[Above image: Polar Bear jumping, in Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard, Norway. Arturo de Frias Marques, Wikimedia] This December, the Press team is reflecting on some of the PLOS ONE articles covered in the news in 2015.
Author Archives: Kayla Graham
Earth Day 2015: Celebrating Our Awe Inspiring World
We share Earth with millions of amazing plants and animals. Whether we’re relaxing in a hot spring like a Japanese macaque, or catching a glimpse of a rare bird, our exposure to Nature’s diversity enriches our lives and makes us … Continue reading
The post Earth Day 2015: Celebrating Our Awe Inspiring World appeared first on EveryONE.
Introducing the PLOS ONE Conference Page
We are excited to announce the publication of the PLOS ONE conference page. The page serves as a one-stop shop for announcements and information regarding upcoming conferences, including when and where to meet up with PLOS ONE journal staff. You … Continue reading
The post Introducing the PLOS ONE Conference Page appeared first on EveryONE.
Warming in Our Winter Wonderland: The Role of Ice in Penguin, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull Survival
As winter grips the Northern Hemisphere tightly, many of us are happy to retreat to the comfort of our warm homes. But for some animals, this season plays a vital role in the formation of something necessary for their survival, … Continue reading
The post Warming in Our Winter Wonderland: The Role of Ice in Penguin, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull Survival appeared first on EveryONE.
Meet PLOS at the Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting
PLOS ONE and PLOS Biology are excited to return to the Biophysical Society’s Annual Meeting. The event will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center located in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. All are encouraged to stop by booth #636 to speak … Continue reading
The post Meet PLOS at the Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting appeared first on EveryONE.
Fossilized Footprints Lead Scientists Down a Prehistoric Path
Whether tromping alone or running in a pack, all prehistoric creatures got around somehow. Paleontologists can use fossilized bones to learn more about what dinosaurs ate, what they looked like, and even how they might have moved, but bones are … Continue reading
The post Fossilized Footprints Lead Scientists Down a Prehistoric Path appeared first on EveryONE.
Canada’s Species at Risk Rarely Recover: The Story Behind the PLOS ONE Article
Post By Caroline Fox & Brett Favaro Most scientists are passionate about their work, but enthusiasm can sometimes be hard to maintain over a long project. What if we could inject the fun back into science—take away the emotional baggage … Continue reading
The post Canada’s Species at Risk Rarely Recover: The Story Behind the PLOS ONE Article appeared first on EveryONE.
Let Me Count the Ways: Top 20 PLOS ONE Articles Based on Article-Level Metrics for 2014
At PLOS ONE, we’ve been compiling year-end lists to reflect on the most popular articles and research videos published in our journal. But this year, we also wanted to compile an alternative list, based on article-level metrics (ALMs*), a collection … Continue reading
The post Let Me Count the Ways: Top 20 PLOS ONE Articles Based on Article-Level Metrics for 2014 appeared first on EveryONE.
Meet PLOS at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 2014
We are excited to announce that PLOS will be exhibiting at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 2014 Annual Meeting from 5-8th November in Berlin. This is only the second time that the meeting takes place outside North America, and the … Continue reading
The post Meet PLOS at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 2014 appeared first on EveryONE.
Going PRO – clinical trials must plan to capture patient-reported outcomes
Post authored by David Moher All participants in research are important. What patients in clinical trials tell us about treatments – patient-reported outcomes (PROs) such as quality of life and symptoms – is being used more and more to improve … Continue reading
The post Going PRO – clinical trials must plan to capture patient-reported outcomes appeared first on EveryONE.
Article-Level Metrics Highlight: Top 10 of the Summer
The post Article-Level Metrics Highlight: Top 10 of the Summer appeared first on EveryONE.
The 2014 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Collection
The post The 2014 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Collection appeared first on EveryONE.
3000 Years Ago, We Were What We Ate
For many of us, moving to a new house means recruiting a couple good friends to help pack and haul boxes. After a day or two of work, everyone shares a pizza while resting tired muscles at the new home. But 3000 years ago, enjoying a post-move meal may have required a little more planning. Early settlers of remote tropical islands in the Pacific had to bring along all resources needed for survival, including food, from their original homes overseas.
