Unusual morphology in the mid-Cretaceous lizard Oculudentavis
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 9:S0960-9822(21)00738-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.040. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTOculudentavis khaungraae was described based on a tiny skull trapped in amber. The slender tapering rostrum with retracted narial openings, large eyes, and short vaulted braincase led to its identification as the smallest avian dinosaur on record, comparable to the smallest living hummingbirds. Despite its bird-like appearance, Oculudentavis showed several features inconsistent with its original phylogenetic placement. Here, we describe a more complete specimen that demonstrates Oculudentavis is actually a bizarre liz...
Source: Current Biology - June 15, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Arnau Bolet Edward L Stanley Juan D Daza J Salvador Arias Andrej Čerňanský Marta Vidal-Garc ía Aaron M Bauer Joseph J Bevitt Adolf Peretti Susan E Evans Source Type: research

Cytokinins initiate secondary growth in the Arabidopsis root through a set of LBD genes
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 8:S0960-9822(21)00734-X. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.036. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTDuring primary growth, plant tissues increase their length, and as these tissues mature, they initiate secondary growth to increase thickness.1 It is not known what activates this transition to secondary growth. Cytokinins are key plant hormones regulating vascular development during both primary and secondary growth. During primary growth of Arabidopsis roots, cytokinins promote procambial cell proliferation2,3 and vascular patterning together with the hormone auxin.4-7 In the absence of cytokinins, secondary growth ...
Source: Current Biology - June 15, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Lingling Ye Xin Wang Munan Lyu Riccardo Siligato Gugan Eswaran Leo Vainio Tiina Blomster Jing Zhang Ari Pekka M ähönen Source Type: research

Dorsal landmark navigation in a Neotropical nocturnal bee
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00718-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.029. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBees, ants, and wasps are well known to visually navigate when traveling between their nests and foraging sites. When leaving their nest, landmarks in the vicinity are memorized and used upon return to locate the nest entrance.1,2 The Neotropical nocturnal sweat bee Megalopta genalis navigates under the forest canopy at light intensities ten times dimmer than starlight.3 Despite these dim conditions, Megalopta is able to memorize visual landmarks around the nest entrance in the frontal visual field.4 Even though front...
Source: Current Biology - June 11, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Sandra Chaib Marie Dacke William Wcislo Eric Warrant Source Type: research

Dorsal landmark navigation in a Neotropical nocturnal bee
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00718-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.029. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBees, ants, and wasps are well known to visually navigate when traveling between their nests and foraging sites. When leaving their nest, landmarks in the vicinity are memorized and used upon return to locate the nest entrance.1,2 The Neotropical nocturnal sweat bee Megalopta genalis navigates under the forest canopy at light intensities ten times dimmer than starlight.3 Despite these dim conditions, Megalopta is able to memorize visual landmarks around the nest entrance in the frontal visual field.4 Even though front...
Source: Current Biology - June 11, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Sandra Chaib Marie Dacke William Wcislo Eric Warrant Source Type: research

Dorsal landmark navigation in a Neotropical nocturnal bee
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00718-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.029. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBees, ants, and wasps are well known to visually navigate when traveling between their nests and foraging sites. When leaving their nest, landmarks in the vicinity are memorized and used upon return to locate the nest entrance.1,2 The Neotropical nocturnal sweat bee Megalopta genalis navigates under the forest canopy at light intensities ten times dimmer than starlight.3 Despite these dim conditions, Megalopta is able to memorize visual landmarks around the nest entrance in the frontal visual field.4 Even though front...
Source: Current Biology - June 11, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Sandra Chaib Marie Dacke William Wcislo Eric Warrant Source Type: research

