Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: July 2013

Amoeba that cultivate an ecosystem of edible and inedible bacteria

The smallest farmer discovered yet is the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, which cultivates edible bacteria that it harvests like crops. Now scientists reveal this amoeba also raises bacteria that pump out chemical weapons that protect the farmers, report findings detailed this … Continue reading

Categories: Chemistry | Ecology | Leave a comment

How polymer interactions can determine the best routes for many travelers

Discovering the best path between point A and point B is critical for everything from rapidly delivering messages over the Internet to rushing patients to emergency rooms as quickly as possible. Now research on interactions between polymers has apparently helped … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Physical Sciences | Leave a comment

Some fish skin has an immune response like the gut

The skin of most vertebrates is infiltrated by immune cells, but little is known about the origin and behavior of these cells. Now researchers find that certain immune cells in fish skin respond much like the immune cells found in … Continue reading

Categories: Immunology | Leave a comment

An ad a day keeps the doctor away

During the commercial break of your favorite television show, the advertisements that play out in front of you don’t just influence your opinions of companies and shopping habits; the ads also could affect how your body responds to drugs. Watching … Continue reading

Categories: Medical Sciences | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | 1 Comment

Babies conceived in May often born early

Most scientists would bristle at the suggestion that birth signs can affect a baby’s life. But mounting evidence indicates that the month of conception, at least, can play a role in infant well being. A new study, “Within-mother analysis of … Continue reading

Categories: Social Sciences | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Twelve new viruses fished from world’s oceans

Scoop a cup of water out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, or any sea in between, and you’re sure to get more than just salty water. The sample will be teeming with algae, bacteria, and millions of viruses. … Continue reading

Categories: Microbiology | Leave a comment

Economic cost of fisheries-induced evolution suggests using different nets

For over seventy years, fishery managers have gathered data about the Northeast Arctic Atlantic cod in order to better manage this economically important resource. As previous research has shown, fishing induces evolutionary changes, whether selecting for a particular trait or … Continue reading

Categories: Economic sciences | Evolution | Sustainability Science | Leave a comment

A new use for rice — lithium ion batteries

Discarded rice husks could become standard ingredients for lithium ion batteries. Researchers in Korea report that rice husks — the tough, protective layer covering a rice kernel — are ideal sources of silicon for high-capacity lithium battery anodes. Their findings … Continue reading

Categories: Engineering | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Helping crops deal with drought

Farming has long focused on chemicals that can fight insects or kill weeds. Now scientists have discovered a molecule that could help crops deal with droughts, report findings appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of … Continue reading

Categories: Plant Biology | Leave a comment

Seeking the origin of paired fins

Paired fins were a key novelty in the evolution of vertebrates, ultimately allowing paired appendages to arise that help lizards to scamper, birds to fly, and humans to stand upright and use tools in their hands. Now analysis of lamprey, … Continue reading

Categories: Developmental Biology | Leave a comment