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Question and answer

Question-and-answer articles in BMC Biology provide an easily digestible and often lively guide to topics of current interest or fundamental importance. Some are pedagogic (for example, on epistasis or cooperativity), some question the meaning of widely used terms (biodiversity, pathogenicity), some are both topical and pedagogic (on fructose toxicity, or on what we have learned from the 2010-2011 influenza pandemic), some are topical, pedagogic and quirky (on the definition of life); and the video and audio Q&As (with edited transcripts) represent the point of view of prominent individuals.

  1. Question and Answer

    The evolving world of pseudoenzymes: proteins, prejudice and zombies

    Pseudoenzymes are catalytically deficient variants of enzymes that are represented in all major enzyme families. Their regulatory functions in signalling pathways are shedding new light on the non-catalytic fu...

    Patrick A. Eyers and James M. Murphy

    BMC Biology 2016 14:98

    Published on: 11 November 2016

  2. Question and Answer

    Q&A: What are exosomes, exactly?

    Exosomes are extracellular vesicles first described as such 30 years ago and since implicated in cell–cell communication and the transmission of disease states, and explored as a means of drug discovery. Yet f...

    James R. Edgar

    BMC Biology 2016 14:46

    Published on: 13 June 2016

  3. Question and Answer

    What are karrikins and how were they ‘discovered’ by plants?

    Karrikins are a family of compounds produced by wildfires that can stimulate the germination of dormant seeds of plants from numerous families. Seed plants could have ‘discovered’ karrikins during fire-prone t...

    Gavin R. Flematti, Kingsley W Dixon and Steven M. Smith

    BMC Biology 2015 13:108

    Published on: 21 December 2015

  4. Question and answer

    Q&A: How do plants sense and respond to UV-B radiation?

    Plants are able to sense UV-B through the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8. UV-B photon absorption by a UVR8 homodimer leads to UVR8 monomerization and interaction with the downstream signaling factor COP1. This then i...

    Roman Ulm and Gareth I Jenkins

    BMC Biology 2015 13:45

    Published on: 30 June 2015

  5. Question & Answer

    Q&A: Epistasis

    Frederick P Roth, Howard D Lipshitz and Brenda J Andrews

    Journal of Biology 2009 8:35

    Published on: 22 May 2009