Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Author Archives: Amber Dance

Journal Club: Key protein family helps govern sense of touch in both plants and animals

Compared to their knowledge of other senses, scientists know relatively little about how cells sense touch. A newly confirmed family of mechanosensors, comprising more than a dozen members and present in both plants and animals, is an important step toward … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Researchers catch the mouse brain in the act of learning something new

Neurobiologists have captured, for the first time, the moment in a mouse’s brain when it first learns something new: in this case, that a beep signals a delicious droplet of sugar water. The results, recently reported in Nature Neuroscience, support a famous … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Bioengineers build a tiny heart ventricle to better understand heart disease and treatment

Bioengineer Kit Parker wants to build replacement hearts for children born with heart defects. Although that goal remains a long way off, Parker recently took a step in that direction by assembling a 1:250 scale model of the human left … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Giving the brain something to do highlights the circuitry of smarts

Scientists conducting neuroimaging studies hope that their MRI scans will offer up patterns that predict traits related to intelligence, personality, disease, or even offer insights into a patient’s clinical symptoms or their chances of responding to a drug. But according … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Fruit flies’ internal circadian clocks continually check the temperature

As a fruit fly sails from sunshine into a patch of shade, its temperature drops by 10 degrees F or so. Immediately, certain neurons in its brain spring into action, telling the fly’s circadian clock about the temperature change. By … Continue reading

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Journal Club: New technique lights up the connectome, tracking signals across neuronal populations

Neuroscientists still possess an incomplete understanding of how different neurons interface and communicate throughout the brain’s wiring diagram, called the connectome. In a recent eLife article, Caltech molecular neurobiologist Carlos Lois and colleagues introduce a new tool to screen for such … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Cooler temperatures might make some mosquitoes better dengue spreaders

Migrating mosquitoes that carry diseases from the tropics to cooler climes might be better at spreading disease in their new, cooler home, according to a recent study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Researchers from Yale University in … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Antarctic cyanobacteria show no changes due to warming—yet

Captain Robert Scott’s Antarctic Discovery expedition took place over 100 years ago—and yet its participants recently racked up another contribution to science. Thanks to the samples of bacterial mats they collected from polar ponds—samples that were pressed, dried, and stored … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Geometry of Greenland’s glaciers helps predict future ice melt

The changing climate is just one factor contributing to the melting and thinning of the slow-moving rivers of ice that terminate in spots such as Greenland’s fjords. Each glacier’s geometry—including its thickness and how steeply it flows—also makes a difference. … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Layer-cake chemistry offers up a cheap way to perform chemical tests

Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi started her study with a trip to the supermarket to buy Listerine breath strips, the sort that melt on your tongue in seconds. But the chemical engineering postdoc at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada wasn’t worried about bad … Continue reading

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