Extensive cone-dependent spectral opponency within a discrete zone of the lateral geniculate nucleus supporting mouse color vision
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00713-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.024. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTColor vision, originating with opponent processing of spectrally distinct photoreceptor signals, plays important roles in animal behavior.1-4 Surprisingly, however, comparatively little is understood about color processing in the brain, including in widely used laboratory mammals such as mice. The retinal gradient in S- and M-cone opsin (co-)expression has traditionally been considered an impediment to mouse color vision.5-8 However, recent data indicate that mice exhibit robust chromatic discrimination within the cen...
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Josh W Mouland Abigail Pienaar Christopher Williams Alex J Watson Robert J Lucas Timothy M Brown Source Type: research

Generation of anisotropic strain dysregulates wild-type cell division at the interface between host and oncogenic tissue
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00712-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.023. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTEpithelial tissues are highly sensitive to anisotropies in mechanical force, with cells altering fundamental behaviors, such as cell adhesion, migration, and cell division.1-5 It is well known that, in the later stages of carcinoma (epithelial cancer), the presence of tumors alters the mechanical properties of a host tissue and that these changes contribute to disease progression.6-9 However, in the earliest stages of carcinoma, when a clonal cluster of oncogene-expressing cells first establishes in the epithelium, th...
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Megan Moruzzi Alexander Nestor-Bergmann Georgina K Goddard Nawseen Tarannum Keith Brennan Sarah Woolner Source Type: research

Predictive visuo-motor communication through neural oscillations
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00715-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.026. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe mechanisms coordinating action and perception over time are poorly understood. The sensory cortex needs to prepare for upcoming changes contingent on action, and this requires temporally precise communication that takes into account the variable delays between sensory and motor processing. Several theorists1,2 have proposed synchronization of the endogenous oscillatory activity observed in most regions of the brain3 as the basis for an efficient and flexible communication protocol between distal brain areas,2,4 a ...
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Alessandro Benedetto Paola Binda Mauro Costagli Michela Tosetti Maria Concetta Morrone Source Type: research

An ammonium transporter is a non-canonical olfactory receptor for ammonia
We report two hitherto unidentified olfactory neuron populations that mediate neuronal and behavioral responses to ammonia in Drosophila. Their endogenous ammonia responses are lost in Amt mutant flies, and ectopic expression of either Drosophila or Anopheles Amt confers ammonia sensitivity. These results suggest that Amt is the first transporter known to function as an olfactory receptor in animals and that its function may be conserved across insect species.PMID:34111404 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.025 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Alina Vulpe Hyong S Kim Sydney Ballou Shiuan-Tze Wu Veit Grabe Cesar Nava Gonzales Tiffany Liang Silke Sachse James M Jeanne Chih-Ying Su Karen Menuz Source Type: research

Extensive cone-dependent spectral opponency within a discrete zone of the lateral geniculate nucleus supporting mouse color vision
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00713-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.024. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTColor vision, originating with opponent processing of spectrally distinct photoreceptor signals, plays important roles in animal behavior.1-4 Surprisingly, however, comparatively little is understood about color processing in the brain, including in widely used laboratory mammals such as mice. The retinal gradient in S- and M-cone opsin (co-)expression has traditionally been considered an impediment to mouse color vision.5-8 However, recent data indicate that mice exhibit robust chromatic discrimination within the cen...
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Josh W Mouland Abigail Pienaar Christopher Williams Alex J Watson Robert J Lucas Timothy M Brown Source Type: research

Generation of anisotropic strain dysregulates wild-type cell division at the interface between host and oncogenic tissue
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00712-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.023. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTEpithelial tissues are highly sensitive to anisotropies in mechanical force, with cells altering fundamental behaviors, such as cell adhesion, migration, and cell division.1-5 It is well known that, in the later stages of carcinoma (epithelial cancer), the presence of tumors alters the mechanical properties of a host tissue and that these changes contribute to disease progression.6-9 However, in the earliest stages of carcinoma, when a clonal cluster of oncogene-expressing cells first establishes in the epithelium, th...
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Megan Moruzzi Alexander Nestor-Bergmann Georgina K Goddard Nawseen Tarannum Keith Brennan Sarah Woolner Source Type: research

