January 2022, Issue 1 Table of Contents

Feature

Illustration of a targeted virus over a world map
The Hunt for a Pandemic’s Origins
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022
Dozens of researchers, including myself, worked for years to uncover that swine flu had leapt to humans from a pig in Mexico in 2009. We learned a lot about influenza evolution, pig farming, and outbreak risk along the way.

Speaking of Science

Cover of January 2022 D1 Issue
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse

Critic at Large

Social media illustration
Opinion: Dismantling Anti-vaccine Rhetoric on Social Media
Opinion: Dismantling Anti-vaccine Rhetoric on Social Media
Can requiring users of Facebook and other platforms to pass critical thinking tests stem the tide of widely disseminated misinformation?

Notebook

Photograph of a hummingbird
Even the Tiniest of Birds Use Smell in Some Situations
Even the Tiniest of Birds Use Smell in Some Situations
Once considered anosmic, birds are now widely recognized as using olfactory cues to aid in a wide range of behaviors.
Spores of Fusarium xylarioides
Researchers Resurrect Coffee-Destroying Fungus—to Study It
Researchers Resurrect Coffee-Destroying Fungus—to Study It
Comparing the genomes of modern pathogens with those of cryopreserved strains from several decades ago shed light on the evolution of coffee wilt disease outbreaks in Africa.

Infographics

An illustration with a world map, pigs, and viruses
Timeline: Investigating the Origins of the 2009 Pandemic
Timeline: Investigating the Origins of the 2009 Pandemic
Seven years of surveillance and research revealed the complex history of the H1N1 virus that leapt from pigs to humans and sparked the global swine flu outbreak.
Illustration of a world map showing a truck going from the US to Mexico, a plane going from Europe to Mexico, and a pig surrounded by various viruses in Mexico
Infographic: How H1N1 Came to Spark a Pandemic in 2009
Infographic: How H1N1 Came to Spark a Pandemic in 2009
The pathogen known as swine flu evolved in pigs in Mexico following imports of the livestock from the US and Europe.

The Literature

A micrograph of the prion-like state of a protein called Pus4
Protein Mediates Non-Genetic Inheritance of Growth Strategies
Protein Mediates Non-Genetic Inheritance of Growth Strategies
An RNA-modifying enzyme passed to daughter cells during budding allows yeast cells to switch between faster- and slower-growing phenotypes.
Photo of krill and plankton in the sea, macro detail
Fear Could Help Explain the Behavior of Animals in the Ocean
Fear Could Help Explain the Behavior of Animals in the Ocean
Avoidance of predation is a driving force behind the daily movements of marine creatures across the food web, a study concludes.

Foundations

Formed of various flowers, this personification cartoon of a female botanist, painted by George Spratt, was pasted into Allen’s copy of The English Flora.
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.