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New and Exciting in PLoS Community Journals

Let’s see what is new in PLoS Pathogens, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Computational Biology and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases:

A new installment in the “Ten Simple Rules” series: Ten Simple Rules for Graduate Students

Choosing to go to graduate school is a major life decision. Whether you have already made that decision or are about to, now it is time to consider how best to be a successful graduate student. Here are some thoughts from someone who holds these memories fresh in her mind (JG) and from someone who has had a whole career to reflect back on the decisions made in graduate school, both good and bad (PEB). These thoughts taken together, from former student and mentor, represent experiences spanning some 25 or more years. For ease, these experiences are presented as ten simple rules, in approximate order of priority as defined by a number of graduate students we have consulted here in the US; but we hope the rules are more globally applicable, even though length, method of evaluation, and institutional structure of graduate education varies widely. These rules are intended as a companion to earlier editorials covering other areas of professional development.

Computational Biology in Cuba: An Opportunity to Promote Science in a Developing Country:

Computational biology can be considered a supradisciplinary field of knowledge that merges biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science into a broad-based science that is important to furthering our understanding of the life sciences. Although a relatively new area of research, it is recognized as a crucial field for scientific advancement in developing countries. This Perspective introduces our vision of the role of computational biology in biomedical research and teaching in Cuba. Except where individuals are directly quoted, any opinions expressed herein should be considered those of the authors.

Fortunately, nobody from PLoS will have to go prison for publishing research originating in Cuba.

Measuring the Burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases: The Global Burden of Disease Framework:

Governments and international agencies are faced with setting priorities for health research and investment in health systems and health interventions in a context of increasing health care costs, increasing availability of effective interventions, and numerous and diverse priorities and interest groups. Evidence on the magnitude and trends of diseases and their causes should be a critical input to decision making at the global, national, and local levels. Broad evaluation of the effectiveness of health systems and major health programs and policies also requires assessments of the causes of loss of health that are comparable not only across populations, but also over time.

Lessons from “Lower” Organisms: What Worms, Flies, and Zebrafish Can Teach Us about Human Energy Metabolism:

A pandemic of metabolic diseases (atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, and obesity), unleashed by multiple social and economic factors beyond the control of most individuals, threatens to diminish human life span for the first time in the modern era. Given the redundancy and inherent complexity of processes regulating the uptake, transport, catabolism, and synthesis of nutrients, magic bullets to target these diseases will be hard to find. Recent studies using the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the fly Drosophila melanogaster, and the zebrafish Danio rerio indicate that these “lower” metazoans possess unique attributes that should help in identifying, investigating, and even validating new pharmaceutical targets for these diseases. We summarize findings in these organisms that shed light on highly conserved pathways of energy homeostasis.