Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Problems in the cotton field

For US cotton farmers the world changed dramatically in 1996. During the prior year, the nibblings of tobacco budworms, cotton bollworms, and pink bollworms cost the industry upwards of a quarter billion dollars in lost yields. But in 1996 a … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Leave a comment

Adult male chimps regularly eat meat, unlike other chimps

All wild chimpanzees eat fruits and nuts, but research in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences now confirms that adult male chimps regularly eat meat. These findings may suggest that differences in what food the sexes gather … Continue reading

Categories: Anthropology | Evolution | Leave a comment

Predicting decisions before they’re conscious

Daily, we make thousands of decisions: latte or Americano? Brown shoes or black? Though it feels like our choices are made only with our conscious mind, more mysterious forces are at work. Blood flow in our brain indicates how we … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Leave a comment

Flagellar anchors help bacteria adhere to surfaces

The whip-like flagella that stream off the ends of some bacteria are typically given credit for motoring microbes forward as they explore their surroundings. But bacterial flagella have another, seemingly contradictory job, a team of researchers has discovered: The tails … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Leave a comment

Michael Najjar: artist in space

[slideshow_deploy id=’507′]     German photographer Michael Najjar hopes to be the first artist in space. His space flight, as one of the certified civilian astronauts on board Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, is scheduled for 2014. Najjar hopes that … Continue reading

Categories: Visual Science | 7 Comments

No foiling these plants: growing aluminum-resistant maize

The cerrado, a sprawling savannah that stretches across central and southern Brazil, was dismissed as worthless land for most of human history. As is also the case in other tropical areas, the acidic soils contain a form of aluminum that’s … Continue reading

Categories: Plant Biology | Leave a comment

Malnourishment in fetuses a risk factor for later diabetes

In the past century, Austria experienced three major famines. Now researchers suggest those born in these times of hunger suffered from excess risk for diabetes, according to a paper published in PNAS Early Edition. In 1918, at the end of … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Medical Sciences | Leave a comment

Turning off “cortical bursting”, turning on automatic memory

For some Parkinson’s patients, brain surgery can relieve tremors, balance problems, and disease-caused stiffness. One procedure, known as pallidotomy, intentionally damages a structure deep inside the brain. After recovery, patients are generally able to complete learned, well-practiced skills, such as walking, … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Leave a comment