Predictive visuo-motor communication through neural oscillations
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00715-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.026. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe mechanisms coordinating action and perception over time are poorly understood. The sensory cortex needs to prepare for upcoming changes contingent on action, and this requires temporally precise communication that takes into account the variable delays between sensory and motor processing. Several theorists1,2 have proposed synchronization of the endogenous oscillatory activity observed in most regions of the brain3 as the basis for an efficient and flexible communication protocol between distal brain areas,2,4 a ...
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Alessandro Benedetto Paola Binda Mauro Costagli Michela Tosetti Maria Concetta Morrone Source Type: research

An ammonium transporter is a non-canonical olfactory receptor for ammonia
We report two hitherto unidentified olfactory neuron populations that mediate neuronal and behavioral responses to ammonia in Drosophila. Their endogenous ammonia responses are lost in Amt mutant flies, and ectopic expression of either Drosophila or Anopheles Amt confers ammonia sensitivity. These results suggest that Amt is the first transporter known to function as an olfactory receptor in animals and that its function may be conserved across insect species.PMID:34111404 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.025 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 10, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Alina Vulpe Hyong S Kim Sydney Ballou Shiuan-Tze Wu Veit Grabe Cesar Nava Gonzales Tiffany Liang Silke Sachse James M Jeanne Chih-Ying Su Karen Menuz Source Type: research

Desmosomes polarize and integrate chemical and mechanical signaling to govern epidermal tissue form and function
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00680-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.021. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe epidermis is a stratified epithelium in which structural and functional features are polarized across multiple cell layers. This type of polarity is essential for establishing the epidermal barrier, but how it is created and sustained is poorly understood. Previous work identified a role for the classic cadherin/filamentous-actin network in establishment of epidermal polarity. However, little is known about potential roles of the most prominent epidermal intercellular junction, the desmosome, in establishing epide...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Joshua A Broussard Jennifer L Koetsier Marihan Hegazy Kathleen J Green Source Type: research

Sleep deprivation results in diverse patterns of synaptic scaling across the Drosophila mushroom bodies
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00677-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.018. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTSleep is essential for a variety of plastic processes, including learning and memory. However, the consequences of insufficient sleep on circuit connectivity remain poorly understood. To better appreciate the effects of sleep loss on synaptic connectivity across a memory-encoding circuit, we examined changes in the distribution of synaptic markers in the Drosophila mushroom body (MB). Protein-trap tags for active zone components indicate that recent sleep time is inversely correlated with Bruchpilot (BRP) abundance in...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Jacqueline T Weiss Jeffrey M Donlea Source Type: research

KATANIN and CLASP function at different spatial scales to mediate microtubule response to mechanical stress in Arabidopsis cotyledons
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00678-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.019. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTMechanical stress influences cell- and tissue-scale processes across all kingdoms. It remains challenging to delineate how mechanical stress, originating at these different length scales, impacts cell and tissue form. We combine growth tracking of cells, quantitative image analysis, as well as molecular and mechanical perturbations to address this problem in pavement cells of Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledon tissue. We show that microtubule organization based on chemical signals and cell-shape-derived mechanical stress ...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Ryan C Eng Ren é Schneider Timon W Matz Ross Carter David W Ehrhardt Henrik J önsson Zoran Nikoloski Arun Sampathkumar Source Type: research

Natural environment statistics in the upper and lower visual field are reflected in mouse retinal specializations
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00676-X. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.017. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTPressures for survival make sensory circuits adapted to a species' natural habitat and its behavioral challenges. Thus, to advance our understanding of the visual system, it is essential to consider an animal's specific visual environment by capturing natural scenes, characterizing their statistical regularities, and using them to probe visual computations. Mice, a prominent visual system model, have salient visual specializations, being dichromatic with enhanced sensitivity to green and UV in the dorsal and ventral r...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Yongrong Qiu Zhijian Zhao David Klindt Magdalena Kautzky Klaudia P Szatko Frank Schaeffel Katharina Rifai Katrin Franke Laura Busse Thomas Euler Source Type: research

