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Communicative & Integrative Biology

Thomas E Marler, Anders J Lindström
Conservation agencies charged with care of threatened plant species should be governed by the concepts that conservation actions should do no harm. Adaptive management research progresses in imperfect situations due to incomplete knowledge. Interpreting new experimental or observational evidence for inclusion in conservation plans should first consider the big picture by identifying collateral quandaries before scaling up the approach to large-scale implementation. We discuss a case study of Cycas micronesica conservation activities on the island of Guam...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
D D Vorontsov, V E Dyakonova
We have recently demonstrated that preceding motor activity can facilitate decision-making not only in humans and mammals but also in molluscs.5 In the behavioral paradigm used, snails Lymnaea stagnalis were removed from their natural environment (water) and placed in a dry, asymmetrically lit arena from which they had to decide which way to go in order to reach an aquatic environment. One possible explanation of the observed effects of preceding motor activity was that it could affect the snail's memory of light conditions that corresponded to its previous aquatic habitat...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Erik T Frank, K Eduard Linsenmair
Rescue behavior focused on injured individuals has rarely been observed in animals. These observations though are from very different taxa's: birds, mammals and social insects. Here we discuss likely antecedents to rescue behaviors in ants, like social carrying and alarm pheromones. We then compare similarities and preconditions necessary for rescue behavior focused on injured individuals to evolve across taxa's: a high value of individuals, a high injury risk and social interaction. Ultimately we argue that a similar problem, how to rescue injured group members, has led to different mechanisms to save injured individuals across different taxa...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Pasquale Stano, Emiliano Altamura, Fabio Mavelli
Important progresses have been achieved in the past years in the field of bottom-up synthetic biology, especially aiming at constructing cell-like systems based on lipid vesicles (liposomes) entrapping both biomolecules or synthetic compounds. These "synthetic cells" mimic the behaviour of biological cells but are constituted by a minimal number of components. One key aspect related to this research is the energetic needs of synthetic cells. Up to now, high-energy compounds have been given in order to drive biochemical reactions inside the vesicle lumen...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
David T Blake, Alvin V Terry, Marc Plagenhoef, Christos Constantinidis, Ruifeng Liu
The brain's cholinergic arousal pathways decline in parallel with the brain's executive functions in aging and Alzheimer's Disease. The frontline and currently most effective approach to treating Alzheimer's disease is the administration of cholinesterase inhibitors, which, in a dose dependent manner, improve the symptoms of cognitive decline over the first months of treatment before further decline occurs. We recently showed that intermittent deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert improves working memory function in young adult monkeys, and that this improvement depended on cholinergic function...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Luc H Arnal, Andreas K Kleinschmidt
The ability to precisely anticipate the timing of upcoming events at the time-scale of seconds is essential to predict objects' trajectories or to select relevant sensory information. What neurophysiological mechanism underlies the temporal precision in anticipating the occurrence of events? In a recent article,1 we demonstrated that the sensori-motor system predictively controls neural oscillations in time to optimize sensory selection. However, whether and how the same oscillatory processes can be used to keep track of elapsing time and evaluate short durations remains unclear...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
T Hassenkam, M T Rosing
3.7 Billion year old inclusions inside garnet crystals contain 13C depleted carbonaceous material consistent with biogenic origin. Additional evidence in the form of the other elements of life mainly O, N and P were found to be structural bound to this material by using a new technique, AFM-IR. Here we show additional evidence that support our claim. By overlaying maps generated by the AFM-IR we show how the location of 100's of nm sized contiguous domains of nitrile and possibly phosphonate overlap inside the inclusion...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Diana Molino, Anna Chiara Nascimbeni, Francesca Giordano, Patrice Codogno, Etienne Morel
Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER), spreading in the whole cell cytoplasm, is a central player in eukaryotic cell homeostasis, from plants to mammals. Beside crucial functions, such as membrane lipids and proteins synthesis and outward transport, the ER is able to connect to virtually every endomembrane compartment by specific tethering molecular machineries, which enables the establishment of membrane-membrane contact sites. ER-mitochondria contact sites have been shown to be involved in autophagosome biogenesis, the main organelle of the autophagy degradation pathway...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Akifumi Sugiyama, Yusuke Unno, Ui Ono, Emon Yoshikawa, Hideyuki Suzuki, Kiwamu Minamisawa, Kazufumi Yazaki
Since the domestication of soybean (Glycine max) about 4,500 years ago, thousands of local cultivars have been developed around the world. In Japan, black soybeans grown in the mountainous region of central Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, called the Tamba region, are well known for large seeds and palatability. The yields of black soybean in the Tamba region of Kyoto have decreased during the past few decades, and the involvement of rhizosphere microbes in the yield decline has been suggested. We analyzed bacterial communities of the soybean rhizosphere on 7 farms managed under different strategies...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Míriam Osés-Ruiz, Nicholas J Talbot
The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae forms a specialized infection structure called appressorium which uses a turgor-driven mechanical process to breach the leaf cuticle and gain entry into plant tissue. Appressorium development and plant infection are regulated by cell cycle progression and critically depend upon two, temporally separated S-phase checkpoints. Following conidial germination on the rice leaf surface, an S-phase checkpoint is essential for appressorium differentiation and operates through the DNA damage response pathway...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Francisco Sarmento Mesquita, Cláudia Brito, Didier Cabanes, Sandra Sousa
