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  1. Research: Theory, models and biology

    Wenying Shou et al.
    Theoretical ideas have a rich history in many areas of biology, and new theories and mathematical models have much to offer in the future.
    Editorial
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    1. Human Biology and Medicine
    2. Neuroscience

    Beyond excitation/inhibition imbalance in multidimensional models of neural circuit changes in brain disorders

    Cian O'Donnell et al.
    Computational modeling and analysis of mouse neural population data finds that the excitation/inhibition imbalance theory of brain disorders is too limited to account for key changes in neural activity statistics.
  2. Research: Decoupling of the minority PhD talent pool and assistant professor hiring in medical school basic science departments in the US

    Kenneth D Gibbs Jr et al.
    A systems-level analysis of the biomedical workforce in the US shows that current strategies to enhance faculty diversity are unlikely to have a significant impact, and that there is a need to increase the number of PhDs from underrepresented minority backgrounds who move on to postdoctoral positions.
    1. Neuroscience

    Perception: Tell me something I don’t know

    Jonas Obleser
    Insight
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  3. Research: The readability of scientific texts is decreasing over time

    Pontus Plavén-Sigray et al.
    Scientific abstracts have become less readable over the past 130 years, in part because recent texts include more general scientific jargon than older texts.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Science Forum: Viral factors in influenza pandemic risk assessment

    Marc Lipsitch et al.
    We identify key strengths and limitations in use of viral genotyping and phenotyping to estimate pandemic risk from influenza A viruses, focusing on 3 traits, hemagglutinin binding specificity, hemagglutinin pH of activation, and polymerase complex efficiency.
    1. Neuroscience

    Autism: Exploring the social brain

    John P Welsh, Annette M Estes
    How does the brain physiology of young children with autism differ from that of typically-developing children?.
    Insight
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    1. Cancer Biology

    Reproducibility in Cancer Biology: Small molecules remain on target for c-Myc

    Linchong Sun, Ping Gao
    Targeting the transcription factor c-Myc via one of its coactivator proteins is a promising strategy for cancer therapy.
    Insight
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    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Science Forum: Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment

    Colin A Russell et al.
    Predicting the pandemic potential of influenza viruses from genetic sequence data could transform pandemic risk assessment but progress towards this goal will require the integration of experimental work, computational tools, and virus surveillance.
    1. Ecology
    2. Chromosomes and Gene Expression

    Emerging Technology: Concerning RNA-guided gene drives for the alteration of wild populations

    Kevin M Esvelt et al.
    Combining CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing with gene drives may enable scientists to reversibly edit the genomes of diverse wild populations, an advance that could help eliminate diseases, support sustainable agriculture, and control invasive species.