The latest Special Issues from FEBS Letters
A breathtaking glimpse on the respiratory tract
The microbiota of the upper and lower respiratory tract of humans and animals is, in contrast to the gut microbiota, less well studied, and its relevance in pulmonary health and disease is still a matter of debate. The fitness of bacteria and the repertoire of virulence factors that facilitate adherence to host tissue or influence the host immune system are critical determinants of commensalism or pathogenesis. Fluctuations in microbiota composition, dictated by environmental changes, inter-microbial communication and the concerted action of virulence factors of commensals and pathobionts, can determine the potential of a pathobiont for establishing local or pulmonary infections. FEBS Letters presents an exciting new Special Issue on ‘Microbe–Host Interactions’ edited by Sven Hammerschmidt and Wilhelm Just, which brings together an exclusive collection of high-standard reviews by renowned specialists that illustrates the state-of-the-art in this developing field.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have been the focus of intense research since scientists introduced the ‘stem cell’ theory at the beginning of the 20th century. Their inherent multipotency and self-renewal properties confer on them the capacity to re-establish the entire hematopoietic system and therefore to cure the thousands of patients affected with blood-related diseases every year. However, recapitulating all steps leading to HSC production in vitro has proven to be very challenging. A better understanding of HSC fate determination, generation and regulation, as it occurs in vivo in the course of embryonic and adult life, is a pre-requisite to determine what a cell needs to become and to remain a transplantable HSC in a Petri dish. This FEBS Letters Special Issue on ‘Hematopoietic Stem Cells’, edited by Catherine Robin, Georges Lacaud, Thierry Jaffredo and Wilhelm Just, presents a collection of review articles authored by invited international experts, discussing our current understanding of HSC generation as well as recent exciting fundamental and technical developments, and also revealing their views on future research directions.