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Fish in hot water
Spring 2017
29 April 2017

To inform conservation measures for fishes and improve effective fish management, the impacts of key environmental variables such as temperature must be understood. As anthropogenic factors coupled with global climate change have altered water temperatures, research has increasingly focused on understanding the mechanistic links between temperature changes and declines in native fish populations.

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Model figure
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

A major challenge for crop improvement strategies is the development of robust approaches to study plant morphology and architecture. These are complex traits that change during development and in response to the prevailing environment. A raft of new technologies is being developed to enable detailed analysis of these complex traits. Perez et al have started tackling the structural complexity of plant architecture by looking at 3D architecture of oil palm.

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Flower power
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

In this article Chan et al. address an as yet unmet urgent need in polio eradication. The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts recommended the complete global withdrawal of oral polio vaccine (OPV) type 2 by April 2016, replacing it with inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV).

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Exposing enzymes
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

It was proposed that CSE functioned in the monolignol pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana in 2014, indicating that loss of function of CSE leads to a reduction in lignin content and a small decrease in plant growth, although the phenotypes are much less severe than in those observed with loss of function of the two preceding enzymes in the lignin pathway in Arabidopsis. Since then, the role of CSE in lignin biosynthesis has been questioned in several species, in part through the inability to demonstrate the activity of the enzyme. The pathway via CSE is certainly counter-intuitive, as it involves the cleavage of a thioester linkage and its subsequent re-formation, involving the hydrolysis of an extra molecule of ATP.