Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Journal Club: In the mouse gut, a bacteria-killing virus evolves to attack a new strain

In scientists’ quest to understand how gut microbes affect human health, bacteria take center stage. But bacteriophages, the viruses that attack the bacteria, are often overlooked, says microbiologist Luisa De Sordi of the Institut Pasteur in France. “We keep an … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Evolution | Journal Club | Microbiology | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Cellular context determines whether factor promotes or tamps down cancer

Some cellular factors have an impressive multitude of roles. One prime example is LKB1 (Liver Kinase B1). It controls both cell metabolism and cell polarity, telling cells which end is which. It also appears to act as both a tumor … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Cell Biology | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Journal Club: Cooler temperatures might make some mosquitoes better dengue spreaders

Migrating mosquitoes that carry diseases from the tropics to cooler climes might be better at spreading disease in their new, cooler home, according to a recent study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Researchers from Yale University in … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Biochemistry | Climate science | Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Infectious disease | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Journal Club: New tool predicts which compounds taste bitter

Humans have 25 different taste receptors that register a range of bitter chemical compounds in everything from coffee and beer to dark chocolate and medicine. And yet, while humans can easily recognize bitterness, predicting whether a chemical compound will taste … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Aerosols, global warming may dampen cyclone activity in some regions

A recent study suggests that human activity may have decreased the number of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific. A separate study predicts that the total number of intense tropical cyclones will decrease globally in the decades to come, … Continue reading

Categories: Climate science | Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Twin study elucidates environmental, genetic contributions to mouth microbiome and oral health

Some of the mouth’s microbial communities may promote good health, while others contribute to cavities, gum disease, and possibly even heart disease. Now, scientists are learning more about how genetic and environmental factors influence the mouth’s microbial makeup, and how … Continue reading

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Journal Club: First observation of ‘superballistic’ electrons, flowing like a viscous fluid in graphene

Taking advantage of graphene’s special properties, physicists have experimentally observed a stream of record-breaking electrons that move with a conductance exceeding the limit theorists established decades ago. The researchers reported their findings recently in Nature Physics. For more than half … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Physical Sciences | Condensed Matter Physics | Journal Club | Quantum Mechanics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Illuminating the neurons that help fruit fly larvae escape danger

Disturb fruit fly larvae with sharp jabs or intense heat and they’ll respond the same way every time. “They always roll two or three times, and then stop rolling and land away from the noxious thing,” says neuroscientist Kazuo Emoto … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Wheat’s molecular response to full sun exposure could suggest ways to increase yield

A recent study points to novel ways of improving crop yields and food production by elucidating how long it takes for wheat to return to full photosynthesis when making the transition from shade to sun exposure. The Green Revolution in … Continue reading

Categories: Agriculture | Cell Biology | Climate science | Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Journal Club | Plant Biology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: New roles found for protein key to neurotransmission

  Scientists know many of the proteins that make neurotransmission possible, but they don’t have a handle on how all the pieces work together.  “As someone who has studied the synapse for a long time, I still find it frustrating … Continue reading

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