Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Author Archives: Charles Choi

Journal Club: Newfound avenue for disrupting peroxisome organelles could have big implications in the cell

Peroxisomes are packages of enzymes that help destroy toxins and digest fuels for cells. Disrupt the assembly of these organelles, and the results could be fatal for humans. Previously, all mutant proteins linked to such disorders were thought to be … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Fruit flies use a protective reflex to kick mites off their wings

Predatory mites are only 200 to 300 micrometers long, but to 3 millimeter-long fruit flies, these tiny arachnids pose as much of a threat as a rat-sized blood-sucking tick would to a human. Now scientists find that fruit flies have … Continue reading

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Journal Club: How your body feels influences your confidence levels

Despite living in a world filled with uncertainty, people are generally not constantly paralyzed by doubt, but instead feel confident about their choices. Previous research often assumed that this feeling of confidence was based solely on the availability of high-caliber … Continue reading

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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

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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: 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

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Journal Club: Zika virus causes eye problems, suggesting implications for diagnostics and transmission

A significant number of Zika patients experience problems with their eyes. Now scientists find that the Zika virus can infect every part of the eye in mice. Moreover, its RNA can be detected in teardrops, and samples from infected eyes … Continue reading

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Journal Club: “Sandman” molecule controls when fruit flies wake up

Sleep cuts people off from the outside world, which entails considerable risks and costs that scientists reason must be counterbalanced by a vital but enigmatic benefit. Now scientists have discovered what makes a switch flip in the brains of fruit … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Friction of the vacuum could slow the rotation of pulsars

A vacuum is by definition a space entirely devoid of matter, so one might naturally assume that objects in a vacuum do not encounter friction. However, quantum physics implies that the vacuum is not actually completely empty, but is rather … Continue reading

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Journal Club: New ability to measure the recoil from single photons could help address fundamental physics mysteries

Scientists have for the first time directly measured the recoil that single photons exert on levitating nanoparticles in a vacuum. The work that could help lead to more sensitive measurements of ultra-weak forces, according to research detailed online June 13 … Continue reading

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