Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Applied Biological Sciences

Journal Club: How to measure the global potential for biomass vegetation

Plants play a big role in removing carbon from the atmosphere. Almost a quarter of carbon from car exhaust and industry gets absorbed by vegetation. That’s a significant amount. But a recent study suggests that amount has the potential to … 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: Macrophages help regenerate ear parts in spiny mice

Salamander tails and fish fins are oft-cited examples of animals’ ability to regenerate a lost limb or organ. But one mammal—the African spiny mouse—has also emerged as a model of regenerative abilities. In a recent study, Ashley Seifert of the University … Continue reading

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Journal Club: In a first, deep sea robots get a close look at giant larvaceans, a key player in the biological carbon pump

Closer inspection of the giant larvacean, seen here in an undersea video taken by a remotely operated vehicle, could reveal clues about how the deep sea sequesters carbon. Image Credit: © 2017 MBARI In the deeps off Monteray Bay, Calif., … 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: Landscape connectivity key to future animal migration needs in the United States

As the climate changes, plants and animals worldwide are migrating to follow their preferred conditions. Human activity, however, can impede these movements. Now researchers are mapping out ways to help species escape to more suitable climes. The scientists detailed their … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Human genetics contributes to gut microbiome composition

Microbial communities in the human gut are formed at birth and shaped over time by a person’s diet, and other aspects of lifestyle and environment. Now scientists have confirmed that human genetic sequence polymorphisms also play a key role in … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Mutations in non-coding gene signal risk of celiac disease

Researchers struggling to find genes linked to celiac disease may have been looking in the wrong place. Recent findings have uncovered a gene that appears to amplify risk for the common autoimmune disorder by spelling out not a protein, but … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Charred fossilized eggs suggest that humans contributed to Australia’s megafaunal extinction

A huge flightless bird known as Genyornis newtoni once roamed the Australian Outback along with a host of other giant animals. Now scientists have unearthed what may be the first reliable evidence that humans contributed to the extinction of these … Continue reading

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Plants can grow human antibodies

Immunoglobulin M, or IgM for short, is the first class of antibodies to appear in response to exposure to antigen. Increasingly, scientists are interested in IgMs as therapeutics, but growing them in mammalian cells at commercial scale is very challenging. … Continue reading

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