The Lapita people were early settlers of islands in the Pacific, called Remote Oceania (pictured below). When these people, whose culture and biology links to Southeast Asian islands, first decided to sail to the island Vanuatu, they brought domestic plants and animals—or what you might call a ‘transported landscape’—that allowed them to settle this previously uninhabited, less biodiverse (and less resource-available) area. However, the extent to which these settlers and their domestic animals relied on the transported landscape at Vanuatu during the initial settlement period, as opposed to relying on the native flora and fauna, remains uncertain.
To better understand the diet and lives of the Lapita people on Vanuatu, archaeologist authors of a study in PLOS ONE analyzed the stable carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotopes from the bones of ~ 50 adults excavated from the Lapita cemetery on Efate Island, Vanuatu.
Why look at isotopes in human remains? Depending on what we eat, we consume varying amounts of different elements, and these are ultimately deposited in our bones in ratios that can provide a sort of “dietary signature”; in this way, the authors can investigate the types of plants, animals, and fish that these early people ate.
For instance, plants incorporate nitrogen into their tissue as part of their life cycle, and as animals eat plants and other animals, nitrogen isotopes accumulate. The presence of these different ratios of elements may indicate whether a human or animal ate plants, animals, or both. Carbon ratios for instance differ between land and water organisms, and sulfur ratios also vary depending on whether they derive from water or land, where water organisms generally have higher sulfur values in comparison to land organisms.
Scientists used the information gained about the isotopes and compared it to a comprehensive analysis of stable isotopes from the settlers’ potential food sources, including modern and ancient plants and animals. They found that early Lapita inhabitants of Vanuatu may have foraged for food rather than relying on horticulture during the early stages of colonization. They likely grew and consumed food from the ‘transported landscape’ in the new soil, but appear to have relied more heavily on a mixture of reef fish, marine turtles, fruit bats, and domestic land animals.
The authors indicate that the dietary analysis may also provide insight into the culture of these settlers. For one, males displayed significantly higher nitrogen levels compared to females, which indicates greater access to meat. This difference in food distribution may support the premise that Lapita societies were ranked in some way, or may suggest dietary differences associated with labor specialization. Additionally, the scientists analyzed the isotopes in ancient pig and chicken bones and found that carbon levels in the settlers’ domestic animals imply a diet of primarily plants; however, their nitrogen levels indicate that they may have roamed outside of kept pastures, eating foods such as insects or human fecal matter. This may have allowed the Lapita to allocate limited food resources to humans, rather than domestic animals.
Thousands of years later, the adage, “you are what you eat” or rather, “you were what you ate” still applies. As the Lapita people have shown us, whether we forage for food, grow all our vegetables, or order takeout more than we would like to admit, our bones may reveal clues about our individual lives and collective societies long after we are gone.
Citation: Kinaston R, Buckley H, Valentin F, Bedford S, Spriggs M, et al. (2014) Lapita Diet in Remote Oceania: New Stable Isotope Evidence from the 3000-Year-Old Teouma Site, Efate Island, Vanuatu. PLoS ONE 9(3): e90376. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090376
Image 1: Efate, Vanuatu by Phillip Capper
Image 2: Figure 1
The post 3000 Years Ago, We Were What We Ate appeared first on EveryONE.
Ask EveryONE: Corrections
My paper was recently published in PLOS ONE, but I’ve noticed an error. Can it be corrected?
PLOS ONE corrects major errors found in published articles via the addition of a Formal Correction to the paper. Formal Corrections are reserved for errors that significantly affect the understanding or utility of the paper. In addition to being published on the PLOS ONE website, corrections are also indexed in PubMed Central and PubMed.
When a paper has been corrected, a correction notice will appear in a gray box at the top of the article page. A CrossMark logo now appears on every PLOS article page and in the downloadable PDF; clicking the logo on a corrected article’s page will bring up a status box showing that the paper has been corrected.
