Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Journal Club: Being less infectious pays off for lung pathogen

The human body is home to millions of commensal microbes, some of which—given the right circumstances—can cause disease. One such microbe, known as nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), infects the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that … Continue reading

Categories: Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Microbiology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Tracing light’s effect on mood and learning in mice from the eye to deep within the brain

To the mammalian eye, light offers more than just sight. “Light is so important for many innate functions,” says neuroscientist Samer Hattar of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “We really don’t appreciate the importance of light in our … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Butterflies get diversity boost from associations with ants, plants

Harvard University evolutionary biologist Naomi Pierce began studying Lycaenidae butterflies as a graduate student in the 1980s. But only recently has she accumulated enough data, from her team’s work and others’, to begin to address the question that has long … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Evolution | Genetics | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Attention may be at the root of confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is a pervasive phenomenon. Whether it’s a news article or an additional piece of scientific data, people tend to interpret new information as evidence confirming their prior beliefs—even if it actually doesn’t. “People have been aware of this … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Ocean wave power generator gets boost from optics insights

Engineers have long dreamed of tapping into the vast quantities of renewable energy available in the motion of ocean waves, but designing apparatuses to harness such power efficiently has so far proven difficult. Borrowing a technique from optical physics, a … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Marine conservation move sparks a fishing frenzy

Initiatives to protect marine ecosystems could do more harm to marine life than good, according to a recent PNAS paper. The work suggests that the announcement of one of the world’s largest marine protected areas sparked a sudden uptick in … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: New screening method promises to reveal elusive cellular receptors for a range of pathogens

The surfaces of human cells are chock-full of proteins that help cells communicate with one another. Unfortunately, many viruses coopt these proteins, latching on in order to enter cells. By revealing which proteins are receptors for which viruses, researchers may … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Microbiology | Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Drug-resistant microbes could threaten future global economy, low income countries in particular

Antimicrobial resistance is not only a major public health threat, but also an economic one, according to researchers at The World Bank. Their new study, published in the journal World Development, suggests that an increase in drug-resistant microbes could cause … Continue reading

Categories: Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Microbiology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Highly-detailed solar wind observations may help explain sun’s mysteries

The solar wind—a stream of charged particles blowing off the sun’s surface—affects the entire solar system. Yet its behavior remains largely enigmatic. Now a new effort has provided the most detailed long-term measurements ever made of the solar wind, helping … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Sticky proteins play crucial role in tailoring synapses

The proteins that join neurons together at the synapse do more than just act like glue. Synaptic adhesion proteins are known to affect the activity of neurotransmitters, weaken or strengthen synaptic connections, or direct where synapses form. Faulty adhesion proteins … Continue reading

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