Desmosomes polarize and integrate chemical and mechanical signaling to govern epidermal tissue form and function
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00680-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.021. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe epidermis is a stratified epithelium in which structural and functional features are polarized across multiple cell layers. This type of polarity is essential for establishing the epidermal barrier, but how it is created and sustained is poorly understood. Previous work identified a role for the classic cadherin/filamentous-actin network in establishment of epidermal polarity. However, little is known about potential roles of the most prominent epidermal intercellular junction, the desmosome, in establishing epide...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Joshua A Broussard Jennifer L Koetsier Marihan Hegazy Kathleen J Green Source Type: research

Sleep deprivation results in diverse patterns of synaptic scaling across the Drosophila mushroom bodies
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 3:S0960-9822(21)00677-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.018. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTSleep is essential for a variety of plastic processes, including learning and memory. However, the consequences of insufficient sleep on circuit connectivity remain poorly understood. To better appreciate the effects of sleep loss on synaptic connectivity across a memory-encoding circuit, we examined changes in the distribution of synaptic markers in the Drosophila mushroom body (MB). Protein-trap tags for active zone components indicate that recent sleep time is inversely correlated with Bruchpilot (BRP) abundance in...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Jacqueline T Weiss Jeffrey M Donlea Source Type: research

KATANIN and CLASP function at different spatial scales to mediate microtubule response to mechanical stress in Arabidopsis cotyledons
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00678-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.019. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTMechanical stress influences cell- and tissue-scale processes across all kingdoms. It remains challenging to delineate how mechanical stress, originating at these different length scales, impacts cell and tissue form. We combine growth tracking of cells, quantitative image analysis, as well as molecular and mechanical perturbations to address this problem in pavement cells of Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledon tissue. We show that microtubule organization based on chemical signals and cell-shape-derived mechanical stress ...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Ryan C Eng Ren é Schneider Timon W Matz Ross Carter David W Ehrhardt Henrik J önsson Zoran Nikoloski Arun Sampathkumar Source Type: research

Natural environment statistics in the upper and lower visual field are reflected in mouse retinal specializations
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00676-X. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.017. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTPressures for survival make sensory circuits adapted to a species' natural habitat and its behavioral challenges. Thus, to advance our understanding of the visual system, it is essential to consider an animal's specific visual environment by capturing natural scenes, characterizing their statistical regularities, and using them to probe visual computations. Mice, a prominent visual system model, have salient visual specializations, being dichromatic with enhanced sensitivity to green and UV in the dorsal and ventral r...
Source: Current Biology - June 9, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Yongrong Qiu Zhijian Zhao David Klindt Magdalena Kautzky Klaudia P Szatko Frank Schaeffel Katharina Rifai Katrin Franke Laura Busse Thomas Euler Source Type: research

Mitotic recombination between homologous chromosomes drives genomic diversity in diatoms
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 2:S0960-9822(21)00672-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.013. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTDiatoms, an evolutionarily successful group of microalgae, display high levels of intraspecific genetic variability in natural populations. However, the contribution of various mechanisms generating such diversity is unknown. Here we estimated the genetic micro-diversity within a natural diatom population and mapped the genomic changes arising within clonally propagated diatom cell cultures. Through quantification of haplotype diversity by next-generation sequencing and amplicon re-sequencing of selected loci, we docu...
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Petra Bulankova Mirna Sekuli ć Denis Jallet Charlotte Nef Cock van Oosterhout Tom O Delmont Ilse Vercauteren Cristina Maria Osuna-Cruz Emmelien Vancaester Thomas Mock Koen Sabbe Fayza Daboussi Chris Bowler Wim Vyverman Klaas Vandepoele Lieven De Veylder Source Type: research

