Uncovering the Dark Side of Insect-Bacteria Interactions

The world is full of fascinating associations between insects and bacteria. Members of the bacterial phyla, actinomycetes, produce diverse chemical compounds that help protect insects from infection. Despite the fact that other secreted compounds can be toxic to insects, researchers had never identified a partnership where actinomycetes inflicted harm on an insect. That was until September 2020, when Dr. Justin Nodwell’s team published their fascinating discoveries on the toxic chemical interactions between Streptomyces and fruit flies.

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Mobilizing Twitter for COVID-19 surveillance

COVID-19 is a worldwide health emergency. Digital disease surveillance, including social media-based technologies, represents an innovative approach that may allow us to better understand and contain its transmission. Here, Bisanzio et al. use geolocation data from Twitter as a proxy for human mobility in order to track the early global spread of COVID-19 cases.

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Crohn’s and NOD2: A Classic Interaction Re-Examined

While NOD2 mutations are linked to Crohn's disease occurrence, the exact mechanism by which loss of NOD leads to intestinal inflammation is unclear. Here, Prescott et al demonstrate a possible mechanism by which NOD induces an anti-inflammatory microenvironment with CD103+ Dendritic Cells, possibly opening a avenue for Crohn’s disease therapy.

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Digesting Organic Waste to Diminish Antibiotic Resistance

The organic fraction of municipal solid waste is an under-appreciated reservoir for the accumulation and spread of antimicrobial resistance. To combat this, Kanger et al. use a lab-scale anaerobic digestion system to evaluate whether this waste treatment technology can effectively reduce the diversity and abundance of resistance determinants present in solid organic waste.

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New Perspective on Antiretroviral Treatments: Restricting HIV-1 Replication by Targeting Intracellular Signaling Pathways

Increased resistance to current antiretroviral therapies requires discovery of alternate measures for HIV treatment. Wong et al. identified 5342191 as a compound that restricts viral replication through activation of host intracellular signaling. Findings were replicated in both wild-type and HIV-resistant strains, making 5342191 a promising candidate for future treatments.

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