All multicellular organisms are in an arms-race against the vast armies of rapidly mutating microbial pathogens that are seeking access to their rich stores of nutrients. The challenges for the organism are two-fold. First to develop appropriate immune defense molecules, and second to generate the diversity needed to combat a rapidly changing pathogen population.
Immunologists have had much success in determining the varied means by which animals accomplish this, but this integrated vision of immunity generally does not stray across the line that divides animals from plants.
However, it is obvious that plants can resist many infectious disease agents very effectively, and in their article John McDowell and Stacey Simon from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, USA (Developmental and Comparative Immunology, doi:10.1016/j.dci.2007.11.005) review the multiple lines of defense that plants use against pathogenic microbes. Preliminary evidence leads them to conclude that the rate at which diversification occurs in the plant immune surveillance genes is stimulated by the presence of pathogens, a new and intriguing aspect of plant immunity.
“I have followed plant immunity research for quite some time and have seen the progress in this area. It is important to publish this article in our journal because it provides a very exciting immunological insight", said Kenneth Söderhäll, one of the Editors-in-Chief of the ISDCI journal.
Floris de Hon | alfa
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An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
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Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
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Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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