Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are major health problems worldwide, and despite identification of the causative agents and understanding of the mechanism of transmission, many have continued to grow in prevalence. Untreated, STIs may complicate pregnancy and fertility, lead to stillbirth, or result in chronic disease or death. Decades of research have offered glimpses into the pathophysiology of many of these diseases, but as the reviews in this series make clear, a deeper understanding of the natural history of infection, the molecular biology of the agents, and the environment of the hosts they invade will be necessary to achieve their control and eradication. Cover image credit: Thomas Quinn
Published December 2011
Published October 2011
Published June 2011
Published February 2011
When we describe pain as burning, stabbing, or aching, do we really know what those sensations are? The reviews in this series describe the neurobiological basis of pain, including how signals are transmitted, received, and modulated, and how modern technology allows this process to be visualized. These articles also discuss what goes wrong in chronic pain syndromes, and how our understanding of the biology of pain can help direct the development of new analgesics.
Published November 2010
The mammalian eye is a markedly complex organ, and disruption of normal cell physiology at any of a number of levels may result in a devastating loss of vision. In recent years, ophthalmology research has advanced our understanding of fields as diverse as development, aging, immunology, and cancer. The articles in this series review this progress and highlight how the unique biology of the eye has allowed rapid advances in the areas of gene therapy and stem cell research.
Published September 2010
In placental mammals, sexual reproduction is a highly complex and tightly controlled process that begins with germ cell development and ends with the birth of live young. The articles in this series comprise an overview of our current understanding of many of the events crucial to sexual reproduction in placental mammals and point to some of the ways forward to moving from “bench-to-bedside” to enhance pregnancy success rates in fertility clinics.
Published April 2010
Stem cell biology is the study of how tissues and organs are formed and maintained throughout life. Recent efforts seek to translate scientific insights to the clinic. Such efforts are gaining momentum, but it is important to separate myth and hype from reality. The articles in this Review series aim to do just that, providing a balanced perspective on what the field has achieved, where it is headed, and what challenges must be overcome if effective stem cell–based therapies are to be developed.
Published January 2010
Research into the pathogenesis, prevention, and control of infectious and parasitic diseases remains a global priority as these scourges continue to be a substantial cause of mortality and morbidity. As highlighted in this Review Series, genome-wide approaches have provided great insight into a range of human pathogens, leading to greater understanding of the human diseases that they cause. Challenges that must be overcome in order to maximize our ability to use this wealth of genomic information are also discussed.
Published September 2009
Intermediate filaments (IFs) are one of the three major fibrillar cytoplasmic elements that make up the cytoskeleton. Cytoskeletal IFs in distinct cell types are formed from different members of a large family of proteins, the IF protein family, which also includes proteins that are present in the nucleus, where they are the main component of the nucleoskeleton. As discussed in this Review series, roles have been revealed for IFs in more than 80 human tissue-specific diseases.
Published July 2009