Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Journal Club: Protein vs protein, study comprehensively compares the environmental impacts of livestock and seafood

The most environmentally friendly protein sources include clams, sardines, and cod. Not surprisingly, beef has the worst environmental impact. Somewhat surprisingly, farmed salmon is relatively innocuous; but catfish is not. These are the conclusions of a recent study that compares … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Dogs can harbor evolving flu viruses, signaling potential future threat to humans

When scientists search for the origins of a novel influenza A outbreak, they often trace the virus back to birds or pigs. These animals act as reservoirs, hosts that allow diverse flu viruses to swap genome segments, evolving into new … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Microglial protein trafficking could play a role in neurodegenerative disorders

Neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Parkinson’s are associated with a build-up of insoluble, toxic forms of proteins such as amyloid or tau in the brain. Normally, intracellular protein complexes known as retromers help with recycling and trafficking … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Researchers may’ve finally solved mystery of crater ray formation

Look carefully at the full moon and you’ll see bright skinny streaks extending from large lunar craters. These are ejecta rays, spoke-like lines that seem to shoot from the circular impact site, a vivid testament to ancient explosions. But scientists … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Mouse microbiome findings offer insights into why a high-fat, low-carb diet helps epileptic children

For nearly a century, doctors have found that a strict high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can limit seizures in children with epilepsy when medications fail. But exactly how this ketogenic diet works has remained largely a mystery. Now, researchers at the University … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Journal Club | Microbiology | Neuroscience | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Proprioceptive neurons offer new insights into a “sixth sense”

Proprioception allows people to know the position of parts of the body without seeing them, enabling us to touch type, walk in the dark without falling over, or drive a car while looking at the road. Defects in this sensory … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Timed treatment fends off hardening of arteries in mice

Timing is everything—including, possibly, when treating cardiovascular disease. By administering a drug-like compound in mice at a certain point during the circadian cycle, researchers were able to slow atherosclerosis while minimizing side effects, according to a recent study in Cell … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Diagnosing disease with smartphone cameras

Bioengineers at the University of Washington have devised a way to use smartphone cameras for imaging diagnostics, paving the way to test for afflictions such as influenza and sexually transmitted infections without costly equipment. The technique, presented this month in Analytical … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Damaged reefs get quieter, causing fewer fish to hear their way home

  A healthy coral reef creates quite the underwater racket. Reef croakers croak, damselfish woop-woop-woop, and clown fish sound thuds like a woodpecker at a tree. But a new study reports that climate-change related disturbances can turn down the volume … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Horizontal gene transfer can boost fitness quickly, but the conditions matter

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is rampant in the bacterial community, as well as in some other members of the tree of life. Researchers have long known that HGT events can improve an organism’s ability to adapt to changing environments. What’s … Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment