Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Refocusing needed for conservation efforts for many species

A new map of the global biodiversity of terrestrial vertebrates that is 100 times more detailed than earlier projects is now revealing where conservation efforts for mammals, amphibians, and birds might best be focused, findings detailed this week in the … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Leave a comment

Gut microbiota help Western corn rootworms adapt

Insects are masters of innovation and so, perhaps, are their gut microbiota. Researchers examining Western corn rootworms have discovered the insects’ gut microbes are helping it adapt to crop rotation, a common pest control method. Corn and soy are the dominant … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Making blood transfusions safer

Is blood safe for you? Blood transfusions are one of the most common procedures in medicine, but a host of recent studies have suggested many blood transfusions can actually inflict harm, such as heart attack, kidney injury, multi-organ failure and … Continue reading

Categories: Medical Sciences | Leave a comment

Virus to blame for cancers in Los Angeles Zoo koalas

In zoos around the world, and throughout Australia’s eucalyptus groves, koalas are dying of cancer. More than half of all captive koalas eventually die of leukemia or lymphoma, although some zoos see more of the blood cancers than others. Now, … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Immunology | Leave a comment

The most genetically diverse animal

The humble worm known as C. elegans is famous among biology labs as an experimental workhorse. New findings in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences now boost its obscure relative, C. brenneri, into the limelight, by showing … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Leave a comment

Birds’ color palettes speed diversification

The bright, eye-catching colors donned by African glossy starlings are a boon for the birds when it comes to competing for a mate. But the flashy colors are also good for something else: quickly driving the formation of new, diverse … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Leave a comment

The physics of clogged arteries: A “micro” story

What do rubber tires from the earliest automobiles have in common with fatty atherosclerotic plaques inside blood vessels in the human body? The way they rupture, it turns out, is driven by the same physical processes. In the 1920s, rubber … Continue reading

Categories: Engineering | Medical Sciences | Leave a comment

How observing others’ behavior can increase cooperation

The question of how to get people to work together has bedeviled society for millennia. Now a large-scale field experiment testing how to get more than 2,400 participants to prevent blackouts in the real world is supporting theoretical work on … Continue reading

Categories: Economic sciences | Evolution | Leave a comment

Liquid metal inter-atomic distance shown to contract on heating, surprisingly

When matter heats, it generally expands. Now scientists reveal that when several metallic liquids get heated, the distance between atoms can actually contract, findings detailed in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using synchrotron x-ray diffraction and … Continue reading

Categories: Physics | Leave a comment