Posts from cell.com
Integrating Genetic, Environmental, and Social Networks to Reveal Transmission Pathways of a Dolphin Foraging InnovationDolphins use empty gastropod shells to trap prey. Wild et al. integrate genetic, behavioral, and environmental data in a network-based diffusion analysis to show that “shelling” spreads socially among associates. This study provides the first quantitative evidence for non-vertical cultural transmission of foraging behavior in toothed whales.1
Targets of T Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus in Humans with COVID-19 Disease and Unexposed IndividualsAn analysis of immune cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 from recovered patients identifies the regions of the virus that is targeted and also reveals cross-reactivity with other common circulating coronaviruses1
SARS-CoV-2 Reverse Genetics Reveals a Variable Infection Gradient in the Respiratory TractHou et al. present a reverse genetics system for SARS-CoV-2, which is then used to make reporter viruses to quantify the ability of patient sera and antibodies to neutralize infectious virus and to examine viral tropism along the human respiratory tract.8
A Chronobiological Evaluation of the Acute Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Traffic Accident RiskReports about Daylight Saving Time (DST) and traffic accident risk are inconsistent. Fritz et al. show that the spring DST transition acutely increases fatal accidents, especially in the morning and locations further west in a given time zone. Results do not support claims that DST reduces afternoon rush-hour accidents due to better illumination.1
Systematically Improving Espresso: Insights from Mathematical Modeling and ExperimentCoffee extraction performed in an espresso machine is a process that depends on a delicate interplay between grind setting, coffee mass, water pressure and temperature, and beverage volume. Using a mathematical model based on the transport of solubles through a granular bed, paired with cafe-setting experiments, we elucidate the origin of inconsistencies in espresso production. Informed by the model, a protocol is proposed to systematically reduce coffee waste and beverage variation, resulting in highly reproducible shots.
Space: A Missing Piece of the Dynamic PuzzleThere has been growing interest in studying the temporal reconfiguration of brain functional connectivity to understand the role of dynamic interaction (e.g., integration and segregation) among neuronal populations in cognitive functions. However, it is crucial to differentiate between various dynamic properties because nearly all existing dynamic connectivity studies are presented as spatiotemporally dynamic, even though they fall into different categories. As a result, variation in the spatial patterns of functional structures are not well characterized.1
On the Strength of Hair across SpeciesHair has cosmetic properties but also provides vital protective qualities in many mammals. Thin human hair is strong; 500–1,000 hairs can carry a human weight, whereas thick hair can be relatively weak but displays specific functions, e.g., capybara hair has an oval cross-section with a groove to expedite drying. We find that the tensile strength of hair is increased with decreasing diameter, a mechanical property consistent with Weibull statistics.1
A Complex Hierarchy of Avoidance Behaviors in a SingleDexter et al. replicate the disputed, century-old observations of Jennings, confirming by video microscopy and statistical analysis that the single-cell ciliate Stentor roeseli exhibits a hierarchy of avoidance behaviors. They show further that each organism’s decision between contracting and detaching resembles a fair coin toss.1
Impact of Historic Migrations and Evolutionary Processes on Human ImmunityThe evolution of mankind has constantly been influenced by the pathogens encountered. The various populations of modern humans that ventured out of Africa adapted to different environments and faced a large variety of infectious agents, resulting in local adaptations of the immune system for these populations. The functional variation of immune genes as a result of evolution is relevant in the responses against infection, as well as in the emergence of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases observed in modern populations.
Newly Identified Nematodes from Mono Lake Exhibit Extreme Arsenic ResistanceShih et al. isolate eight nematode species from the arsenic-rich Mono Lake, previously thought to contain only two animal species. One of the Mono Lake nematodes is culturable and shows high arsenic resistance. Resistance in closely related non-extremophile species raises the possibility that nematodes are widely pre-adapted to be extremophiles.1
exceRpt: A Comprehensive Analytic Platform for Extracellular RNA ProfilingThe extracellular RNA processing toolkit (exceRpt) of the NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium (ERCC) is a structured pipeline for analyzing exRNA-seq datasets that has been used to uniformly process all datasets in the exRNA Atlas. exceRpt generates quality control reports and RNA abundance estimates and characterizes mappings to exogenous genomes.