2017-02-13This issue marks the publication of a Consensus Statement that proposes the integration of viruses that are only characterized by metagenomic data into virus taxonomy.
2017-02-13This study shows that pathogen-mediated inhibition of sickness-induced anorexia can promote transmission and reduce virulence.
2017-01-23This study reveals that two host cell membrane proteins have contrasting roles during the transfer of picornavirus RNA into the cytoplasm.
2017-01-31This study highlights a heretofore unappreciated role of electrical signalling in biofilm communities and in their interaction with their environment.
2017-01-23To establish a lasting infection, lentiviruses, such as HIV-1, stably integrate their DNA into the chromatin of host cells. Integration is mediated by the viral integrase enzyme in a multimeric nucleoprotein complex called the intasome, which assembles onto viral DNA ends to form the strand
2017-01-23CRISPR–Cas systems confer adaptive immunity against exogenic elements in bacteria and archaea, and provide unprecedented potential for genome editing that is revolutionizing biological and clinical research. Current CRISPR–Cas systems are based on enzymes that were identified in isolated bacteria, thus excluding the majority of enzymes
2017-01-23This study shows that co-culturing Streptomyces venezuelae with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae triggers a previously unknown growth mode in S. venezuelae that enables cells to explore their environment.
2017-02-13The authors of this study report that phages of Bacillus species use a peptide-based communication system to decide whether to enter the lytic or lysogenic life cycle.
2017-02-13In adults, distinct microbial communities inhabit different body sites and exert site-specific metabolic functions. However, when and how microbial community structure and function are established in early life have remained elusive. Chu et al. carried out a large population-based cohort study of maternal–infant pairs
2017-02-13Genome-based studies increase our understanding of parasite evolution and host adaptation, but there was a lack of genetic information for Plasmodium malariae and two Plasmodium ovale species, which can cause human malaria but are found less often than other species. Rutledge et al
2017-02-13Tuberculosis is characterized by the formation of granulomas. These macrophage-rich structures are formed to restrict the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis; however, macrophage necrosis in granulomas can facilitate pathogen growth. In this study, Mahamed et al. tracked infection outcomes in primary human macrophages in
2017-02-13This month's Genome Watch discusses the potential of selective whole-genome amplification for overcoming the challenges of whole-genome sequencing of malaria parasites in clinical samples in which they are low in abundance.
2017-01-31The class Alphaproteobacteria includes Gram-negative free-living, symbiotic and obligate intracellular bacteria, as well as important plant, animal and human pathogens. Recent work has established the key antagonistic roles that phosphorylated guanosines, cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and the alarmones guanosine tetraphosphate and guanosine pentaphosphate (collectively referred to as
2017-01-16The blood–brain barrier, which is one of the tightest barriers in the body, protects the brain from insults, such as infections. Indeed, only a few of the numerous blood-borne bacteria can cross the blood–brain barrier to cause meningitis. In this Review, we focus on invasive
2017-01-03The number and diversity of viral sequences that are identified in metagenomic data far exceeds that of experimentally characterized virus isolates. In a recent workshop, a panel of experts discussed the proposal that, with appropriate quality control, viruses that are known only from metagenomic data
2017-01-23Class 2 CRISPR–Cas systems are characterized by effector modules that consist of a single multidomain protein, such as Cas9 or Cpf1. We designed a computational pipeline for the discovery of novel class 2 variants and used it to identify six new CRISPR–Cas subtypes. The diverse
2017-01-16Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of pathogens is becoming increasingly important not only for basic research but also for clinical science and practice. In virology, WGS is important for the development of novel treatments and vaccines, and for increasing the power of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genomics.