Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Social competition produces sexy sons

Social competition among mice cause mothers to give birth to sexy sons who smell great and die young. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate epigenetic effects contributing to increased mating success in offspring, report biologists in a … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Serotonin alters body’s insulin response in pregnancy

While most people have to worry about eating just enough to keep their own body functioning, a pregnant woman has an extra job: keeping nutrients flowing toward her baby. In a new PNAS Early Edition paper, researchers have discovered one … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Leave a comment

3D culturing of human stem cells

Human pluripotent stem cells are capable of becoming any tissue in the body, making them promising for numerous medical applications, all of which require large numbers of cells of high quality. Now scientists report a simple, efficient, scalable 3D system … Continue reading

Categories: Engineering | Leave a comment

The sniff of death — Olfactory receptor found for death-associated odor cadaverine

Whether you are drawn or repelled by the smell of rotting flesh depends upon your perspective as a species. One whiff and we instantly recoil, avoiding the hazard of bacterial contamination. For animals such as rats, goldfish and some insects, … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

False memories can come from beneficial brain processes

Memories of experiences are strengthened when we are frequently reminded of them, a key process known as memory reactivation. Although this phenomenon helps stabilize and update memories, it can also introduce errors, leading to false memories. Using brain scans, researchers … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Leave a comment

Nanoantennae might help view matter during ultrafast timeframes

As scientists grow more capable of analyzing events that zip by at ultrafast timeframes, they would love to investigate complex systems, such as how all the molecules in photosynthesis or the components in quantum computers interact. Now researchers have developed … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Physical Sciences | Leave a comment

Predicting effects of genetic overexpression

Although computer models scientists develop of the inner workings of cells are now quite good at predicting whether suppressing a gene will have negative effects, they do much less well at figuring out if overexpressing a gene–say, having two or … Continue reading

Categories: Systems Biology | Leave a comment

Strategies to kill dormant tuberculosis bacteria

Existing antibiotics can wipe out active bacteria, but they generally work poorly against persister, bacteria that are dormant, which are often the reason treatments of chronic bacterial infections fail. For instance, tuberculosis notoriously resists many antibiotics when dormant, helping lead … Continue reading

Categories: Microbiology | Leave a comment

Plants’ hydraulic lifts alter soil microbes

In the vast steppes of northern Utah, where shrubs of sagebrush stretch as far as the eye can see in every direction, water is scarce during most of the summer. From the surface, the ground looks cracked and dry. But … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Leave a comment

Rollable graphene possible via new technique

The graphite found in pencils is made of layers of carbon stacked on top of each other, atom-thin sheets known as graphene. Graphene possesses a variety of unique electrical, mechanical, thermal and optical properties, leading scientists worldwide to research whether … Continue reading

Categories: Engineering | Leave a comment