Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Controlling macrophage behavior via cell shape

Macrophages are immune cells that gobble intruders, renegades and debris. Now researchers discover cell shape can help control macrophages — for instance, elongating them promotes behavior that enhances healing. These findings, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of … Continue reading

Categories: Engineering | Immunology | Leave a comment

Testing vaccine efficacy on a chip

If you are expecting to live past 40, or are there already, chances are you have modern vaccines, in part, to thank. Since Edward Jenner introduced the idea of vaccination in the 18th century vaccines have become the most effective … Continue reading

Categories: Immunology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Laser microsurgery opens windows into fly brain

With the same type of laser used in eye correction surgeries in humans, scientists can cut precise holes in the outer cuticle of fruit flies. The technique, described for the first time in a new PNAS Early Edition article, allows … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Physical Sciences | Neuroscience | Leave a comment

First microfluidic clock on a chip

Increasingly scientists are developing lab-on-a-chip devices that can do the work of an entire lab on the area the size of a microchip. It is often important to route liquids in circuits to perform complex analysis tasks. While these chips … Continue reading

Categories: Engineering | Leave a comment

Sufficient chromosome missegregation can suppress tumours

More than a century ago, researchers discovered cancer cells often have an abnormal number of chromosomes. Whether this aberration was a cause or effect of tumor formation was controversial. Now scientists find the way chromosomes are divvied up among dividing … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Leave a comment

Selective vapor response of butterfly wings might have useful applications

The mesmerizing wings of the tropical butterfly Morpho often shimmer blue, green and violet. The iridescence of these wings doesn’t result from pigments or dyes, but from structures that reflect and scatter light waves, making them interfere with each other … Continue reading

Categories: Chemistry | Developmental Biology | Leave a comment

Prions can develop drug resistant strains

Prions became infamous once scientists linked them with neurodegenerative disorders. Now scientists discover that prions can develop resistance to drugs, potentially complicating efforts to fight the diseases they cause, report findings detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of … Continue reading

Categories: Pharmacology | Leave a comment

Bats may have been first mammal hosts of malaria

Malaria is a scourge on humanity, afflicting more than 200 million people worldwide annually. Now scientists find bats may have been the first mammals to host the group of parasites that include the germs behind malaria, report findings detailed in … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Leave a comment

Disk-shaped nanoparticles more easily absorbed than rods

Nanoparticles — particles only nanometers or billionths of a meter wide — are widely investigated as vehicles to help deliver drugs into patients. Now scientists find the shape of these nanoparticles influences how well they enter cells, with disk-shaped nanoparticles … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Engineering | Leave a comment

Earth’s contrasting inner core rotation and magnetic field rotation linked

For more than three centuries, analysis of Earth’s magnetic field has revealed it is drifting westward along with the Earth’s liquid outer core, rotating slower than the rest of the planet. At the same time, seismic probes of the Earth’s … Continue reading

Categories: Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Leave a comment