To see the full correction, click the “View correction” link in the gray box. This will direct you to a page with the full correction details, including any updated figures, tables, or supporting information, along with a PDF version of the correction notice available for download. An example of a correction notice on the original article is shown below.
Example of a Formal Correction notice (click to enlarge)
If you notice an error in your published paper, you should contact our corrections team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the title and DOI of your paper; a description of the problem; and any corrected figures, tables, or supporting information files. PLOS staff will decide whether a Formal Correction is appropriate and will work with you to publish a correction as quickly as possible.
If there is an error in one of your figures, tables, or supporting information files, the corrected items will be included in the Formal Correction. An example of a Formal Correction is shown below.
Example of a Formal Correction (click to enlarge)
The post Ask EveryONE: Corrections appeared first on EveryONE.
Two Shark Studies Reveal the Old and Slow
Sharks live in the vast, deep, and dark ocean, and studying these large fish in this environment can be difficult. We may have sharks ‘tweeting’ their location, but we still know relatively little about them. Sharks have been on the planet for over 400 million years and today, there are over 400 species of sharks, but how long do they live, and how do they move? Two recent studies published in in PLOS ONE have addressed some of these basic questions for two very different species of sharks: great whites and megamouths.
The authors of the first study looked at the lifespan of the great white shark. Normally, a shark’s age is estimated by counting growth bands in their vertebrae (image 1), not unlike counting rings inside a tree trunk. But unfortunately, these bands can be difficult to differentiate in great whites, so the researchers dated the radiocarbon that they found in them. You might wonder where this carbon-14 (14C) came from, but believe it or not, radiocarbon was deposited in their vertebrae when thermonuclear bombs were detonated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean during the ‘50s and ’60s. These bands therefore provide age information. Based on the ages of the sharks in the study, the researchers suggest that great whites may live much longer than previously thought. Some male great whites may even live to be over 70 years old, and this may qualify them as one of the longest-living shark species. While these new estimates are impressive, they may also help scientists understand how threats to these long-living sharks may impact the shark population.
A second shark study analyzed the structure of a megamouth shark’s pectoral fin (image 2) to understand and predict their motion through the water. Discovered in 1976, the megamouth is one of the rarest sharks in the world, and little is known about how they move through the water. We do know that the megamouth lives deep in the ocean and is a filter feeder, moving at very slow speeds to filter out a meal with its large mouth. But swimming slowly in the water is difficult in a similar way flying slowly in an airplane is difficult. Sharks need speed to control lift and movement.
To better understand the megamouth’s slow movement, the researchers measured the cartilage, skin histology, and skeletal structure of the pectoral fins of one female and one male megamouth shark, caught accidentally and preserved for research. The researchers found that the megamouth’s skin was highly elastic, and its cartilage was made of more ‘segments’ than any other known shark, which may provide added flexibility compared to other species. The authors also suggest that the joint structure (image 3) of the pectoral fin may allow forward and backward rotation, motions that are largely restricted in most sharks. The authors suggest that this flexibility and mobility of the pectoral fin may be specialized for controlling body posture and depth at slow swimming speeds. This is in contrast to the fins of fast-swimming sharks that are generally stiff and immobile.
In addition to the difficulties in exploring deep, dark seas, small sample sizes present challenges for many shark studies, including those described here. But whether studying the infamous great white shark or one of the rare megamouths, both contribute to a growing body of knowledge of these elusive fish.
Citations: Hamady LL, Natanson LJ, Skomal GB, Thorrold SR (2014) Vertebral Bomb Radiocarbon Suggests Extreme Longevity in White Sharks. PLoS ONE 9(1): e84006. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084006
Tomita T, Tanaka S, Sato K, Nakaya K (2014) Pectoral Fin of the Megamouth Shark: Skeletal and Muscular Systems, Skin Histology, and Functional Morphology. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86205. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086205
Image 2: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086205.g003
Image 3: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086205.g004
The post Two Shark Studies Reveal the Old and Slow appeared first on EveryONE.