Dori Derdikman
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R699-R701. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.058.ABSTRACTInterview with Dori Derdikman, who studies spatial memory and navigation at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.PMID:34102112 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.058 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Dori Derdikman Source Type: research

Foveal vision
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R701-R703. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.097.ABSTRACTWilliam Tuten and Wolf Harmening introduce the anatomical and functional signatures of foveated vision in humans.PMID:34102113 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.097 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: William S Tuten Wolf M Harmening Source Type: research

Leonardo da Vinci and the search for order in neuroscience
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R704-R709. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.098.ABSTRACTFinding order in disorder is a hallmark of science and art. In the time of Leonardo da Vinci, the schism between science and art had yet to arise. In fact, Leonardo freely used scientific methods for his art and vice versa; for example, when he used his observations of turbulent, whirling water to guide his artistic imagination. Half a millennium later, a cornerstone of modern biology is the continuing search for order in dynamic processes. In neuroscience, the search has focussed on understanding complex spacetime brain dynamics. Recently, turb...
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Gustavo Deco Martin Kemp Morten L Kringelbach Source Type: research

Unchecked nick ligation can promote localized genome re-replication
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R710-R711. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.043.ABSTRACTSingle-stranded DNA breaks, or nicks, are amongst the most common forms of DNA damage in cells. They can be repaired by ligation; however, if a nick occurs just ahead of an approaching replisome, the outcome is a collapsed replication fork comprising a single-ended double-strand break and a 'hybrid nick' with parental DNA on one side and nascent DNA on the other (Figure 1A). We realized that in eukaryotic cells, where replication initiates from multiple replication origins, a fork from an adjacent origin can promote localized re-replication if t...
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Erik Johansson John F X Diffley Source Type: research

A living bdelloid rotifer from 24,000-year-old Arctic permafrost
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R712-R713. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.077.ABSTRACTIn natural, permanently frozen habitats, some organisms may be preserved for hundreds to tens of thousands of years. For example, stems of Antarctic moss were successfully regrown from an over millennium-old sample covered by ice for about 400 years1. Likewise, whole campion plants were regenerated from seed tissue preserved in relict 32,000-year-old permafrost2, and nematodes were revived from the permafrost of two localities in northeastern Siberia, with source sediments dated over 30,000 years BP3. Bdelloid rotifers, microscopic multicellular...
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Lyubov Shmakova Stas Malavin Nataliia Iakovenko Tatiana Vishnivetskaya Daniel Shain Michael Plewka Elizaveta Rivkina Source Type: research

Conservation: Where can elephants roam in  the Anthropocene?
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R714-R716. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.037.ABSTRACTHuman presence and activities shape African elephant movements more than water and food availability, restricting the area available for their survival.PMID:34102117 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.037 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Peter Leimgruber Melissa A Songer Source Type: research

Aggression: How the anterior cingulate cortex helps to  ensure a fair fight
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R716-R718. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.024.ABSTRACTViolent behavior is the product of a diverse network of neural structures. A new study shows that the anterior cingulate cortex is important for helping to restrain overly aggressive acts, even within a fight, to ensure animals match their behavioral intensity with the challenge posed by their opponents.PMID:34102118 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.024 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Lauren A Crew Herbert E Covington James M Hyman Source Type: research

Intermediate filaments: New insights are bublin up
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R719-R721. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.031.ABSTRACTCytoplasmic intermediate filaments affect cell shape and tissue integrity, and mutations in the proteins that make up these filaments contribute to many human diseases. A new study has identified a conserved protein, BBLN-1/bublin, that is important for intermediate filament organization.PMID:34102119 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.031 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Meera V Sundaram Source Type: research

