute to a better understanding of the hepatic metabolites composition differences during different periods.
An ancient conserved role for prion protein in learning and memory
Summary: Prion protein dysfunction at the synapse impacts learning in Alzheimer disease. Here, we demonstrate similar roles for prion protein in zebrafish, revealing ancient constructive roles for this infamously toxic protein.
Using genetic buffering relationships identified in fission yeast to reveal susceptibilities in cells lacking hamartin or tuberin function
Summary: We exploit the BioGRID gene interaction database to identify and characterize susceptibilities in fission yeast cells lacking tsc1 or tsc2, orthologs of the human TSC1 and TSC2 tumor suppressor genes.
JAK signaling regulates germline cyst breakdown and primordial follicle formation in mice
Summary: This research clarifies the important and distinct roles of JAK family members in primordial follicle formation of female mammals, and further explore the regulation mechanism of primordial follicle formation.
Chitin protects the gut epithelial barrier in a protochordate model of DSS-induced colitis
Summary: The protochordate, Ciona intestinalis, is defining conserved properties of gut mucosal barriers and inflammatory processes. Diverse model systems can benefit studies concerning human pathologies of the gut.
Gelsolin regulates proliferation, apoptosis and invasion in natural killer/T-cell lymphoma cells
Summary: GSN can suppress cell proliferation and invasion and promote apoptosis of YTS cells, and the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is likely to be involved in this process.
Insulin regulates multiple signaling pathways leading to monocyte/macrophage chemotaxis into the wound tissue
Summary: Insulin regulates multiple signaling pathways leading to monocyte/macrophage chemotaxis into the wound tissue, involving -Akt, SPAK/JNK, and p38 MAPK which in turn are involved in Rac1 activation. Furthermore, these results augment our understanding of the insulin-regulated wound inflammatory response.
Pharmacologic inhibition of phospholipase C in the brain attenuates early memory formation in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)
Summary: Intracellular signaling involved in early memory formation in insects is not fully understood. Here, we pharmacologically elucidated the role of phospholipase C in learning and memory in the honeybee.
Phosphatase PP2A and microtubule-mediated pulling forces disassemble centrosomes during mitotic exit
Summary: Centrosomes acquire and lose pericentriolar material during each cell cycle. We show that dephosphorylation and cortically directed forces disassemble pericentriolar material at the end of mitosis.
Selection against BALB/c strain cells in mouse chimaeras
Summary: BALB/c strain embryos contributed poorly to mouse aggregation chimaeras by E8.5. Selection appears linked to slow BALB/c development and might also explain the good ES cell contribution in BALB/c↔ES-cell chimaeras.
NGF reprograms metastatic melanoma to a bipotent glial-melanocyte neural crest-like precursor
Summary: We identify and test the function of nerve growth factor to reprogram human metastatic melanoma cells to a less aggressive phenotype. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper as part of the supplementary information.
In vitro and in vivo differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells generated from urine-derived cells into cardiomyocytes
Summary: We generated and verified iPS cells from urine-derived cells in a totally noninvasive manner and induced the differentiation of iPS cells into functional cardiomyocytes both in vitro and in vivo.
Thermoregulatory postures limit antipredator responses in peafowl
Summary: The head-tuck and leg-tuck postures of peafowl help conserve heat but can impair antipredator responses.
A novel assessment of the traction forces upon settlement of two typical marine fouling invertebrates using PDMS micropost arrays
Summary: The traction forces of two typical marine fouling invertebrates were quantitatively assessed by using PDMS micropost arrays and beam-bending theory.
Distribution of PEG-coated hollow polyelectrolyte microcapsules after introduction into the circulatory system and muscles of zebrafish
Summary: With remote physiological sensing in mind, the study explores the fate of fluorescent microcapsules with elastic shell after injection in bloodstream and muscles of adult zebrafish.
An attenuated quadruple gene mutant of Mycobacterium tuberculosis imparts protection against tuberculosis in guinea pigs
Summary: In this study, a mutant of M. tuberculosis with the deletion of four important genes has been evaluated in guinea pigs for its attenuation and protective efficacy against tuberculosis.
Cardiac-enriched BAF chromatin-remodeling complex subunit Baf60c regulates gene expression programs essential for heart development and function
Summary: Genetic deletion of Baf60c leads to embryonic cardiac hypoplasia and dysfunction. Baf60c coordinates a program of gene expression that regulates the fundamental functional properties of cardiomyocytes.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
A dual transcript-discovery approach to improve the delimitation of gene features from RNA-seq data in the chicken model
Summary: We combined genome-guided gene prediction and whole transcriptome assembly from RNA sequencing data to improve the chicken genome annotation. This method may be also applicable to other imperfectly annotated genomes.
Correction: The constant threat from a non-native predator increases tail muscle and fast-start swimming performance in Xenopus tadpoles
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