Life Sciences and Biomedicine

Browse the following groundbreaking articles nominated by our Editors-in-Chief and read why they believe they could help change the world.

Enjoy free access until the end of July, 2017. Open access articles are freely available online on a permanent basis.


Fuelling the future: microbial engineering for the production of sustainable biofuels

An excellent overview of how microbial biofuel production might be used to combat climate change.

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Combating multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria with structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers

This article highlights a newly engineered antimicrobial peptide that could offer a low-cost and effective weapon to combat multi-drug-resistant Gram negative bacteria.

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Self-organization of the human embryo in the absence of maternal tissues

Understanding early human embryonic development with in vitro cultures of human embryos for 13 days - longer than ever before.

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Long-Term Training with a Brain-Machine Interface-Based Gait Protocol Induces Partial Neurological Recovery in Paraplegic Patients

A year of groundbreaking virtual-reality-based rehabilitation improves the functional independence of people with spinal cord injuries.

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Teletoxicology: Patient Assessment Using Wearable Audiovisual Streaming Technology

For poisoned patients, timing can be a matter of life and death. By using cutting-edge devices like Google Glass®, toxicologists can more efficiently assess a patient's condition from practically anywhere in the world.

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Organic Agriculture 3.0 is innovation with research

Research needs both orientation and inspiration. The field of organic agriculture research is a relatively young one, and it faces new challenges as it grows. This paper outlines the global agricultural challenges, as well as goals and strategies to help overcome them.

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Regulatory hurdles for genome editing: process- vs. product-based approaches in different regulatory contexts

This article outlines the process of developing new legislation that suitably reflects the scientific advances made in genome edited crops. As the process faces several hurdles, the existing frameworks in different countries are compared and ideas for an alternative regulatory system are discussed.

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Unequal representation of genetic variation across ancestry groups creates healthcare inequality in the application of precision medicine

Underrepresentation in studies of genetic variation means people of non-European ancestry are disadvantaged in terms of the applicability of precision medicine.

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Flavonoids as Multi-target Inhibitors for Proteins Associated with Ebola Virus: In Silico Discovery Using Virtual Screening and Molecular Docking Studies

Offers must-read advice for researchers who are working to treat and cure the Ebola virus.

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Flat earth economics and site-specific crop management: how flat is flat?

This article addresses site-specific crop management: the environmental and economic case when environmental costs are also accounted for.

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Delivery of Exenatide and Insulin Using Mucoadhesive Intestinal Devices

Oral delivery of insulin to treat diabetes using intestinal patches is an innovative engineering technology that tackles a major issue in healthcare.

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Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and classical biological control

The concept of biodiversity is becoming increasingly important in the field of biological control for pest insects in agriculture.  This article illustrates the essential role of boosting biodiversity to effectively control pest insects.

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Understanding the dynamics of physiological impacts of environmental stressors on Australian marsupials, focus on the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

This paper summarizes the human-triggered and environmental challenges that threaten Australia's iconic marsupial, the Koala.

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Raunkiaerian life-forms in the Atlantic forest and comparisons of life-form spectra among Brazilian main biomes

Provides a sound basis for understanding how plant life-forms develop in response to environmental conditions (climate and soil) on a broad geographic scale (Brazilian biomes).

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Human IGF1 pro-forms induce breast cancer cell proliferation via the IGF1 receptor

This article reveals the importance of assessing IGF-1 pro-forms in order to select a patient's course of treatment, since these pro-forms promote breast cancer progression independently of the mature IGF-1. The paper highlights the plasticity of cancer cells and the need for a different long-term approach in the battle against this disease.

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Oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer metastasis to bone: inhibition by targeting the bone microenvironment in vivo

This article shows the power of targeting the microenvironment in the context of combating metastatic disease.

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Organoids as Model Systems for Gastrointestinal Diseases: Tissue Engineering Meets Genetic Engineering

This article addresses organoids: three-dimensional culture systems that resemble their organ of origin, are genetically stable, and can phenocopy diseases, and which have evolved into a valuable new tool, allowing genetic and tissue engineering to shift the boundaries in translational research.

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Isolation, identification and characterization of Paenibacillus polymyxa CR1 with potentials for biopesticide, biofertilization, biomass degradation and biofuel production

Paenibacillus polymyxa is a plant-growth-promoting rhizobacterium that offers an environmentally friendlier alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as multiple beneficial traits regarding sustainable agriculture and the bio-economy. In the field, it could be used to control pathogens, promote plant growth, and biodegrade crop residues after harvest.

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Comparing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases networks using graph communities structure

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are two age-related neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system characterized by the dysfunction and death of specific neuronal populations. Analyzing PD and AD from a network perspective can highlight differences in their proteins or pathways, helping to discriminate between the two conditions. This strategy can essentially be applied to compare any pair of biological networks, aiding in the computational diagnosis of disease.

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Plant functional traits – fixed facts or variable depending on the season?

Traits are widely used to detect and explain the responses of ecosystem processes to environmental changes. This article shows that methodological problems in trait measurements should be taken into account with regard to plants' functional ecology.

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Floral Sonication is an Innate Behaviour in Bumblebees that can be Fine-Tuned with Experience in Manipulating Flowers

This article argues that behavioral mechanisms to achieve pollination efficiency among wild bees are critical to maintaining plant community structure.

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Informatics framework of traditional Sino-Japanese medicine (Kampo) unveiled by factor analysis

Kampo, an empirically validated system of traditional Sino-Japanese medicine, seeks to treat patients holistically. This study offers a theoretical basis for establishing traditional medications such as Kampo, leading to systematically personalized medicine.

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Comparative Proteomic Analysis Reveals Nitrogen Fertilizer Increases Spikelet Number per Panicle in Rice by Repressing Protein Degradation and 14-3-3 Proteins

Rice offers an important source of food for a growing world population. Rice yield is dependent on flower / spikelet number, which in turn is dependent on nutrient availability. Employing a proteomics approach, this article identifies the factors that regulate spikelet formation under nitrogen fertilizer treatment, thus ultimately contributing to improved rice yields.

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Neuroprotective Effect of the Endogenous Amine 1MeTIQ in an Animal Model of Parkinson’s Disease

This study shows the neuroprotective effects of 1MeTIQ in an animal model of Parkinson's Disease after the administration of 1BnTIQ without developing tolerance after its chronic administration.

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ZmCIPK8, a CBL-interacting protein kinase, regulates maize response to drought stress

CBL-interacting protein kinases play an important role in plant stress tolerance. A novel CIPK gene (ZmCIPK8) was cloned and gene expression experiments indicate that it may be involved in plant response by regulating stress-related genes.

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