Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Journal Club: Geometry of Greenland’s glaciers helps predict future ice melt

The changing climate is just one factor contributing to the melting and thinning of the slow-moving rivers of ice that terminate in spots such as Greenland’s fjords. Each glacier’s geometry—including its thickness and how steeply it flows—also makes a difference. … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: A new, twisted topological insulator

About a decade ago, physicists began identifying and probing materials that suffer something of an identity crisis. On the surface of these crystals, electrons flow and form currents, like in a conductor. But in the interior, electrons are pinned and … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Tracking memories in fruit fly brains

Memories help animals make predictions. A honeybee may remember that the smell of orange blossoms means nectar is nearby. But sometimes memories require updating. “If you know that your fridge is a good source of food, and you go to … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Journal Club | Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Super-sensitive new microscope uses ultracold atoms to image magnetic fields at high precision

In recent years, physicists have developed an arsenal of sensitive, high-resolution tools to probe the smallest magnetic fields, revealing nanoscale subtleties lost in larger-scale measurements. An understanding of these structures can offer insights into exotic quantum materials. A new microscope … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Physical Sciences | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: New chip allows for rapid, low-cost disease diagnosis from small DNA, RNA samples

A new point-of-care biochip enables rapid detection of nucleic acids in blood samples, paving the way for quick, cheap tests for HIV, MRSA, and numerous other diseases. Video Credit: Yeh et al. Sci. Adv. 2016;3:e1501645 Ideally, an urgent diagnosis occurs rapidly and at … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Biochemistry | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: In some cases, water management practices exacerbated California drought, according to model

Many of California’s reservoirs are now fuller than they’ve been in years thanks to an extraordinarily wet winter. Yet drought conditions are likely to return based on historical cycles, even without accounting for climate change. And California’s depleted groundwater is … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Antibiotics alter the honeybee microbiome and increase bee death

Antibiotics could potentially disrupt the health-promoting microbes that make up the microbiomes in humans and other animals. But pinning down exactly how microbiomes and antibiotics affect human health is complicated by the sheer number of microbes involved. Evolutionary biologist Nancy … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Ecology | Journal Club | Microbiology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Potential life could have spread with relative ease amongst newly-discovered group of seven exoplanets

The odds of life spreading between the worlds of the newly-discovered seven-planet TRAPPIST-1 system are up to 1,000 times greater than in our own solar system. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis posted March 2 to the arXiv, an … Continue reading

Categories: Astrobiology | Astronomy | Ecology | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Shark blood compound offers up novel mechanism for stabilizing folded proteins

Sharks and other sea life often maintain high levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in their blood, a compound vital to their surviving in the saline environment. TMAO helps maintain an osmotic balance between body tissues and sea water to prevent … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Chemistry | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Layer-cake chemistry offers up a cheap way to perform chemical tests

Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi started her study with a trip to the supermarket to buy Listerine breath strips, the sort that melt on your tongue in seconds. But the chemical engineering postdoc at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada wasn’t worried about bad … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Chemistry | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Microbiology | Pharmacology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment