Science Bites: August 8th

Science Bites: August 8th

Bumblebees prefer virus-infected plants

Viral infection of plants may change the composition of the volatile chemicals they emit, making them more attractive to bumblebees. The authors of this recent study suggest that bumblebees’ preference for virus-infected tomato plants, and the resulting increase in seed production after pollination, may be useful for developing strategies to increase pollination in cultivated crops.

Invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella has big impact in Vietnam

Invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS), a severe infection that afflicts many malaria-stricken children and HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa, may also contribute to high mortality rates Vietnam, according to new research. The researchers’ analysis of the clinical features and outcomes of iNTS in Southeast Asia may help pave the way for further iNTS-related public health research and interventions in populations outside sub-Saharan Africa.

Fighting coronary artery disease in mice

AGGF1, a protein that promotes the growth of new blood vessels and the breakdown of cellular structures that are damaged or no longer needed, may successfully treat acute heart attacks in mice. The researchers suggest that their findings “provide a novel treatment strategy for [coronary artery disease and heart attack], the leading causes of sudden death worldwide.”

Modelling cooperation

Researchers analyzed a new mathematical model and discovered that a population’s spatial structure can sometimes inhibit cooperation when social interactions involve more than two participants. This model provides new insight into the effects of spatial structure on the evolution on cooperation, but more sophisticated mathematical models are needed to account for the complexity of real-world interactions involving many participants.


Image Credit: Alex M. Murphy, Sanjie Jiang and John P. Carr


Tessa is the Journal Media Manager at PLOS. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with degrees in Rhetoric and Music. She can be reached by email at and on Twitter at @tessagregs.

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