Following damage by pore forming toxins (PFTs) host cells engage repair processes and display profound cytoskeletal remodeling and concomitant plasma membrane (PM) blebbing. We have recently demonstrated that host cells utilize similar mechanisms to control cytoskeletal dynamics in response to PFTs and during cell migration. This involves assembly of cortical actomyosin bundles, reorganisation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network, and the interaction between the ER chaperone Gp96 and the molecular motor Non-muscle Myosin Heavy Chain IIA (NMHCIIA)...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Zahid Padamsey, Lindsay McGuinness, Nigel J Emptage
A growing body of evidence suggests that lysosomes, which have traditionally been regarded as degradative organelles, can function as Ca2+ stores, regulated by the second messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). We previously demonstrated that in hippocampal pyramidal neurons, activity-dependent Ca2+ release from these stores triggers fusion of the lysosome with the plasma membrane. We found that the physiological role of this Ca2+-dependent fusion was to maintain the long-term structural enlargement of dendritic spines induced by synaptic activity...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Jaroslav Flegr
The parasite Toxoplasma needs to get from its intermediate hosts, e.g. rodents, to its definitive hosts, cats, by predation. To increase the probability of this occurrence, Toxoplasma manipulates the behavior of its hosts, for example, by the demethylation of promoters of certain genes in the host's amygdala. After this modification, the stimuli that normally activate fear-related circuits, e.g., the smell of a cat in mice, or smell of leopards in chimpanzees, start to additionally co-activate sexual arousal-related circuits in the infected animals...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Guenther Witzany
Current knowledge of the RNA world indicates 2 different genetic codes being present throughout the living world. In contrast to non-coding RNAs that are built of repetitive nucleotide syntax, the sequences that serve as templates for proteins share-as main characteristics-a non-repetitive syntax. Whereas non-coding RNAs build groups that serve as regulatory tools in nearly all genetic processes, the coding sections represent the evolutionarily successful function of the genetic information storage medium. This indicates that the differences in their syntax structure are coherent with the differences of the functions they represent...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Christopher Krupenye, Fumihiro Kano, Satoshi Hirata, Josep Call, Michael Tomasello
Much debate concerns whether any nonhuman animals share with humans the ability to infer others' mental states, such as desires and beliefs. In a recent eye-tracking false-belief task, we showed that great apes correctly anticipated that a human actor would search for a goal object where he had last seen it, even though the apes themselves knew that it was no longer there. In response, Heyes proposed that apes' looking behavior was guided not by social cognitive mechanisms but rather domain-general cueing effects, and suggested the use of inanimate controls to test this alternative submentalizing hypothesis...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Arnold De Loof
Cells are powerful miniature electrophoresis chambers, at least during part of their life cycle. They die at the moment the voltage gradient over their plasma membrane, and their ability to drive a self-generated electric current carried by inorganic ions through themselves irreversibly collapses. Senescence is likely due to the progressive, multifactorial damage to the cell's electrical system. This is the essence of the "Fading electricity theory of aging" (De Loof et al., Aging Res. Rev. 2013;12:58-66)...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Ronghui Pan, Jianping Hu
Peroxisomes, chloroplasts, and mitochondria are essential eukaryotic organelles that host a suite of metabolic processes crucial to energy metabolism and development. Regulatory mechanisms of the dynamics and biogenesis of these important organelles have begun to be discovered in plants. We recently showed that, aside from its previously reported role in targeting chloroplast protein import proteins, the Arabidopsis ubiquitin E3 ligase SP1 (suppressor of ppi1 locus1) negatively regulates peroxisome matrix protein import by promoting the ubiquitination and destabilization of PEX13 and possibly PEX14 and other components of the peroxisome protein import apparatus...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Pablo Lujan, Teresa Rubio, Giulia Varsano, Maja Köhn
The maintenance of the epithelial architecture during tissue proliferation is achieved by apical positioning of the midbody after cell division. Consequently, midbody mislocalization contributes to epithelial architecture disruption, a fundamental event during epithelial tumorigenesis. Studies in 3D polarized epithelial MDCK or Caco2 cell models, where midbody misplacement leads to multiple ectopic but fully polarized lumen-containing cysts, revealed that this phenotype can be caused by 2 different scenarios: the loss of mitotic spindle orientation or the loss of asymmetric abscission...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Alexander E Pozhitkov, Peter A Noble
We previously reported that thousands of transcripts in the mouse and zebrafish significantly increased in abundance in a time series spanning from life to several days after death. Transcript abundances were determined by: calibrating each microarray probe using a dilution series of pooled RNAs, fitting the probe-responses to adsorption models, and back-calculating abundances using the probe signal intensity of a sample and the best fitting model. The accuracy of the abundance measurements was not assessed in our previous study because individual transcript concentrations in the calibration pool were not known...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
U Mettbach, M Strnad, S Mancuso, F Baluška
Immunogold electron microscopy (EM) study of Arabidopsis root apices analyzed using specific IAA antibody and high-pressure freeze fixation technique allowed, for the first time, vizualization of subcellular localization of IAA in cells assembled intactly within plant tissues. Our quantitative analysis reveals that there is considerable portion of IAA gold particles that clusters within vesicles and membraneous compartments in all root apex cells. There are clear tissue-specific and developmental differences of clustered IAA in root apices...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
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