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Cell
This journal offers authors two options (open access or subscription) to publish research

Mar 18, 2021

Volume 184Issue 6p1395-1650
Open Archive
On the cover: Many uncertainties obscure a clear vision of the future for life on Earth. In this Special Review Issue, we explore the ways in which biological systems adapt to uncertainties, stress, and change and highlight how biological research is helping to chart a path through the unknown toward a better future for all....
On the cover: Many uncertainties obscure a clear vision of the future for life on Earth. In this Special Review Issue, we explore the ways in which biological systems adapt to uncertainties, stress, and change and highlight how biological research is helping to chart a path through the unknown toward a better future for all.

Leading Edge

Select

  • Insects in the age of extinction

    • Andrea E.A. Stephens
    It is undeniable that we are now in the sixth great extinction. Traditionally, concern has been focused on birds, mammals, and other charismatic taxa. However, in recent years, entomologists have noted that insects too are declining. Because insects are critical to almost all key terrestrial ecosystem processes, this has sparked major concern. The first signs of a problem were honeybee colony deaths in the mid-2000s and declines of the iconic monarch butterfly, but now there is acknowledgment of widespread reductions in insect abundance.

Editorial

  • The uncertain future

    • The Cell editorial team
    “I hope you’re doing well in these uncertain times” is a sentence many of us encountered in one form or another in the last 12 months. It still rings true; these are uncertain times. As a global community, we are entering the second year of a pandemic, but beyond that, we are facing facts about how human progress is changing the planet that nurtures us, and we are confronting the limits of our understanding of our own physiology as well as of the organisms we share this world with. We do not know what the future holds, but as the saying goes “the only constant is change,” and change is inevitable in the face of uncertainty.

Bench to Bedside

  • Messenger RNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2

    • Eric J. Topol
    The first two vaccines proven to be effective for inhibiting COVID-19 illness were both mRNA, achieving 95% efficacy (and safety) among 74,000 participants (half receiving placebo) after intramuscular delivery of two shots, 3–4 weeks apart. To view this Bench to Bedside, open or download the PDF.

Conversations

  • Scientific misinformation: A perfect storm, missteps, and moving forward

    The spread of scientific misinformation is not new but rather has long posed threats to human health, environmental well-being, and the creation of a sustainable and equitable future. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to develop strategies to counteract scientific misinformation has taken on an acute urgency. Cell editor Nicole Neuman sat down with Walter Quattrociocchi and Dietram Scheufele to gain insights on how we got here and what does—and does not—work to fight the spread of scientific misinformation.

Voices

  • Scientific impact in a changing world

    • Michael E. Mann,
    • Lindsay J. Hall,
    • Nicholas K. Dulvy
    Measuring scientific success has traditionally involved numbers and statistics. However, due to an increasingly uncertain world, more than ever we need to measure the effect that science has on real-world scenarios. We asked researchers to share their points of view on what scientific impact means to them and how impact matters beyond the numbers.

Commentaries

  • Active learning-based STEM education for in-person and online learning

    • Stefano Sandrone,
    • Gregory Scott,
    • William J. Anderson,
    • Kiran Musunuru
    The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced the higher education sector to transition to an uncharted remote-learning format. This offers an opportunity to adopt active learning, which increases students’ performance compared to lectures, narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students, and promotes equity and inclusivity, as the basis of STEM education.
  • Precision medicine in 2030—seven ways to transform healthcare

    • Joshua C. Denny,
    • Francis S. Collins
    Precision medicine promises improved health by accounting for individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle. Precision medicine will continue to transform healthcare in the coming decade as it expands in key areas: huge cohorts, artificial intelligence (AI), routine clinical genomics, phenomics and environment, and returning value across diverse populations.
  • Opportunities and challenges in assessing climate change vulnerability through genomics

    • Ary A. Hoffmann,
    • Andrew R. Weeks,
    • Carla M. Sgrò
    By investigating how past selection has affected allele frequencies across space, genomic tools are providing new insights into adaptive evolutionary processes. Now researchers are considering how this genomic information can be used to predict the future vulnerability of species under climate change. Genomic vulnerability assessments show promise, but challenges remain.
  • The seven domains of action for a sustainable ocean

    • Joachim Claudet
    The ocean strongly contributes to our well-being but is severely impacted by human activities. Here, I propose seven domains of action to structure our collective efforts toward a scientifically sound, just, and holistic governance of a sustainable ocean.

Perspectives

Reviews

Snapshots

  • SnapShot: Neurobiology of opioid use disorder

    • Randall J. Ellis,
    • Tanni Rahman,
    • Jeremy Sherman,
    • Yasmin L. Hurd
    The use of opioid drugs and related overdose deaths, which rose to epidemic proportions over the past decade, have been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, a time of great uncertainty and isolation. Much is known about opioid pharmacology and related neural circuits that, combined with novel emerging neurobiological insights, can help guide new treatment strategies. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.
  • SnapShot: Tumor evolution

    • Ariana Huebner,
    • Michelle Dietzen,
    • Nicholas McGranahan
    Understanding how tumors grow and evolve over time is crucial to help shed light on the underlying reasons why treatments fail and tumors metastasize. This SnapShot provides a brief introduction into the main concepts of tumor evolution. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.
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