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Anaesthesia Response, Controlling Cas9, and How to Use Github: the PLOS Comp Biol January Issue

Here are our highlights from the PLOS Computational Biology January issue:


Brain Connectivity Dissociates Responsiveness from Drug Exposure during Propofol-Induced Transitions of Consciousness

Scientific understanding of how brain networks generate consciousness has seen rapid advances in recent years, but using this knowledge to accurately track transitions to unconsciousness during general anaesthesia has proven difficult, partly because of the considerable variability in this process between individuals. Srivas Chennu and colleagues address this challenge by using high-density electroencephalography to characterise changes in brain networks during propofol sedation.


Alpha band connectivity networks. Image Credit: Chennu et al.
Alpha band connectivity networks. Image Credit: Chennu et al.


A Biophysical Model of CRISPR/Cas9 Activity for Rational Design of Genome Editing and Gene Regulation

The CRISPR/Cas9 bacterial immunity system has the potential to revolutionize medicine and biotechnology by enabling researchers to cut an organism’s genomic DNA at precise locations. While Cas9 is perhaps the most easy-to-use technique for gene therapy, it is not perfect; the enzyme can also cut DNA at unwanted locations in an organism’s genome. Howard M. Salis and Iman Farasat develop a system-wide, quantitative, physical model to better understand all the factors that collectively control Cas9’s off-target cleavage activity.


A Quick Introduction to Version Control with Git and GitHub

Many scientists write code as part of their research, but just as experiments are logged in laboratory notebooks, it is important to document the code that you use for analysis. In this quick guide, John D. Blischak and colleagues introduce you to one version control system, Git (, and one online hosting site, GitHub (, and show how, by tracking your code development with a version control system and hosting it online, you are performing science that is more transparent, reproducible, and open to collaboration.


Featured Image Credit: January Issue Image, provided by Pacheco et al.

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