Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot off the presses! Feb 01 Nat Rev Micro

The Feb 01 issue of the Nat Rev Micro is now up on Pubget (About Nat Rev Micro): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):77 (2011)

  • - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):78 (2011)
  • Microbial genetics: Social amoebae get ready for sex | PDF (150 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):79 (2011)
    Most eukaryotic microorganisms carry out sexual reproduction during their life cycles. Although significant progress has been made in the study of mating for several fungal species, little is known about sexual reproduction in protists.
  • Bacterial pathogenesis: Legionella effector under friendly fire | PDF (196 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):80 (2011)
    Legionella pneumophila uses a type IV secretion system to inject >100 effectors into the host cell in order to coordinate cellular processes such as membrane trafficking to the vacuole in which the bacterium replicates, innate immune responses and bacterial egress following replication. Although the biochemical function of most of these effectors is unknown, strict spatiotemporal regulation of their activity is likely to be required for the modulation of distinct host cell functions at different stages of infection.
  • Environmental microbiology: Boring bacteria? | PDF (141 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):80 (2011)
    Some microorganisms can bore into carbonate rock, such as limestone, an activity that has major implications for coastal erosion and the destruction of coral reefs. However, the mechanism by which these bacteria bore was previously unknown.
  • Virology: Host RNA editor restricts measles | PDF (130 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):80 (2011)
    Infection by measles virus (MV) can, with very low frequency, lead to a fatal neurodegenerative disease called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). The genomes of MV isolates from these patients show a very high rate of A-to-G mutations, which suggests that MV might be under selective pressure from a host defence mechanism that targets the viral RNA genome.
  • Biotechnology | Microbial ecology | Prions | PDF (137 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):81 (2011)
    Direct injection of functional single-domain antibodies from E. coli into human cells Blanco-Toribio, al. PLoS ONE 5, e15227 (2010)
  • Environmental microbiology: Biohydrogen production gets airborne | PDF (164 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):82 (2011)
    The potential for developing commercially viable microbial H2 production systems as a renewable source of biofuel has been limited by the need for an anaerobic environment to enable photobiological H2 production in capable bacterial and algal species. Writing in Nature Communications, Bandyopadhyay et al.Cyanothece sp.
  • Bacterial genetics: Can you hear me now? | PDF (178 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):82 (2011)
    A bacterial two-component system consists of a sensor kinase that senses signals in the environment and transfers this information through phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of a response regulator that induces a transcriptional response when phosphorylated. In bacteria that contain multiple two-component systems, the interaction between the sensor kinase and the response regulator is very specific to ensure that the correct response is initiated.
  • You cannot B. cereus | PDF (142 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):83 (2011)
    This month's Genome Watch looks at the different Bacillus species that can cause anthrax.
  • In the news | PDF (222 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):84 (2011)
    Since the 2009 reports linking xenotrophic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and prostate cancer, much debate has ensued in the retroviral community.
  • Evolution of multisubunit RNA polymerases in the three domains of life
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):85 (2011)
    RNA polymerases (RNAPs) carry out transcription in all living organisms. All multisubunit RNAPs are derived from a common ancestor, a fact that becomes apparent from their amino acid sequence, subunit composition, structure, function and molecular mechanisms. Despite the similarity of these complexes, the organisms that depend on them are extremely diverse, ranging from microorganisms to humans. Recent findings about the molecular and functional architecture of RNAPs has given us intriguing insights into their evolution and how their activities are harnessed by homologous and analogous basal factors during the transcription cycle. We provide an overview of the evolutionary conservation of and differences between the multisubunit polymerases in the three domains of life, and introduce the 'elongation first' hypothesis for the evolution of transcriptional regulation.
  • The good viruses: viral mutualistic symbioses
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):99 (2011)
    Although viruses are most often studied as pathogens, many are beneficial to their hosts, providing essential functions in some cases and conditionally beneficial functions in others. Beneficial viruses have been discovered in many different hosts, including bacteria, insects, plants, fungi and animals. How these beneficial interactions evolve is still a mystery in many cases but, as discussed in this Review, the mechanisms of these interactions are beginning to be understood in more detail.
  • Genetic control of Candida albicans biofilm development
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):109 (2011)
    Candida species cause frequent infections owing to their ability to form biofilms — surface-associated microbial communities — primarily on implanted medical devices. Increasingly, mechanistic studies have identified the gene products that participate directly in the development of Candida albicans biofilms, as well as the regulatory circuitry and networks that control their expression and activity. These studies have uncovered new mechanisms and signals that govern C. albicans biofilm development and associated drug resistance, thus providing biological insight and therapeutic foresight.
  • Microbial seed banks: the ecological and evolutionary implications of dormancy
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):119 (2011)
    Dormancy is a bet-hedging strategy used by a wide range of taxa, including microorganisms. It refers to an organism's ability to enter a reversible state of low metabolic activity when faced with unfavourable environmental conditions. Dormant microorganisms generate a seed bank, which comprises individuals that are capable of being resuscitated following environmental change. In this Review, we highlight mechanisms that have evolved in microorganisms to allow them to successfully enter and exit a dormant state, and discuss the implications of microbial seed banks for evolutionary dynamics, population persistence, maintenance of biodiversity, and the stability of ecosystem processes.
  • Exploiting plug-and-play synthetic biology for drug discovery and production in microorganisms
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):131 (2011)
    One of the most promising applications of synthetic biology is the biosynthesis of new drugs from secondary metabolites. Here, we survey a wide range of strategies that control the activity of biosynthetic modules in the cell in space and time, and illustrate how these strategies can be used to design efficient cellular synthetic production systems. Re-engineered versions of secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways identified from any genomic sequence can then be inserted into these systems in a plug-and-play fashion.
  • Health biotechnology innovation on a global stage
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(2):137 (2011)
    With increasing globalization, infectious diseases are spreading faster than ever before, creating an urgent need for international collaboration. The rise of emerging economies has changed the traditional collaborative landscape and provided opportunities for more diverse models of collaboration involving developing countries, including North–South, South–South and North–South–South partnerships. Here, we discuss how developing countries can partner with other nations to address their shared health problems and to promote innovation. We look specifically at what drives collaborations and at the challenges that exist for them, and we propose actions that can strengthen these partnerships.

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