This collection focuses on a rapidly evolving field in which the study of both species-specific and ubiquitous aging mechanisms informs the biological process of aging. Yet the field is not without substantial controversy, differing views arise as we come to understand aging across model systems - from bacteria to humans.
The January 2012 issue of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases presented an Editorial, a Viewpoint, and two accompanying Expert Commentaries that focussed on the application of genetically modified (GM) insects for control of animal and plant diseases. These articles describe the technological advances these tools represent, the regulatory framework, and the societal dialogue that is necessary for their wide-scale application for disease control. Here, we have assembled a collection of articles published in the PLOS journals that describe the technical and applied aspects of GM insects. We also included articles that are not strictly GM, but aim to modify the disease transmission traits of insects through the use of symbiotic microbes.
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system and is an interdisciplinary biological science that extends across multiple fields including chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, physics, and psychology. Neuroscience involves various approaches to the study of the molecular, cellular, computational, systems, and cognitive aspects of the nervous system, using techniques from molecular and cellular studies of individual nerve cells to neuroimaging of complex human behaviors.
The Open Source movement revolutionized the way computer systems were developed and how companies made their businesses. Its philosophy requires that all source code should be freely shared, so that as many people as possible can use, change, learn, and improve upon it. In recent years the increasing availability and low costs of electronic components, processors and 3D printers meant that an open model of development has taken root also in the world of hardware, including the development of scientific lab equipment. The implications for research can hardly be overstated: Open Labware designs are almost always cheaper than closed source ones, allow for distributed development and, critically, customization by the end user, the lab scientist. PLOS welcomes submissions in this field.
PLoS Medicine is an international, multidisciplinary medical journal that publishes outstanding human studies that substantially enhance the understanding of human health and disease. PLoS Medicine aims to promote translation of basic research into clinical investigation, and of clinical evidence into practice. PLoS Medicine encourages papers that cross disciplines.
PLoS ONE will be a high-volume, efficient and economical system for the publication of peer-reviewed research in all areas of science and medicine. It will provide a unique forum for community dialogue using the full potential of the web to accelerate scientific progress.
Tsetse flies are important vectors of human and animal diseases that adversely impact life in sub-Sahara Africa. A community of tsetse researchers (International Glossina Genome Initiative) have been working to obtain the full genome sequence of the tsetse species Glossina morsitans morsitans. The group have also mined the genome data to advance knowledge on functional aspects of tsetse and African trypanosome biology. This collection describes findings on tsetse's salivary gland biology, olfactory chemistry, lactation process, acquaporin proteins that play a role in lactation, oxidative stress responses during pregnancy, gut peritrophic matrix analysis and horizontal transfer events discovered in tsetse's genome from the symbiont Wolbachia. Further manuscripts reflect on the historical aspects of sleeping sickness epidemics that have plagued sub-Sahara in the 20th century.
Zika is an arbovirus infection transmitted by several different species of Aedes mosquitoes, including Aedes aegypti in the New World. Towards the end of 2015, the Pan American Health Organization announced a possible link between zika and congenital birth defects, in particularly a neurodevastating birth defect known as microcephaly. The causal link between zika and microcephaly has still not been confirmed, but preliminary evidence for an association has been found. The impact of zika virus should be treated with the utmost seriousness as the effects could be devastating. In response a call for research on the outbreak and a new PLOS Collection, which will collate research and other resources related to the outbreak, have been launched.