Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in infants. Maternal immunization is an option to increase maternal antibody levels and protect infants from infection. Here we assess the efficacy of virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidates containing stabilized pre-fusion (pre-F) or post-fusion (post-F) conformations of the RSV F protein and the attachment RSV G protein in a maternal immunization model using cotton rats. VLP vaccines containing RSV F and G proteins strongly boost pre-existing RSV immunity in dams preventing their perinatal drop in immunity.

Economic globalization and concomitant growth in international trade since the late 1990s have profoundly reorganized global production activities and related CO2 emissions. Here we show trade among developing nations (i.e., South–South trade) has more than doubled between 2004 and 2011, which reflects a new phase of globalization. Some production activities are relocating from China and India to other developing countries, particularly raw materials and intermediate goods production in energy-intensive sectors.

Coral bleaching is the detrimental expulsion of algal symbionts from their cnidarian hosts, and predominantly occurs when corals are exposed to thermal stress. The incidence and severity of bleaching is often spatially heterogeneous within reef-scales (<1 km), and is therefore not predictable using conventional remote sensing products.

Vaccination has successfully reduced the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, but stagnating immunization coverage and lack of effective vaccines for many endemic and newly emerging pathogens pose a threat to sustainable global health. In light of World Immunization Week 2018, which highlights the importance of high vaccination coverage, Nature Communications is taking stock of current advances and barriers in vaccine development and distribution. (Editorial)

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Plants are exposed to numerous DNA-damaging stresses including the exposure to ultraviolet (UV) component of solar radiation. They employ nucleotide excision repair to remove DNA-bulky adducts and to help eliminate UV-induced DNA lesions, so as to maintain their genome integrity and their fitness. Here, we generated genome-wide single-nucleotide resolution excision repair maps of UV-induced DNA damage in Arabidopsis at different circadian time points.

Original Source

Horizontal gene transfer has played a role in developing the global public health crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). However, the dynamics of AMR transfer through bacterial populations and its direct impact on human disease is poorly elucidated. Here, we study parallel epidemic emergences of multiple Shigella species, a priority AMR organism, in men who have sex with men to gain insight into AMR emergence and spread. Using genomic epidemiology, we show that repeated horizontal transfer of a single AMR plasmid among Shigella enhanced existing and facilitated new epidemics.

Phosphate (P) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth. Roots employ adaptive mechanisms to forage for P in soil. Root hair elongation is particularly important since P is immobile. Here we report that auxin plays a critical role promoting root hair growth in Arabidopsis in response to low external P. Mutants disrupting auxin synthesis (taa1) and transport (aux1) attenuate the low P root hair response. Conversely, targeting AUX1 expression in lateral root cap and epidermal cells rescues this low P response in aux1.

Extreme positive Indian Ocean Dipole (pIOD) affects weather, agriculture, ecosystems, and public health worldwide, particularly when exacerbated by an extreme El Niño. The Paris Agreement aims to limit warming below 2 °C and ideally below 1.5 °C in global mean temperature (GMT), but how extreme pIOD will respond to this target is unclear.

Climate change is driving global species redistribution with profound social and economic impacts. However, species movement is largely constrained by habitat availability and connectivity, of which the interaction effects with climate change remain largely unknown. Here we examine published data on 2798 elevational range shifts from 43 study sites to assess the confounding effect of land-use change on climate-driven species redistribution.

Original Source

Albedo—a primary control on surface melt—varies considerably across the Greenland Ice Sheet yet the specific surface types that comprise its dark zone remain unquantified. Here we use UAV imagery to attribute seven distinct surface types to observed albedo along a 25 km transect dissecting the western, ablating sector of the ice sheet. Our results demonstrate that distributed surface impurities—an admixture of dust, black carbon and pigmented algae—explain 73% of the observed spatial variability in albedo and are responsible for the dark zone itself.