Have you ever asked yourself, “What does it all mean?”? Your friends at mBio are here to help, and although we can’t tell you the meaning of life, we can help fill you in about what’s going on in microbiology.
Now, as an additional service to our readers, mBio is complementing its list of article types with a new kind of feature: Commentaries. These brief discussions are intended to put important mBio papers in perspective for our readers and provide insights and angles you may not have considered. Our editors and our Editor in Chief, Arturo Casadevall, will review the studies published in mBio and invite reviewers or other eminent scientists to compose Commentaries on the best of the best.
Our very first Commentary, published this week, revisits a paper from the February edition in which the authors described a human gene fragment they discovered in the genome of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The study caused quite a stir in the scientific community and in the press and the authors of the Commentary, William Shafer and Elizabeth Ohneck of the Emory University School of Medicine, argue that the findings have made a significant impact on our understanding of the coevolution of humans and pathogens. We already knew that the intimate relationship between humans and their gonococcal residents has taught N. gonorrhoeae a thing or two about getting around our defenses, but Shafer and Ohneck point out that the fact that the pathogen actually carries our DNA and could, potentially, express a human protein fragment means this relationship is carried on at a much higher level than we previously thought.
What do you think about mBio’s new Commentaries articles? Do you read Commentaries in other scientific journals? What do you look for in a well-considered Commentary?