PLOS Biology

PLOS Biology is a monthly Peer reviewed scientific journal covering all aspects of biology. Publication began on October 13, 2003. It was the first journal of the Public Library of Science. The editor-in-chief is Emma Ganley.

In addition to research articles, the journal publishes magazine content aimed to be accessible to a broad audience. Article types in this section are: Essays, Unsolved Mysteries, Editorials, and Synopses.[1][2]

PLOS Biology
Edited byEmma Ganley
Publication details
Publication history
LicenseCreative Commons Attribution License
Standard abbreviations
PLOS Biol.
ISSN1544-9173 (print)
1545-7885 (web)
OCLC no.1039259630

Abstracting and indexing

The journal is abstracted and indexed in:

According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2017 impact factor of 9.163.[10] The journal does not list this impact factor on its website.[11] Instead, the journal promotes the use of article level metrics to provide a measure of the impact of their published articles.


  1. ^ "PLOS Biology Magazine". PLOS Biology. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Public Library Of Science Launches PLoS Biology". Science Daily. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Biological Abstracts - Journal List". Intellectual Property & Science. Clarivate Analytics. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Master Journal List". Intellectual Property & Science. Clarivate Analytics. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. ^ "CAS Source Index". Chemical Abstracts Service. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ "Embase Coverage". Embase. Elsevier. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  7. ^ "PLOS Biology". NLM Catalog. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  8. ^ "PsycINFO Journal Coverage". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  9. ^ "Source details: PLOS Biology". Scopus preview. Elsevier. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  10. ^ "PLOS Biology". 2017 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Science ed.). Clarivate Analytics. 2018.
  11. ^ Taylor, Mike (21 February 2012). "It's Not Academic: How Publishers Are Squelching Science Communication". The Crux. Discover. Retrieved 14 December 2018.

External links


Boreoeutheria (synonymous with Boreotheria) (from Greek Βορέας, Boreas "the greek god of north wind", εὐ-, eu- "good, right" and θηρίον, thēríon "beast" hence "northern true beasts") is a clade (magnorder) of placental mammals which is composed of the sister taxa Laurasiatheria (most hoofed mammals, most pawed carnivores, and several other groups) and Euarchontoglires (Supraprimates). It is now well supported by DNA sequence analyses, as well as retrotransposon presence or absence data. Placental mammals outside of this clade are the clades Xenarthra (sloths and their close relatives) and Afrotheria (elephants and their close relatives).

The earliest known fossils belonging to this group date to about 65 million years ago, shortly after the K-Pg extinction event, though molecular data suggest they may have originated earlier, during the Cretaceous period.With a few exceptions male animals in the clade have a scrotum which serves the function of cooling the testicles to improve the production of sperm. The sub-clade Scrotifera was named after this feature.


Euctenochasmatia is an extinct group of pterodactyloid pterosaurs. It was named by David Unwin in 2003 as the group that contains the most recent common ancestor of Pterodactylus kochi and Ctenochasma, and all its descendants.

Global biodiversity

Global biodiversity is the measure of biodiversity on planet Earth and is defined as the total variability of life forms. More than 99 percent of all species that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 2 million to 1012, of which about 1.74 million have been databased thus far and over 80 percent have not yet been described. More recently, in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth currently with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of DNA base pairs on Earth, as a possible approximation of global biodiversity, is estimated at 5.0 x 1037, and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC (trillion tons of carbon).In other related studies, around 1.9 million extant species are believed to have been described currently, but some scientists believe 20% are synonyms, reducing the total valid described species to 1.5 million. In 2013, a study published in Science estimated there to be 5 ± 3 million extant species on Earth. Another study, published in 2011 by PLoS Biology, estimated there to be 8.7 million ± 1.3 million eukaryotic species on Earth. Some 250,000 valid fossil species have been described, but this is believed to be a small proportion of all species that have ever lived.Global biodiversity is affected by extinction and speciation. The background extinction rate varies among taxa but it is estimated that there is approximately one extinction per million species years. Mammal species, for example, typically persist for 1 million years. Biodiversity has grown and shrunk in earth's past due to (presumably) abiotic factors such as extinction events caused by geologically rapid changes in climate. Climate change 299 million years ago was one such event. A cooling and drying resulted in catastrophic rainforest collapse and subsequently a great loss of diversity, especially of amphibians.

However, the current rate and magnitude of extinctions are much higher than background estimates. This, considered by some to be leading to the sixth mass extinction, is a result of human impacts on the environment.


