Behind the paper

Share the real story behind your paper, from conception to publication, the highs and the lows.

Highway into the brain: a mouse model to study newborn neurolisteriosis

Bacterial infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are devastating with neonates being the population at the highest risk. Preventive measures, such as hygiene regimens and antibiotic intrapartum prophylaxis have decreased the incidence of neonatal CNS infections. However, mortality rates remain substantial and serious long-term sequelae, such as deafness or mental retardation are frequently observed. Knowledge about the pathogenesis CNS infection as a result of mucosal pathogen exposure is scant, mostly because of a lack of suitable animal models. And that´s where our story started…
Go to the profile of Marcus Fulde
Oct 15, 2018

Growers: Hard to kill

Last year, tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) killed 1.5 million people, overtaking HIV/ AIDS – this reflects massive advances in treatment of HIV, which haven’t been matched in the treatment of TB. Although almost all cases of TB are curable, the treatment is extremely long, and no progress has been made in shortening treatment in 40 years, since the introduction of the drug rifampicin: which reduced the regimen duration from 18 to 6 months.
Go to the profile of Babak Javid
Oct 11, 2018

The type VI secretion system under tension

The development of new approaches is often challenging, but is also critical to gain further insights that cannot be accessed by existing methods or technologies. In this study, we borrowed a technique initially developed by the group of Alice Ting for studies in eukaryotic cells and mitochondria. This technique is based on the covalent biotinylation of proteins at the proximity of an engineered variant of the soybean ascorbate peroxidase, called APEX2. Biotinylated proteins can be then enriched and identified by mass spectrometry. We adapted this technique in Escherichia coli cells in order to identify partners of the highly dynamic TssA protein that is involved in the different stages of the assembly of the Type VI secretion system (T6SS). The T6SS is a fascinating machine widespread in Gram-negative bacteria. It assembles a spring-like structure that can be compared to a crossbow or speargun, and used to inject effectors into target cells upon contraction. The APEX2 approach did not only allow to provide further insights on the assembly pathway of this multiprotein apparatus but also revealed a new player in T6SS that acts as a latch for the nano-crossbow.
Go to the profile of Yoann Santin
Oct 01, 2018

Approaching HIV prevention with young women’s preferences in mind

To many scientists, it may seem that HIV prevention research has succeeded – large clinical trials of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and vaginal formulations of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) demonstrated that these products can indeed prevent HIV infection when used [1-3]. This is great news! But the problem we face as a global HIV prevention community is not whether or not we have efficacious products. The problem is whether or not the products will appropriately meet women’s needs and lifestyles and thus whether or not women will use them. Adherence to product use is quite possibly the biggest issue blocking the eradication of sexual HIV transmission [4].
Go to the profile of Nina Derby
Sep 24, 2018

Maternal gut and breast milk microbiota affect infant gut antibiotic resistome and mobile genetic elements

Infants are affected by the antibiotic resistance crisis and carry more resistant bacteria in their gut than adults, irrespective of whether they have been treated with antibiotics or not. It has been unclear where these bacteria come from and if the maternal gut microbiota and breast milk contribute to the assembly of the gut resistome in early life.
Go to the profile of Katariina Parnanen
Sep 24, 2018