Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Author Archives: Carolyn Beans

Journal Club: New roles found for protein key to neurotransmission

  Scientists know many of the proteins that make neurotransmission possible, but they don’t have a handle on how all the pieces work together.  “As someone who has studied the synapse for a long time, I still find it frustrating … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Ancient diet helps tell the story of Easter Island

Famous for its towering stone human figures, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has long been shrouded in mystery, with the demise of its people the subject of an intense debate. Now, new findings about what its residents ate hundreds of … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Insights from 3-D images defy assumptions about how plant cells communicate

When plant cells communicate, plasmodesmata serve as crucial conduits. These channels cross cell walls, linking one cell to its neighbor. If a plant needs to grow larger or fight off a pathogen, molecular signals pass through plasmodesmata to keep cells … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Mutation helps Zika virus evolve to more easily infect mosquitoes, spread infection

Scientists discovered the Zika virus over half a century ago. But it wasn’t until recent outbreaks in French Polynesia and South America that the mosquito-borne virus, now associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults and microcephaly in newborn babies, reached epidemic … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Immunology | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Journal Club: A physicist’s take on the age-old ecological puzzle of how species form communities

Ecologists have long searched for the rules that govern how individual species join together to form a community. Whether forest or desert, the problem is complex. Myriad factors influence a community’s composition and stability —from how strongly species compete to … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Applied Physical Sciences | Ecology | Journal Club | Mathematics | Physics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Journal Club: Study dissects stereotypes, looking to understand their roots and ways to break them down

A stereotype, put simply, is a belief about a group. But for psychology professor Andrei Cimpian of New York University, that definition doesn’t have sufficient nuance. To understand what a stereotype truly is, he says, we need to understand its … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Tracking memories in fruit fly brains

Memories help animals make predictions. A honeybee may remember that the smell of orange blossoms means nectar is nearby. But sometimes memories require updating. “If you know that your fridge is a good source of food, and you go to … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Antibiotics alter the honeybee microbiome and increase bee death

Antibiotics could potentially disrupt the health-promoting microbes that make up the microbiomes in humans and other animals. But pinning down exactly how microbiomes and antibiotics affect human health is complicated by the sheer number of microbes involved. Evolutionary biologist Nancy … Continue reading

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Journal Club: A new strategy for producing polio vaccine without live virus

The poliovirus, which once paralyzed children across the globe, is nearly eradicated in nature. There were just 74 cases of polio reported in 2015, according to the World Health Organization, down from an estimated 350,000 in 1988. Two vaccines contributed … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Immunology | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Microbiology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Journal Club: Fruit fly hybrids make poor foragers, offering insight into how species remain distinct

  When one fruit fly species meets another, they sometimes interbreed. And yet despite this genetic mixing, distinct species still persist—over 2,000 of them. Evolutionary biologist Daniel Matute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of … Continue reading

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