A hyperparasite is a parasite whose host, often an insect, is also a parasite, often specifically a parasitoid. Hyperparasites are found mainly among the wasp-waisted Apocrita within the Hymenoptera, and in two other insect orders, the Diptera (true flies) and Coleoptera (beetles). Seventeen families in Hymenoptera and a few species of Diptera and Coleoptera are hyperparasitic. Hyperparasitism developed from primary parasitism, which evolved in the Jurassic period in the Hymenoptera. Hyperparasitism intrigues entomologists because of its multidisciplinary relationship to evolution, ecology, behavior, biological control, taxonomy, and mathematical models.

Jonathan Eisen

Jonathan Andrew Eisen (born August 31, 1968) is an American evolutionary biologist, currently working at University of California, Davis. His academic research is in the fields of evolutionary biology, genomics and microbiology and he is the academic editor-in-chief of the open access journal PLOS Biology.

Locked-in syndrome

Locked-in syndrome (LIS), also known as pseudocoma, is a condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking. The individual is conscious and sufficiently intact cognitively to be able to communicate with eye movements.

The EEG is normal in locked-in syndrome.

Total locked-in syndrome, or completely locked-in state (CLIS), is a version of locked-in syndrome wherein the eyes are paralyzed as well. Fred Plum and Jerome Posner coined the term for this disorder in 1966.

Mark Ptashne

Mark Ptashne (born June 5, 1940 in Chicago) is a molecular biologist and violinist. He is the Ludwig Chair of Molecular Biology at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Ptashne grew up in Chicago. He earned his undergraduate degree at Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1961 and his PhD from Harvard in 1968, after which he joined the faculty of Harvard. He was made professor there in 1971 and became chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1980. In 1993 he was awarded an endowed chair, and in 1997 he left Harvard for MSK.The focus of his scientific career has been gene regulation.Ptashne was the first scientist to demonstrate specific binding between protein and DNA, and his lifelong work has been the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of switch between lytic and lysogenic lifecyle of bacteriophage lambda, as well as how the yeast transcriptional activator Gal4 works. He was the originator of the "ball and stick" model of transcription factor function, demonstrating in bacteria and in yeast that they typically consist of separable regions that mediate DNA binding and interaction with transcriptional activators or repressors.

In 1980 he cofounded Genetics Institute, Inc. with Thomas Maniatis. The founding of a company by a Harvard scientist was something new at the time, and was very controversial.In 1985, he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. He won the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1997, and the Massry Prize from the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in 1998. He has written popular books for a wider scientific audience, including his book Genes and Signals.

Selected works

BooksPtashne, M; Gann, A (2002). Genes and Signals. Cold Harbor Spring Laboratory Press. ISBN 978-0-87969-633-7.

Ptashne, M (2004). A Genetic Switch: Phage Lambda Revisited (3rd ed.). Cold Harbor Spring Laboratory Press. ISBN 978-0-87969-716-7.PapersPtashne, M (1967). "Specific Binding of the λ Phage Repressor to λ DNA". Nature. 214 (5085): 232–234. doi:10.1038/214232a0.

Ptashne, M; et al. (1980). "How the λ repressor and cro work". Cell. 19 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(80)90383-9. PMID 6444544.

Ptashne, M. (2011). "Horace Judson (1931–2011)". PLoS Biology. 9 (7): e1001104. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001104.


Meta-research is a recent field of research that studies research practices with the aim of finding evidence-based improvements.

It is also known as "research on research" or "the science of science" as it uses research methods to study how research is done and where improvements can be made.

It covers all fields of scientific research (including health and medical research) and has been described as "taking a bird’s eye view of science".

It aims to improve scientific practice as summed up by John Ioannidis, "Science is the best thing that has happened to human beings [...] but we can do it better".

Middle Jurassic

The Middle Jurassic is the second epoch of the Jurassic Period. It lasted from about 174 to 163 million years ago.

Fossil-bearing rocks from the Middle Jurassic are relatively rare, but some important formations include the Forest Marble Formation in England, the Kilmaluag Formation in Scotland, the Daohugou Beds in China, Itat Formation in Russia, and the Isalo III Formation of western Madagascar.

Mlabri people

The Mlabri (มลาบรี) or Mrabri are an ethnic group of Thailand and Laos, and have been called "the most interesting and least understood people in Southeast Asia". Only about 400 or fewer Mlabris remain in the world today, with some estimates as low as 100. A hill tribe in northern Thailand along the border with Laos, they have been groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers. Those in Thailand live close to the Hmong and northern Thai. Those living in Laos live close to other ethnic groups.


Ornithocheiroidea is a group of pterosaurs within the extinct suborder Pterodactyloidea.


