Behind the paper

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

A new approach to malaria vaccination

Malaria is a devastating disease that affects the most vulnerable populations in the globe. It is caused by Plasmodium parasites, of which P. falciparum is the deadliest, and is transmitted by female mosquitoes, when they bite in search of a blood meal. For decades, researchers worldwide have been trying to find an effective vaccine against that which has been called the “scourge of the developing world”. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet and the most advanced candidate in the pipeline only affords very modest levels of protection. ​​​In the beginning of the century, renewed hopes for malaria vaccination arose from the resurgence of whole-sporozoite malaria vaccines, which had been all but forgotten in the previous decades, despite offering the strongest protective efficacy ever observed in malaria vaccination. In this work, we propose an unconventional approach to the development of a new type of whole-sporozoite malaria vaccine.
Go to the profile of Miguel Prudêncio
Aug 24, 2018

massMap: an efficient two-stage microbial association mapping framework with advanced FDR control

The two-stage microbial association mapping framework massMap provides an efficient solution for microbiome-wide association analysis. By fully exploiting the microbial dependence structures of the taxonomic tree, massMap is much more powerful than the existing methods in mapping the association at the lowest available taxonomic rank such as species or genus. We applied massMap to the analyses of the American Gut Project data and other datasets and found that massMap has marked improvement than the competing methods by discovering more biologically meaningful taxa.
Go to the profile of Jiyuan Hu
Aug 24, 2018

An early selection for a life-long health

In general, the enteric microbiota composition is relatively stable due to the ongoing competition of bacterial members for space and nutrients. Newly arriving bacteria hardly find an empty niche and sufficient nutrients to thrive and colonize. Shortly after birth, however, this situation is markedly different. The neonate is born sterile and newly incoming bacteria can easily find a place and nutrients to stay and colonize the neonate's intestinal mucosa. Notably, it is generally thought that this process is mainly driven by exposure to bacteria derived e.g. from the mother of the environment. But is that really true? If only the environment determines the microbiota composition couldn't that go terribly wrong? Shouldn't we expect that host factors influence the emerging microbiota ensuring a beneficial bacterial composition?
Go to the profile of Mathias Hornef
Aug 08, 2018