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Weekly PLoS ONE News and Blog Round-Up

A plethora of PLoS ONE articles have been covered by the media and by bloggers this week—some published recently, others were published almost two years ago but have been highlighted again in the light of the recent swine flu crisis.

The latest study to join the PLoS ONE Paleontology Collection is an article published this week entitled, Scaling of Soaring Seabirds and Implications for Flight Abilities of Giant Pterosaurs, by a team of researchers based in Japan and France. The study, which calls into question the flying ability of flying ability of giant, extinct pterosaurs, was covered by National Geographic and the Open Source Paleontologist.

Also published this week was an article by researchers at the University of York and the Scottish Agricultural College, which adds to our understanding of the transmission of bovine tuberculosis between cattle and badgers. There was extensive coverage of the study in the UK media, including articles in the Guardian and the Herald.

Another UK-based study, led by Piers Cornelissen of the University of York and Morten Kringelbach of the University of Oxford, provided new insights into the neural basis underlying our ability to read, given that reading is relatively a very recent cultural invention. A write-up of the study appears in this week’s Science News.

Another paper published in PLoS ONE this week that has garnered some attention online comes from a UCLA group, who describe the ultrasonic communication by a Bornean frog, Huia cavitympanum—the first amphibian species known to emit exclusively ultrasonic signals. Some of the blog coverage of the study can be found at Neurotopia (also worth a look for Oasis fans), Endless Forms and the JCM Natural History Log. A final recent PLoS ONE paper, Lead Bullet Fragments in Venison from Rifle-Killed Deer: Potential for Human Dietary Exposure, by W. Grainger Hunt and colleagues, also led to several blog posts, including on Anne Minard’s blog and on Hominin Dental Anthropology.

The recent swine flu outbreak has led to the resurgence of interest in a number of flu-related articles published in PLoS ONE. A New Scientist article on the role of travel restrictions in the prevention of flu pandemics linked back to a 2007 PLoS ONE article by Joshua Epstein and colleagues (as well as to two PLoS Medicine articles). The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, highlighted Marianne van der Sande’s study, which reported that personal respirators provide more protection than surgical masks against the transmission of respiratory infections to healthy people but that surgical masks offer more protection than home-made masks. Finally, a PLoS ONE study by Australian researchers, which describes a potential universal influenza vaccine that can be delivered via nasal spray, was covered by the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week.

It has been a busy week of news and blog coverage for PLoS ONE and those of us based in PLoS’s UK office are very grateful for our upcoming bank holiday weekend, which will almost certainly involve plenty of Maypole dancing and other May Day themed festivities (don’t worry, though—our San Francisco office will still be on hand on Monday to assist with any PLoS ONE– or manuscript-related questions you may have).

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