PLOS (for Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit open-access science, technology and medicine publisher, innovator and advocacy organization with a library of open-access journals and other scientific literature under an open-content license. It launched its first journal, PLOS Biology, in October 2003 and publishes seven journals, as of October 2015. The organization is based in San Francisco, California, and has a European editorial office in Cambridge, England. The publications are primarily funded by payments from the authors.


The rhizosphere is the narrow region of soil that is directly influenced by root secretions and associated soil microorganisms. The rhizosphere contains many bacteria and other microorganisms that feed on sloughed-off plant cells, termed rhizodeposition, and the proteins and sugars released by roots. This symbiosis leads to more complex interactions, influencing plant growth and competition for resources. Much of the nutrient cycling and disease suppression needed by plants occurs immediately adjacent to roots due to root exudants and communities of microorganisms. The rhizosphere also provides space to produce allelochemicals to control neighbors and relatives. The plant-soil feedback loop and other physical factors are important selective pressures for the communities and growth in the rhizosphere.

SOS response

The SOS response is a global response to DNA damage in which the cell cycle is arrested and DNA repair and mutagenesis is induced. The system involves the RecA protein (Rad51 in eukaryotes). The RecA protein, stimulated by single-stranded DNA, is involved in the inactivation of the repressor (LexA) of SOS response genes thereby inducing the response. It is an error-prone repair system that contributes significantly to DNA changes observed in a wide range of species.


SciCrunch is a collaboratively edited knowledge base about scientific resources, a community portal for researchers and a content management system for data and databases. It is intended to provide a common source of data to the research community and the data about Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs), which can be used in scientific publications. In some respect, it is for science and scholarly publishing, what Wikidata is for Wikimedia Foundation projects. Hosted by the University of California, San Diego, SciCrunch was also designed to help communities of researchers create their own portals to provide access to resources, databases and tools of relevance to their research areas

Sleep in fish

Whether fish sleep is an intriguing question, to the point of having inspired the title of several popular science books. In birds and mammals, sleep is defined by eye closure and the presence of typical patterns of electrical activity in the brain, including the neocortex, but fish lack eyelids and a neocortex. Some species that always live in shoals or that swim continuously (because of a need for ram ventilation of the gills, for example) are suspected never to sleep. There is also doubt about certain blind species that live in caves.Other fish seem to sleep, however, especially when purely behavioral criteria are used to define sleep. For example, zebrafish, tilapia, tench, brown bullhead, and swell shark become motionless and unresponsive at night (or by day, in the case of the swell shark); Spanish hogfish and blue-headed wrasse can even be lifted by hand all the way to the surface without evoking a response. On the other hand, sleep patterns are easily disrupted and may even disappear during periods of migration, spawning, and parental care.

Stanislas Dehaene

Stanislas Dehaene (born May 12, 1965) is a French author and cognitive neuroscientist whose research centers on a number of topics, including numerical cognition, the neural basis of reading and the neural correlates of consciousness. As of 2017, he is a professor at the Collège de France and, since 1989, the director of INSERM Unit 562, "Cognitive Neuroimaging".Dehaene was one of ten people to be awarded the James S. McDonnell Foundation Centennial Fellowship in 1999 for his work on the "Cognitive Neuroscience of Numeracy". In 2003, together with Denis Le Bihan, Dehaene was awarded the Louis D. Prize from the Institut de France. In 2014, together with Giacomo Rizzolatti and Trevor Robbins, he was awarded the Brain Prize.Dehaene is an associate editor of the journal Cognition, and a member of the editorial board of several other journals, including NeuroImage, PLoS Biology, Developmental Science, and "Neuroscience of Consciousness".

Susan Mango

Susan E. Mango is an American biologist, the former H.A. and Edna Benning Professor of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, and a current professor at Harvard University. She is the director of the Mango Lab.Mango graduated from Harvard University, and from Princeton University with a Ph.D. She was a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Judith Kimble at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She and her team are currently studying the cells of the worm C. elegans to observe how a cell transforms from a pluripotent state into a particular cell type.

Her articles have been published in Nature, Science, Cell, and PLoS Biology.


Wolbachia is a genus of gram-negative bacteria that infects arthropod species, including a high proportion of insects, and also some nematodes.

It is one of the most common parasitic microbes and is possibly the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere.

Its interactions with its hosts are often complex, and in some cases have evolved to be mutualistic rather than parasitic.

Some host species cannot reproduce, or even survive, without Wolbachia colonisation. One study concluded that more than 16% of neotropical insect species carry bacteria of this genus,

and as many as 25 to 70% of all insect species are estimated to be potential hosts.


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