Learning and memory: Scaling new areas
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R721-R723. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.023.ABSTRACTA new study explores the neural-circuit and synaptic processes that support the transition from general to specific aversive memory formation. A critical role for homeostatic synaptic down-scaling in shaping the specificity of an associative memory is identified.PMID:34102120 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.023 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Carola I Radulescu Samuel J Barnes Source Type: research

Plant breeding: Revealing the secrets of cytoplasmic male sterility in wheat
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R724-R726. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.026.ABSTRACTWhile cytoplasmic male sterility is used for breeding in many crops, it has proved difficult to implement in wheat. A new study identifying the key molecules and their mode of action in cytoplasmic male sterility provides new opportunities for wheat breeding.PMID:34102121 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.026 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Lynette Brownfield Source Type: research

Decision making: Serotonin goes for goal
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R726-R727. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.036.ABSTRACTDecision making is adaptive when our actions align with our goals. A new study shows that activity of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons is essential to adaptive decision making, permitting actions to reflect the current goal value.PMID:34102122 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.036 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Michael A McDannald Source Type: research

Emotional contagion: Improving survival by preparing for socially sensed threats
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R728-R730. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.100.ABSTRACTRats respond to the emotions of others. A new study reveals how their central amygdala uses such social information to selfishly trigger defences that adapt to the nature of the danger with all the hallmarks of true emotional contagion.PMID:34102123 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.100 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Christian Keysers Valeria Gazzola Source Type: research

Centrosomes: An acentriolar MTOC at the ciliary base
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R730-R733. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.101.ABSTRACTCentrioles are microtubule-based organelles that are embedded within pericentriolar material (PCM). Together, they comprise the centrosome, a microtubule-organizing center. PCM can sometimes exist in the absence of centrioles, but a new example of acentriolar PCM in neurons offers deeper insight into the relationship between these two entities.PMID:34102124 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.101 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Kevin F O'Connell Source Type: research

Protist diversity: Novel groups enrich the algal tree of life
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R733-R735. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.025.ABSTRACTIn recent years, the diversity of eukaryotic microbes has been greatly expanded by recognising or discovering new major branches of the algal tree of life. A new study defines the phylogenetic home for an elusive marine planktonic lineage previously known only by plastidial rRNA genes, placing it in a new class of the phylum Haptophyta.PMID:34102125 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.025 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Marek Eli áš Source Type: research

Animal culture: Newcomers help adopt more efficient behaviors
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R736-R738. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.102.ABSTRACTNovel behaviors spread via social learning and may persist in groups even when alternative, more efficient solutions become available. A study in birds shows that adoption of more efficient behaviors can be achieved via population turnover as new group members learn and spread more efficient behaviors.PMID:34102126 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.102 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Vladimir Pravosudov Source Type: research

Vector control: Discovery of Wolbachia in malaria vectors
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R738-R740. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.038.ABSTRACTWolbachia bacteria are being widely released for suppression of dengue transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Walker, Quek, Jeffries and colleagues present robust evidence for natural Wolbachia infections in malaria-vectoring Anopheles mosquitoes, paving the way for new Wolbachia-based interventions.PMID:34102127 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.038 (Source: Current Biology)
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Perran A Ross Ary A Hoffmann Source Type: research

The tectum/superior colliculus as the vertebrate solution for spatial sensory integration and action
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):R741-R762. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.001.ABSTRACTThe superior colliculus, or tectum in the case of non-mammalian vertebrates, is a part of the brain that registers events in the surrounding space, often through vision and hearing, but also through electrosensation, infrared detection, and other sensory modalities in diverse vertebrate lineages. This information is used to form maps of the surrounding space and the positions of different salient stimuli in relation to the individual. The sensory maps are arranged in layers with visual input in the uppermost layer, other senses in deeper positio...
Source: Current Biology - June 8, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Tadashi Isa Emmanuel Marquez-Legorreta Sten Grillner Ethan K Scott Source Type: research

