Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: October 2016

Journal Club: Self-sacrificing male spiders assist in their own cannibalism to aid offspring

Spiders are infamous for their deadly females, which often devour males before, after, or even during sex. Now scientists find that male dark fishing spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus) apparently sacrifice themselves to females after mating to aid their offspring, as reported … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Journal Club | Population Biology | Reproductive biology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: How much you think you understand depends on what you believe others understand

Knowing that experts understand something is enough to make lay persons think they, too, have better grasped a concept, according to a September 26 paper in the journal Psychological Science. Cognitive scientist Steven Sloman, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged | 1 Comment

Journal Club: Extremophiles captured from normal freshwater lake

Microbes capable of stunning metabolic feats—such as thriving in extremely hot or acidic conditions —might not require a trek to an exotic hot spring. The neighborhood pond might do just fine. That’s the implication of a new study in Biology … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Cell Biology | Ecology | Journal Club | Tagged | Leave a comment

Journal Club: How social structure might drive the evolution of cumulative culture

Humans accumulate knowledge over generations, building vast bodies of expertise—a quality that scientists have long suggested helps make humanity unique. In order to explore how such “cumulative culture” arose, anthropologists examined the way in which hunter-gatherers known as the BaYaka … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Childhood adversities correlated with shortened telomeres, poorer health later in life

Stressful experiences during youth seem to leave a mark on a person’s genome decades later, in the form of withered chromosomal caps. As reported in PNAS, childhood stress correlates with increased odds to have shortened telomeres, the chromosome tips that … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Rats can be trained to “taste” light, sound, touch, and smell

Imagine the sight, sound, smell, taste, and feeling of peeling and eating an orange. Scientists had long thought the brain handled such multisensory experiences via brain regions known as primary sensory cortices that are exclusively unimodal—that is, each devoted solely … Continue reading

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