Biology

Tumor Models: Tumor–Stroma Interactions Drive Neoplastic Transformation in Drosophila
Stromal cells play a supportive role in the initiation and progression of carcinomas. A new study in Drosophila implicates mesenchymal cells in supporting EGF receptor-driven tumor growth and cellular transformation of epithelial tissues.


Connecting the Cytoskeleton to the Endoplasmic Reticulum and Golgi
A tendency in cell biology is to divide and conquer. For example, decades of painstaking work have led to an understanding of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi structure, dynamics, and transport. In parallel, cytoskeletal researchers have revealed a fantastic diversity of structure and cellular function in both actin and microtubules. Increasingly, these areas overlap, necessitating an under...
Animal Evolution: Looking for the First Nervous System
The human brain is easily the most baffling bit of biology on the planet. How did the nervous system evolve? What came first: neurons or synaptic proteins? A new paper studying the pancake-shaped Trichoplax suggests it was not the neurons.


Endosymbiosis: Protein Targeting Further Erodes the Organelle/Symbiont Distinction
Many horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) from bacteria to insects have been described, but whether these genes are translated and where these proteins end up are unknown. New work in aphids shows that a protein resulting from an HGT is targeted to a bacterial symbiont.
Centrosome Duplication: Suspending a License by Phosphorylating a Template
Phosphorylation status of Sfi1, a structural component of yeast centrosome, governs centrosome duplication cycle, raising a possibility that licensing of centrosome duplication occurs by modulating Sfi1, which potentially acts as a template for a new centrosome.


Ape Gestures: Interpreting Chimpanzee and Bonobo Minds
Improving methods for studying primate interaction are providing new insights into the relationship between gesture and meaning in chimpanzee and bonobo communication.
Docking Interactions: Cell-Cycle Regulation and Beyond
In budding yeast, the mating pathway activates Far1 to inhibit G1 cyclins in complex with the cyclin dependent kinase (Cln-Cdk). Yet, the molecular mechanism has remained largely unclear for over 20 years. A recent report helps shed light on this regulation.

Coevolution: Puff Pollination in Tropical Flowers
A new study shows that birds plucking anthers of the Melastome, Axinaea, demonstrate a novel bird pollination mechanism. Each stamen of Axinaea offers a nutrient-rich berry-like food body that when bitten releases a puff of pollen allowing transfer to stigmas by wind or the pollen-dusted bird.
Palaeontology: Chinese Amber Insects Bridge the Gap
In the study of fossil insects, Chinese amber from Fushun has been largely overlooked. A new study now reveals a highly diverse biota and provides a wealth of new information on the past Asian insect fauna.

Hippocampal Neurons: Simulating the Spatial Structure of a Complex Maze
Hippocampal place neurons not only represent current location, but fire in sequences that appear to simulate past and future spatial trajectories. A recent study has found that the firing sequences match the structure of a complex maze, suggesting that the structure of the environment is encoded by the place system, perhaps to aid navigational planning.
Aphid gene of bacterial origin encodes a protein transported to an obligate endosymbiont
Nakabachi et al. demonstrate that a protein encoded in the aphid genome is transported into Buchnera symbionts. As transport of host-encoded proteins to organelles is a defining feature of organelles, this work suggests that the division between organelles and symbionts may not be so clear cut.

Connecting with the natural world
Today’s technology, from smartphones to drones, provides researchers and conservation workers with many new and improved ways of observing and protecting wildlife. Michael Gross reports.
Expression of ghrelin and its receptor in rats after coronary artery ligation
Ghrelin is a novel growth hormone-releasing peptide, which has been shown to exert beneficial effects on cardiac function and ventricular remodeling. The present study aimed to investigate the expression of ghrelin and the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor 1a (GHSR-1a), and the association with cardiac remodeling in rats with myocardial infarction (MI). Twenty-four hours after ligation ...
A new and efficient micropropagation method and its breeding applications in Asparagus genera
Cultivated asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) is an economically important plant worldwide. “Morado de Huetor” is a Spanish autochthonous landrace characterized by their longevity, organoleptic characteristics, differential biocompound content and high heterozygosity, resulting in heterogeneous plantations with limited productivity. Consequently, this landrace suffers high risk of extinct...
MXD3 regulation of DAOY cell proliferation dictated by time course of activation
MXD3 is a basic-helix-loop-helix-leucine-zipper transcription factor involved in cellular proliferation. In previous studies we demonstrated that knock-down of MXD3 in the human medulloblastoma cell line DAOY resulted in decreased proliferation. Surprisingly, overexpression of MXD3 in DAOY cells also decreased proliferation and increased cell death, suggesting that persistent expression of MXD3...