One-to-one innervation of vocal muscles allows precise control of birdsong
Curr Biol. 2021 May 26:S0960-9822(21)00667-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.008. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe motor control resolution of any animal behavior is limited to the minimal force step available when activating muscles, which is set by the number and size distribution of motor units (MUs) and muscle-specific force. Birdsong is an excellent model system for understanding acquisition and maintenance of complex fine motor skills, but we know surprisingly little about how the motor pool controlling the syrinx is organized and how MU recruitment drives changes in vocal output. Here we developed an experimental parad...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Iris Adam Alyssa Maxwell Helen R ößler Emil B Hansen Michiel Vellema Jonathan Brewer Coen P H Elemans Source Type: research

Gatekeeper function for Short stop at the ring canals of the Drosophila ovary
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 1:S0960-9822(21)00669-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.010. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTGrowth of the Drosophila oocyte requires transport of cytoplasmic materials from the interconnected sister cells (nurse cells) through ring canals, the cytoplasmic bridges that remained open after incomplete germ cell division. Given the open nature of the ring canals, it is unclear how the direction of transport through the ring canal is controlled. In this work, we show that a single Drosophila spectraplakin Short stop (Shot) controls the direction of flow from nurse cells to the oocyte. Knockdown of shot changes th...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Wen Lu Margot Lakonishok Vladimir I Gelfand Source Type: research

Absence of "selfish herd" dynamics in bird flocks under threat
Curr Biol. 2021 May 27:S0960-9822(21)00668-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.009. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe "selfish herd" hypothesis1 provides a potential mechanism to explain a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature: that of non-kin aggregations. Individuals in selfish herds are thought to benefit by reducing their own risk at the expense of conspecifics by attracting toward their neighbors' positions1,2 or central locations in the aggregation.3-5 Alternatively, increased alignment with their neighbors' orientation could reduce the chance of predation through information sharing6-8 or collective escape.6 Using bot...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Daniel W E Sankey Rolf F Storms Robert J Musters Timothy W Russell Charlotte K Hemelrijk Steven J Portugal Source Type: research

One-to-one innervation of vocal muscles allows precise control of birdsong
Curr Biol. 2021 May 26:S0960-9822(21)00667-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.008. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe motor control resolution of any animal behavior is limited to the minimal force step available when activating muscles, which is set by the number and size distribution of motor units (MUs) and muscle-specific force. Birdsong is an excellent model system for understanding acquisition and maintenance of complex fine motor skills, but we know surprisingly little about how the motor pool controlling the syrinx is organized and how MU recruitment drives changes in vocal output. Here we developed an experimental parad...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Iris Adam Alyssa Maxwell Helen R ößler Emil B Hansen Michiel Vellema Jonathan Brewer Coen P H Elemans Source Type: research

Gatekeeper function for Short stop at the ring canals of the Drosophila ovary
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 1:S0960-9822(21)00669-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.010. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTGrowth of the Drosophila oocyte requires transport of cytoplasmic materials from the interconnected sister cells (nurse cells) through ring canals, the cytoplasmic bridges that remained open after incomplete germ cell division. Given the open nature of the ring canals, it is unclear how the direction of transport through the ring canal is controlled. In this work, we show that a single Drosophila spectraplakin Short stop (Shot) controls the direction of flow from nurse cells to the oocyte. Knockdown of shot changes th...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Wen Lu Margot Lakonishok Vladimir I Gelfand Source Type: research

Absence of "selfish herd" dynamics in bird flocks under threat
Curr Biol. 2021 May 27:S0960-9822(21)00668-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.009. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe "selfish herd" hypothesis1 provides a potential mechanism to explain a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature: that of non-kin aggregations. Individuals in selfish herds are thought to benefit by reducing their own risk at the expense of conspecifics by attracting toward their neighbors' positions1,2 or central locations in the aggregation.3-5 Alternatively, increased alignment with their neighbors' orientation could reduce the chance of predation through information sharing6-8 or collective escape.6 Using bot...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Daniel W E Sankey Rolf F Storms Robert J Musters Timothy W Russell Charlotte K Hemelrijk Steven J Portugal Source Type: research

