Virtual Issues

Cell and Molecular Biology, August 2012

DNA Fingerprint - Cell and Molecular Biology Virtual IssueBiological Reviews covers the entire range of the biological sciences, and this selection of fifteen articles published over the last few years reflects the journal's wide coverage in Cell and Molecular Biology. There are papers on a set of broad topics of genome organization and evolution, such as the enigma of the 200,000-fold range in genome size in eukaryotes (Gregory, 2001), and how natural selection has left its imprint on eukaryotic genes from oncogenes to those encoding olfactory receptors (Crespi & Summers, 2006; Springer & Murphy, 2007). There are also papers on important aspects of gene expression, such as adenosine deaminases and RNA editing (Gallo & Locatelli, 2012), and micro-RNAs (Lynam-Lennon, Maher & Reynolds, 2009). Also at the cellular level, there are papers on aging, calorie restriction and reactive oxygen species (Barja, 2004), the molecular basis of the depression of metabolic rate associated with states such as hibernation and anhydrobiosis (Storey & Storey, 2004), dietary fats, their effects on membrane function and the implications for metabolic syndrome and mental illness (Hulbert et al., 2005), the function of melatonin (Tan et al., 2010), and the molecular basis of odorant recognition (Zarzo, 2007). A wide range of organisms is covered. Although several papers concentrate on animals, there is an account of the unexpected remnant chloroplast found in one of the most important infectious organisms in the world, the malaria parasite Plasmodium (Wilson, 2005). There is a discussion of genome reduction in another important group of intracellular pathogens, the Rickettsia bacteria (Merhej & Raoult, 2011), and a description of the signaling mechanisms underlying the danse macabre by which the (supposedly!) social amoebozoans use chemotaxis to lure one another to death by cannibalistic phagocytosis as part of their sexual cycle (O'Day & Keszei, 2012). The papers also cover experimental methods, such as biological NMR (Bothwell & Griffin, 2011) and model organisms, such as the zebrafish (Spence et al., 2008).

Biological Reviews has a long and distinguished history. It is produced by the Cambridge Philosophical Society, which promotes research and communication in all branches of science. Biological Reviews was first published in 1923. From the outset, it has included papers of a molecular nature as part of its broad coverage. Its first volume included Adair's 'A comparison of the molecular weights of the proteins' (Biol. Rev. 1, 75-78).
It was a successor to the Society's Transactions, which began publication in 1821, shortly after the society's formation in 1819.

Signalling and sex in the social amoebozoans
Danton H O’Day and Alex Keszei

ADARs: allies or enemies? The importance of A-to-I RNA editing in human disease: from cancer to HIV-1
Angela Gallo and Franco Locatelli

An introduction to biological nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
John H F Bothwell and Julian L Griffin

Rickettsial evolution in the light of comparative genomics
Vicky Merhej and Didier Raou

The changing biological roles of melatonin during evolution: from an antioxidant to signals of darkness, sexual selection and fitness
Dun-Xian Tan et al.

The roles of microRNA in cancer and apoptosis
Niamh Lynam-Lennon, Stephen G. Maher and John V. Reynolds

The behaviour and ecology of the zebrafish, Danio rerio
Rowena Spence, Gabriele Gerlach, Christian Lawrence and Carl Smith

The sense of smell: molecular basis of odorant recognition
Manuel Zarzo

Mammalian evolution and biomedicine: new views from phylogeny
Mark S. Springer and William J. Murphy

Positive selection in the evolution of cancer
Bernard J. Crespi and Kyle Summers

Parasite plastids: approaching the endgame
R. J. M. (Iain) Wilson

Dietary fats and membrane function: implications for metabolism and disease
A. J. Hulbert, N. Turner, L. H. Storlien and P. L. Else

Aging in vertebrates, and the effect of caloric restriction: a mitochondrial free radical production–DNA damage mechanism?
Gustavo Barja

Metabolic rate depression in animals: transcriptional and translational controls
Kenneth B. Storey and Janet M. Storey

Coincidence, co-evolution or causation? DNA content, cell size, and the C-value enigma
T Ryan Gregory