For those who celebrated the holiday season and the publication of a high quality sequence of the Pinot Noir grape genome in PLoS ONE with rather more wine than mistletoe and who are now feeling the consequences of their festive excesses, help is at hand.
In a paper entitled "A Ribosomal S-6 Kinase–Mediated Signal to C/EBP-? Is Critical for the Development of Liver Fibrosis" published in PLoS ONE on December 26, a study led by Martina Buck of the University of California, San Diego, found that some liver damage caused by heavy alcohol consumption or hepatitis may be halted or even reversed by the blocking of a protein called RSK, which is critical for the progression of liver fibrosis. There is currently no treatment available for liver fibrosis and it is hoped that these findings will be important in future research in this area.
- The Washington Post: Research Offers Promise for Cirrhosis Treatment
- BBC News: Liver damage 'could be reversed'
- Guardian Unlimited: Liver drug could benefit heavy drinkers
- Times Online: New hope for a cure to liver cirrhosis
On a lighter note, Riccardo Velasco's Pinot Noir grape genome paper is still receiving attention: Geoffrey Pullum at Language Log ranked the headline of an article about the paper in The Economist as its favourite "translinguistic pun" of the holiday season (Unleash the War on Terroir). Brian Dilkes, the Academic Editor of the paper, meanwhile, discussed the paper with CBS and you can listen online to the entertaining interview, which was featured on a syndicated Westwood One radio network programme. As Miles Raymond said, “Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.”
Happy New Year to everyone; I hope that some of you will make it a New Year's resolution to read and rate or discuss one of the many papers published in PLoS ONE over the past year!