Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Author Archives: pnas

The mechanics of breastfeeding

“How do infants extract milk during breast-feeding? We have resolved a century-long scientific controversy,” say David Elad and his team from Tel Aviv University in Israel in the opening of their new PNAS article. Until now, researchers have debated what … Continue reading

Categories: Biophysics and Computational Biology | 1 Comment

Future antibiotics: Keep bacteria from sensing each other

Alone, a single cell of Pseudomona aeruginosa—the bacteria blamed for many hospital-acquired infections—can’t cause much damage to the human body. In fact, the bacteria won’t even produce virulence factors, the compounds that make it pathogenic to humans, if it doesn’t … Continue reading

Categories: Microbiology | Leave a comment

A genetic connection to alcohol consumption

Identifying genes for alcoholism has been tricky due to its complex nature. Now scientists have found a gene in rats linked to increased alcohol consumption and preference that could one day be a potential target for therapies, report findings detailed … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Leave a comment

Printing living cells with “woodblocks”

The inkjet printer technology often seen in offices is now finding use in research that uses suspensions of living cells as their ink to explore ways to manufacture complex tissues and organs. However, inkjet-based cell printing leaves many cells damaged … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Engineering | Leave a comment

New forests change land temperatures

Thirty years ago China began launching ambitious reforestation projects, aiming to undo some of the massive environmental damage caused by years of clear cutting. Each year the country adds around 2 million hectares of new trees, with no sign of … Continue reading

Categories: Environmental Sciences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Skin’s immune memory lasts a lifetime

When a patch of skin becomes inflamed—due to an infection or irritation—immune cells flock to the site to fight off any pathogens. Now, scientists have discovered that cells lodged in the skin keep the memory of such an infection for … Continue reading

Categories: Immunology | Leave a comment

The value of a good reputation — It pays to be a good sport

Instead of finishing last, nice guys actually come out on top. Earning a reputation as a cooperative, hard worker pays off in community support, which can in turn lead to healthier families, report anthropologists in a recent paper in Proceedings … Continue reading

Categories: Anthropology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short fuse, short telomeres

Men who live a high-stress life—with few social resources, low levels of optimism, and above-average levels of hostility—show signs of the stress in their cells. The ends of their chromosomes, so-called telomeres which wear down naturally as a person ages, … Continue reading

Categories: Medical Sciences | Social Sciences | Leave a comment

In the deepest deep, fish can’t take the pressure

Living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench would feel like 50 jumbo jets were piled on top of you. Surveys of our planet’s watery depths reveal that life can thrive even at these outrageously high pressures. But fish, it … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Tagged , | 1 Comment

If IPM works so well, why aren’t developing countries adopting it?

For the past 50 years integrated pest management (IPM) has become the go-to strategy for protecting crops. Yet, despite the global praise of scientists, politicians and development agencies, IPM remains severely under-adopted in poor countries. Many obstacles–ranging from a lack … Continue reading

Categories: Sustainability Science | Tagged , | Leave a comment