Hidden behind the blood brain and blood CSF barriers, the nervous system is often considered an area of immune privilege, lacking the surveillance system that guards the rest of our bodies against infection. However, the reviews in this series reveal that the immune and nervous systems are actually inextricably linked. In addition to physical connections, the two systems share common signaling molecules and pathways, and the mechanics of cell-cell interactions in both systems are remarkably similar. Disturbance of the immune system of the brain is linked to important human conditions like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Cover image credit: Photo Researchers
Published April 2012
Though it's the first thing we see when we look at each other, the skin may be occasionally forgotten as a site of clinically important disease. The reviews in this series highlight our current understanding of several common dermatological conditions, and describe how research in the field has played a major role in expanding our understanding of the basic biology of stem cells and cancer. Correspondingly, basic research findings have led to new insights into dermatological disease, often with impact on therapeutic strategies. Cover image credit: John Seykora
Published February 2012
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are major health problems worldwide, and despite identification of the causative agents and understanding of the mechanism of transmission, many have continued to grow in prevalence. Untreated, STIs may complicate pregnancy and fertility, lead to stillbirth, or result in chronic disease or death. Decades of research have offered glimpses into the pathophysiology of many of these diseases, but as the reviews in this series make clear, a deeper understanding of the natural history of infection, the molecular biology of the agents, and the environment of the hosts they invade will be necessary to achieve their control and eradication. Cover image credit: Thomas Quinn
Published December 2011
Published October 2011
Published June 2011
Published February 2011
When we describe pain as burning, stabbing, or aching, do we really know what those sensations are? The reviews in this series describe the neurobiological basis of pain, including how signals are transmitted, received, and modulated, and how modern technology allows this process to be visualized. These articles also discuss what goes wrong in chronic pain syndromes, and how our understanding of the biology of pain can help direct the development of new analgesics.
Published November 2010
The mammalian eye is a markedly complex organ, and disruption of normal cell physiology at any of a number of levels may result in a devastating loss of vision. In recent years, ophthalmology research has advanced our understanding of fields as diverse as development, aging, immunology, and cancer. The articles in this series review this progress and highlight how the unique biology of the eye has allowed rapid advances in the areas of gene therapy and stem cell research.
Published September 2010
In placental mammals, sexual reproduction is a highly complex and tightly controlled process that begins with germ cell development and ends with the birth of live young. The articles in this series comprise an overview of our current understanding of many of the events crucial to sexual reproduction in placental mammals and point to some of the ways forward to moving from “bench-to-bedside” to enhance pregnancy success rates in fertility clinics.
Published April 2010
Stem cell biology is the study of how tissues and organs are formed and maintained throughout life. Recent efforts seek to translate scientific insights to the clinic. Such efforts are gaining momentum, but it is important to separate myth and hype from reality. The articles in this Review series aim to do just that, providing a balanced perspective on what the field has achieved, where it is headed, and what challenges must be overcome if effective stem cell–based therapies are to be developed.
Published January 2010