Top 7 From F1000

Image by Tamily Weissman and Jean Livet / Harvard University

1. Mice have it licked » Imaging of many cortical neurons simultaneously in live mice maps crosstalk between specific neuron clusters, showing how brain circuits remodel while mice learn a task—in this case licking of water in response to different smells.

T. Komiyama et al., Nature, 464:1182–86, 2010 Eval by Noam Ziv, Technion, Israel; Mark Mayford, The Scripps Research Inst.; Leonard Maler, Univ. of Ottawa ID: 3037957

2. Activating cell death » The long-awaited high-resolution crystal structure of the cell death–inducing apoptosome is a funnel made from four heterodimers that forces together and thus activates a pair of “cell executioner” caspase molecules.

S. Qi et al., Cell, 141:446-57, 2010. Eval by W. Douglas Fairlie and Peter Colman, Walter and Eliza Hall Inst.; Sharad Kumar, Centre for Cancer Biology, Australia; Hao Wu, Weill Medical College of Cornell...

3. The brain’s computer » A combination of calcium imaging and electrophysiological patch recordings in the intact mouse brain show that sensory inputs are not clustered on dendrites, as previously believed—rather, the “computational unit” that integrates input in these neurons is the entire dendritic tree.

H. Jia et al., Nature, 464:1307–12, 2010. Eval by Nuno da Costa and Kevan A. Martin, ETH/UNIZ; Gordon Fishell, NYU; Leonard Maler, Univ. of Ottawa ID: 3099957

4. New Hep C drugs » A chemical genetics screen identified a small molecule that bound tightly to a hepatitis C virus protein essential for viral replication. The molecule from the screen significantly reduced viral load in infected patients.

M. Gao et al., Nature, 465:96–100, 2010. Eval by Jefferson Tilley, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc; Patricia C. Weber, Imiplex; James Taylor and Manoj Desai, Gilead Sciences ID: 3078976

5. Forcing a junction » Mechanical force causes a conformational change in the cell-cell linker protein alpha-catenin, revealing a binding site for the actin-binding protein vinculin, explaining how mechanical stimuli can induce formation of adherens junctions.

S. Yonemura et al., Nat Cell Biol (doi:10.1038/ncb2055) Eval by Ronen Zaidel-Bar, Univ. of Wisconsin; Deborah Leckband, Univ. of Illinois ID: 3295956

6. NANO FIX FOR DIABETES? » Nanoparticles coated with islet-specific peptides and major histocompatibility complex trigger expansion of a select population of immune cells, which then help reverse autoimmunity and cure type 1 diabetes in mice.

S. Tsai et al., Immunity, 32:568–80, 2010. Eval by E. Charles Snow, Univ. of KY Med. Center; Peter Van Endert, Inst. National de la Sante et de la Recherche Med. ID: 3060957

7. Bugs on our side? » The commensal bacterium Staphylococcus epidermis protects human hosts from pathogenic S. aureus infection. It secretes a serine protease that inhibits biofilm formation, destroys preexisting biofilms, and increases their sensitivity to innate antimicrobial peptides.

T. Iwase et al., Nature, 465(7296):346–49, 2010. Eval by Charles Bevins, UC, Davis ID: 3330956

The F1000 Top 7 is a snapshot of the highest-ranked articles from a 30-day period on Faculty of 1000 Biology. Faculty Members evaluate and rate the most important papers in their field. To see the latest rankings, search the database, and read daily evaluations, visit Find Top 7s by searching for the IDs provided.

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