Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Applied Biological Sciences

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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In vitro engineering of muscle tissue

Engineered skeletal muscle — the muscle under a person’s voluntary control — could help treat muscle disease and injury. However, previous in vitro attempts to engineer skeletal muscle with all the properties of actual muscle have failed. Now scientists have … Continue reading

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Binding protein to white blood cells kills metastasizing cancer cells

A common protein that kills cancer cells in the bloodstream works shows improved efficiency when bound to the surface of white blood cells, scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Cancer cells that migrate from one … Continue reading

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Disk-shaped nanoparticles more easily absorbed than rods

Nanoparticles — particles only nanometers or billionths of a meter wide — are widely investigated as vehicles to help deliver drugs into patients. Now scientists find the shape of these nanoparticles influences how well they enter cells, with disk-shaped nanoparticles … Continue reading

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