Elsevier Announces the “Article of the Future”

Elsevier has launched the ‘Article of the Future’ project, an ongoing collaboration with the scientific community to redefine how a scientific article is presented online. The project takes full advantage of online capabilities, allowing readers individualized entry points and routes through content, while exploiting the latest advances in visualization techniques.

The key feature of the prototypes is a hierarchical presentation of text and figures so that readers can elect to drill down through the layers based on their current task in the scientific workflow and their level of expertise and interest. This organizational structure is a significant departure from the linear-based organization of a traditional print-based article in incorporating the core text and supplemental material within a single unified structure.

A second key feature of the prototypes is bulleted article highlights and a graphical abstract. This allows readers to quickly gain an understanding of the paper’s main ‘take home’ message and serves as a navigation mechanism to directly access specific sub-sections of the results and figures. The graphical abstract is intended to encourage browsing, promote interdisciplinary scholarship and help readers identify more quickly which papers are most relevant to their research interests.

Using content from two previously published Cell articles, the prototypes have been developed by the editorial, production and IT teams at Cell Press in collaboration with Elsevier’s User Centered Design group.

Elsevier and Cell Press are inviting feedback from the scientific community on the concepts at: http://beta.cell.com/

Plant Circadian Rhythms Impact Climate Change Studies

ScienceDaily (July 14, 2009) — The ability of plants to tell the time, a mechanism common to all living beings, enables them to survive, grow and reproduce. An international team has studied this circadian clock from a molecular viewpoint and has found an ecological implication: it makes climate change scenarios and CO2 level figures more accurate.

Resco et al. Ecological implications of plants’ ability to tell the time. Ecology Letters, 2009; 12 (6): 583 DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01295.x

Darwin’s Mystery Of Appearance Of Flowering Plants Explained

The rapid increase in the fantastic diversity of flowering plants – linked to their rapid conquest of the Earth during the Cretaceous period – was one of the greatest puzzles faced by Charles Darwin.  In an article in Ecology Letters,  ecologists Frank Berendse and Marten Scheffer have postulated an entirely new explanation for what Charles Darwin considered to be one of the greatest mysteries with which he was confronted.  

Frank Berendse and Marten Scheffer. The angiosperm radiation revisited, an ecological explanation for Darwin’s ‘abominable mystery’. Ecology Letters, Published Online: 2 Jul 2009 DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01342.x

HIV-1 Rapid Immune System Damage In Early Stages of Infection

ScienceDaily (July 14, 2009) — The virus that causes AIDS is classified as a lentivirus, a word derived from the Latin prefix, “lenti-,” meaning “slow.” But new research from the NIAID-funded Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology suggests that HIV-1 is anything but – moving at breathtaking speed in destroying and dysregulating the body’s gut-based B-cell antibody-producing system.    Read about the research conducted at Duke University.

Obama Nominates Francis Collins

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – President Barack Obama will nominate Francis Collins, former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, to run the National Institutes of Health, according to a statement released by the White House Wednesday.

Obama called Collins “one of the top scientists in the world,” and added that “his groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease.”

Collins is a physician and geneticist who led the Human Genome Project.  While Collins was NHGRI director between 1993 and 2008, the institute “consistently met projected milestones ahead of schedule and under budget,” the White House said.

A number of scientific organizations applauded the news as a sign that genomics and personalized medicine may pay a larger role in NIH policy.

Research Reveals Clues to Breast Cancer’s Spread

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) — A U.S. research team says it has spotted key signals that help breast cancer cells survive in the bone marrow of patients who’ve undergone treatment.

The finding, reported in the July issue of the journal Cancer Cell, could lead to new treatments to prevent breast cancer’s return, according to the researchers.

Final Rules Broaden Pool for Stem Cell Research

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. government issued final guidelines Monday describing which embryonic stem cell lines will be eligible for government funding, effectively expanding the universe of stem cells that can be used for research.

Going forward, researchers will have to demonstrate that embryonic stem cells used in research were obtained from fertility clinic embryos that otherwise would have been discarded. Also, the stem cells must come with the informed consent of the parents or mother.

Stem cells developed earlier will not require such precise documentation, representing a departure from draft guidelines issued in April by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Read more here.

Recommended Readings: Alexander Soukas, M.D., Ph.D.; July 20, 2009

Monday Lecture Series

Genetics of lipid storage: lessons learned from C. elegans

Alexander Soukas, M.D., Ph.D.

Instructor, Dept. of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Monday, July 20, 2009

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (Refreshments, 3:45 p.m.)

Second Floor, Welch Hall

Recommended Articles:

Soukas, A. A., E. A. Kane, C. E. Carr, J. A. Melo, and G. Ruvkun. 2009. Rictor/TORC2 regulates fat metabolism, feeding, growth, and life span in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genes and Development. 23(4):496-511.


Greer, E. R., C. L. Pérez, M. R. Van Gilst, B. H. Lee, and K. Ashrafi. 2008. Neural and molecular dissection of a C. elegans sensory circuit that regulates fat and feeding. Cell Metabolism. 8(2):118-131.


Srinivasan, S., L. Sadegh, I. C. Elle, A. G. L. Christensen, N. J. Faergeman, and K. Ashrafi. 2008. Serotonin regulates C. elegans fat and feeding through independent molecular mechanisms. Cell Metabolism. 7(6): 533-544.


Wang, M. C., E. J. O’Rourke, and G. Ruvkun. 2008. Fat metabolism links germline stem cells and longevity in C. elegans. Science. 322(5903):957-960.


Xie, T. 2008. Physiology: Burn fat, live longer. Science. 322(5903):865-866.


Zhang, J., C. Yang, C. Brey, M. Rodriguez, Y. Oksov, R. Gaugler, E. Dickstein, C. -H Huang, and S. Hashmi. 2009. Mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans krüppel-like factor, KLF-3 results in fat accumulation and alters fatty acid composition. Experimental Cell Research (article in Press).