A team led by researchers from Mount Sinai this week reported the discovery that a single microRNA — miR-128 — plays a major role in nerve cell excitability and motor activity by regulating an entire neuronal signaling pathway.

The data, which were generated in mice, also show that inhibition of the miRNA triggered increased motor activity and fatal epilepsy, and that its overexpression attenuated neural responsiveness, suppressed motor activity, and alleviated the movement abnormalities associated with Parkinson's-like disease and seizures.

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In PLOS this week: phylogenetic study of hepatitis E viruses in Swedish moose, recombination sites in the honeybee genome, and more.

Differences in DNA methylation could be used to distinguish between DNA samples obtained from identical twins, researchers say.

A retrovirus that's been integrated into the human genome appears to have a role in embryonic development, researchers report.

A report from MIT identifies areas of scientific research where declining research support is hindering needed advances.