Must-Read Articles From 2015

Towards food security by 2050

"This article summarises papers presented at a meeting sponsored by the OECD’s Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems last year. There are many difficulties to feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050, in particular producing sustainably more food that is accessible and nutritionally satisfying against a background of such challenges as climate change, soil degradation and plant and animal diseases."

Facing food insecurity in Africa: Why, after 30 years of work in organic agriculture, I am promoting the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides in small-scale staple crop production

"This paper offers a clear and balanced proposal for improving food security in Africa."

Enabling nutrient security and sustainability through systems research

"Food quality influences physiological responses: ensuring food quality is fundamental to ensure nutrient security for world populations now and in the future."

Citizen science: a new approach to advance ecology, education, and conservation

"How citizen science is used to tackle key questions in ecology and conservation, including spatial and macro-ecology, management of threatened and invasive species, and monitoring of biodiversity."


The response of tropical rainforests to drought—lessons from recent research and future prospects

"The response of tropical rainforest to drought and water shortage is a new and important topic. Rainforests were believed not to be submitted to soil water deficit given the overall rainfall. But more and more studies reveal that actually they do suffer water shortage, witicularly th increasing frequency. This is particularly true in the Amazon basin. This review paper synthesis the available information gathered over the last years on the topic."

Ecological impacts of global warming and water abstraction on lakes and reservoirs due to changes in water level and related changes in salinity

"State of the art review on how climate change will affect the availability of fresh water in regions where it is most highly needed and how this situation may be exacerbated by increased demands for irrigation water."

Response of avian diversity to habitat modification can be predicted from life-history traits and ecological attributes

"Can we predict how human actions on landscapes will affect biodiversity on broad scales? The answer is YES if you have data on both habitat and functional traits of the species. Here is a must-read study that describes how this can be done with birds so as to promote regional biodiversity and sustainability."

Effects of nitrate and ammonium on growth of Arabidopsis thaliana plants transformed with the ARR5::GUS construct and a role for cytokinins in suppression of disturbances induced by the presence of ammonium

"The results of this article show an interesting connection between the quality of nitrogen nutrition, plant growth and activity of cytokinins. This knowledge is certainly important for sustainable agriculture."

Potential applications of nuisance microalgae blooms

"Novel ideas on how to turn problem microalgae blooms into useful products."

Determination of specificity influencing residues for key transcription factor families

"Must-read advice for researchers on how to study the binding of TFs to specific regulatory elements in protein-DNA complexes."

Highlighting the effects of land-use change on a threatened amphibian in a human-dominated landscape

"Must-read advice for conservation researchers on how human-dominated landscapes with habitat loss and fragmentation affect threatened. amphibians"

Computational themes of peripheral processing in the auditory pathway of insects

"Despite the remarkable diversity of the auditory pathways found in acoustically communicating insects there are common principles of early auditory processing."

Genetic diversity within honey bee colonies affects pathogen load and relative virus levels in honey bees, Apis mellifera L

"The paper concerns polyandry and disease resistance, and is an important basic science contribution to the literature on colony collapse disorder in honey bees, which are key pollinators, particularly in agroecosystems."

Impact of the omic technologies for understanding the modes of action of biological control agents against plant pathogens

"Microbial agents are used as biopesticides against crop pests. This must-read paper reviews improvements achieved to study these agents using different “omics” approaches."

On the immortal hydra. Again

"The most popular article in Moscow University Biological Sciences Bulletin in the last months (based on paper requests). Concerns the case of real non-aging species in the living nature."

The role of symbiosis in the transition of some eukaryotes from aquatic to terrestrial environments

The Ribosome Challenge to the RNA World

"This paper provides a fresh view of the events surrounding the origins of life and has already has engendered quite a broad spectrum of responses."

Methane oxidation by anaerobic archaea for conversion to liquid fuels

"Most-read article on the status of oxidative metabolism of methane and opportunities for methane bioconversion to liquid products."

Background ionising radiation: a pictorial perspective

"It is hoped that these images of natural radiation in common foods will allay public fears about radiation."

The impact of obesity on skeletal muscle strength and structure through adolescence to old age

"This review article presents data and arguments for how obesity is associated with functional limitations in muscle performance and increased likelihood of developing a functional disability such as mobility, strength, postural and dynamic balance limitations. Reduced mobility in old age is one of the crucial factors in lowering the quality of life. Maintaining muscle strength and flexibility and thus maintaining mobility is essential for achieving healthy ageing and long life."

Dance and Aging: A Critical Review of Findings in Neuroscience

"This review begins to address the direct effects of dance interventions on neurobiological changes in the elderly."

Alzheimer’s disease: addressing a twenty-first century plague

"Authoritative account on studies of molecular origins of the disease and on ideas for strategies by which to combat its onset and progression."

A Potential New Mechanism of Arsenic Carcinogenesis: Depletion of Stem-Loop Binding Protein and Increase in Polyadenylated Canonical Histone H3.1 mRNA

''A new mechanism for how the element arsenic may induce human cancer is presented.''

Defining the effects of age and gender on immune response and outcomes to melanoma vaccination: a retrospective analysis of a single-institution clinical trials’ experience

"Important information on the impact of age and gender on the efficacy of cancer vaccines as therapeutic agents for patients with metastatic melanoma."

Synthesis and Antiviral Activity of Substituted Ethyl-2-Aminomethyl-5-Hydroxy-1H-Indole-3-Carboxylic Acids and Their Derivatives

"This article is example of successful cooperation between various institutions and different countries in the search of new antiviral drugs."

Dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitory activity of dimeric dihydrochalcone glycosides from flowers of Helichrysum arenarium

"Must-read article, including both chemical and pharmacological investigations of a medicinal plant, for researchers of biologically active natural products."

The Feasibility and Acceptability of Google Glass for Teletoxicology Consults

"Must read article on harnessing new technology to provide toxicologic expertise to the bedside in remote areas and other resource-limited settings."