Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Author Archives: Charles Choi

Journal Club: Metal-based compound shows rare specificity in early tests of its cancer-fighting capabilities

Many drugs used to fight cancer are based on metals. But such organometallic agents are generally thought to have low specificity for potential targets in cells, raising concerns that they may inflict collateral damage on healthy cells. Now scientists have … Continue reading

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Journal Club: New chip allows for rapid, low-cost disease diagnosis from small DNA, RNA samples

A new point-of-care biochip enables rapid detection of nucleic acids in blood samples, paving the way for quick, cheap tests for HIV, MRSA, and numerous other diseases. Video Credit: Yeh et al. Sci. Adv. 2016;3:e1501645 Ideally, an urgent diagnosis occurs rapidly and at … Continue reading

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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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