One-to-one innervation of vocal muscles allows precise control of birdsong
Curr Biol. 2021 May 26:S0960-9822(21)00667-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.008. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe motor control resolution of any animal behavior is limited to the minimal force step available when activating muscles, which is set by the number and size distribution of motor units (MUs) and muscle-specific force. Birdsong is an excellent model system for understanding acquisition and maintenance of complex fine motor skills, but we know surprisingly little about how the motor pool controlling the syrinx is organized and how MU recruitment drives changes in vocal output. Here we developed an experimental parad...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Iris Adam Alyssa Maxwell Helen R ößler Emil B Hansen Michiel Vellema Jonathan Brewer Coen P H Elemans Source Type: research

Gatekeeper function for Short stop at the ring canals of the Drosophila ovary
Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 1:S0960-9822(21)00669-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.010. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTGrowth of the Drosophila oocyte requires transport of cytoplasmic materials from the interconnected sister cells (nurse cells) through ring canals, the cytoplasmic bridges that remained open after incomplete germ cell division. Given the open nature of the ring canals, it is unclear how the direction of transport through the ring canal is controlled. In this work, we show that a single Drosophila spectraplakin Short stop (Shot) controls the direction of flow from nurse cells to the oocyte. Knockdown of shot changes th...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Wen Lu Margot Lakonishok Vladimir I Gelfand Source Type: research

Absence of "selfish herd" dynamics in bird flocks under threat
Curr Biol. 2021 May 27:S0960-9822(21)00668-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.009. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe "selfish herd" hypothesis1 provides a potential mechanism to explain a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature: that of non-kin aggregations. Individuals in selfish herds are thought to benefit by reducing their own risk at the expense of conspecifics by attracting toward their neighbors' positions1,2 or central locations in the aggregation.3-5 Alternatively, increased alignment with their neighbors' orientation could reduce the chance of predation through information sharing6-8 or collective escape.6 Using bot...
Source: Current Biology - June 5, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Daniel W E Sankey Rolf F Storms Robert J Musters Timothy W Russell Charlotte K Hemelrijk Steven J Portugal Source Type: research

Decreasing body lengths in North Atlantic right whales
Curr Biol. 2021 May 17:S0960-9822(21)00614-X. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.067. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTWhales are now largely protected from direct harvest, leading to partial recoveries in many previously depleted species.1 However, most populations remain far below their historical abundances and incidental human impacts, especially vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, are increasingly recognized as key threats.2 In addition, climate-driven changes to prey dynamics are impacting the seasonal foraging grounds of many baleen whales.2 In many cases these impacts result directly in mortality. But it is less ...
Source: Current Biology - June 4, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Joshua D Stewart John W Durban Amy R Knowlton Morgan S Lynn Holly Fearnbach Jacob Barbaro Wayne L Perryman Carolyn A Miller Michael J Moore Source Type: research

Reprogramming an energetic AKT-PAK5 axis boosts axon energy supply and facilitates neuron survival and regeneration after injury and ischemia
Curr Biol. 2021 May 26:S0960-9822(21)00626-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.079. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTMitochondria supply adenosine triphosphate (ATP) essential for neuronal survival and regeneration. Brain injury and ischemia trigger acute mitochondrial damage and a local energy crisis, leading to degeneration. Boosting local ATP supply in injured axons is thus critical to meet increased energy demand during nerve repair and regeneration in adult brains, where mitochondria remain largely stationary. Here, we elucidate an intrinsic energetic repair signaling axis that boosts axonal energy supply by reprogramming mito...
Source: Current Biology - June 4, 2021 Category: Biology Authors: Ning Huang Sunan Li Yuxiang Xie Qi Han Xiao-Ming Xu Zu-Hang Sheng Source Type: research