Open Access Week: Free access to journal content
To celebrate Open Access Week all Royal Society content will be free to access from Monday 20 October until Sunday 26 October.
Today we’ve launched Royal Society Open Science, our new open access journal publishing high quality original research on the basis of objective peer review.
Royal Society Open Science supports transparency in science, including open access, open data and optional open peer-review and is the first of the Royal Society’s journals to cover the entire range of science, engineering and mathematics.
This week Royal Society Open Science launches with papers on the hormones of harem-holding wild geladas, how the regulation of the pyruvate kinase enzyme compares between evolutionarily distant organisms and oxygen consumption in tumor models - the podcast for this article is available here.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface offers a HTML5 Interactive PDF Reader to enhance the reading experience of our users. The Interactive PDF Reader, powered by colwiz, will allow users to open a PDF within their web browser and add their own highlights and comments to Interface articles for the first time. To save their comments, users will need to have a colwiz account, which is easy to create and free of charge. We are delighted to partner with colwiz to bring you this new tool on the cutting edge of science publishing. You can see the Reader in action by clicking on “View Interactive PDF” in articles.
We investigate the morphology and mechanical features of octopus suckers, which may serve as a model for the creation of a new generation of attachment devices. Octopus suckers attach to a wide range of substrates in wet conditions, including rough surfaces. This amazing feature is made possible by the sucker’s tissues. In this work, we present a mechanical characterisation of the tissues involved in the attachment process. We evaluated the elasticity modulus and viscoelastic parameters of the natural tissues (E ~ 10 kPa) and measured the mechanical properties of some artificial materials that have previously been used in soft robotics.
Elephants have very few natural predators; however they may exhibit antipredator behaviour to protect their calves from predatory big cats. This has been previously observed in African elephants, but this study published in Biology Letters is the first to focus on the Asian species. The paper demonstrates that Asian elephants can use sound to distinguish between tigers and leopards at night time, and respond appropriately. When presented with leopard-growl playbacks the elephants stood their ground and made aggressive vocalizations, indicating that leopards are perceived to be less threatening than tigers.
The mating systems of barnacles (the only major arthropod group where adults are permanently attached to the bottom) have puzzled evolutionary biologists from Darwin onwards. Although most barnacles have exceptionally long penises to transfer sperm, DNA markers reveal an additional mode of mating previously unknown in crustaceans: sperm capture directly from the water. Surprisingly, the common rocky-shore gooseneck barnacle Pollicipes polymerus captures sperm even when other potential mates are within penis range. These observations overturn over a century of beliefs about how barnacles transfer sperm and raise interesting questions about the capacity for sperm capture in other species.
A strong magnetic pulse affects the precision of departure direction of naturally migrating adult but not juvenile birds
Birds are thought to be able to detect the magnetic field using tiny magnetic particles in their body. Laboratory tests suggest that adult but not juvenile birds are disrupted by magnetic treatments that would remagnetise these particles. Little is known about how birds use the magnetic field in nature because of the difficulty in following their migration. New technology shows that adult but not juvenile birds (those making their first migration) are disrupted by such a treatment during their actual migration, suggesting that these magnetic particles are used as a "map" sense to tell them where they are on their migratory journey.
The vast majority of all agents used to directly kill cancer cells (ionizing radiation, most chemotherapeutic agents and some targeted therapies) work through either directly or indirectly generating reactive oxygen species that block key steps in the cell cycle. As mesenchymal cancers evolve from their epithelial cell progenitors, they almost inevitably possess much heightened amounts of anti-oxidants that effectively block otherwise highly effective oxidant therapies. Also now key to understand better is why and how the anti-diabetic drug metformin (the world’s most prescribed pharmaceutical) preferentially kills oxidant-deficient mesenchymal p53 cells. A much faster timetable should be adopted toward developing more new drugs effective against p53 cancers.