A flavour of things to come

Inside eLife
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By Randy Schekman -

eLifehas been considering submissions for around six weeks now, and already we have accepted a small number of outstanding manuscripts. One of these accepted articles is featured in the current issue of Science.

At the recent Society for Developmental Biology meeting, the lead author of this work – Nicole King – gave a talk that drew the attention of aSciencecorrespondent and agreed to be interviewed. So that the paper would be available to readers of the report, Dr. King posted a copy of the accepted manuscript to her lab Web site.

The paper – “A bacterialsulfonolipidtriggers multicellular development in the closest living relatives of animals” – reports the results of experiments on water-dwelling organisms calledchoanoflagellates, which are considered to be one of the closest living relatives of humans and other animals in evolutionary terms. King and co-workers found that the development of multicellularity in these organisms is influenced by extremely low concentrations of a type of lipid molecule emitted by certain bacteria. This fascinating finding has the potential to improve our understanding of animal development and the transition from egg to embryo to adult. The authors are Rosanna A Alegado, Laura W Brown, Shugeng Cao, Renee K Dermenjian, Richard Zuzow, Stephen R Fairclough, Jon Clardy, and Nicole King.

According to the decision letter, “This is a beautiful piece of work, demonstrating that thissulfonolipidproduced by bacteria upon which thechoanoflagellatefeeds has a profound influence on the predator's development.”

According to co-author Rick Zusow:

The Paper that began with my undergrad thesis has been accepted after 7 years in the making. Hooray @elife_sciences!— Rick (@SodiumSepia) July 18, 2012

We’re delighted to highlight such an early example of the quality of the work we’re aiming to publish ineLife. Whether or not the work draws the attention of the scientific media, our goal is to makeeLifea venue for all highly influential research – research that is identified by our editors as driving a field forward, opening up a new area of investigation, or having a real-world impact.

Given that the launch of theeLifejournal Web site is still a few months away, we expect that other articles accepted for publication will also attract broader attention before they’re published at our site. In the meantime, authors are encouraged to present, discuss and share their work as broadly as they wish.

Your comments and questions welcome.