Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Applied Biological Sciences

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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Gut microbiota help Western corn rootworms adapt

Insects are masters of innovation and so, perhaps, are their gut microbiota. Researchers examining Western corn rootworms have discovered the insects’ gut microbes are helping it adapt to crop rotation, a common pest control method. Corn and soy are the dominant … Continue reading

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Mystery of pulsating corals solved

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp5ZTdmuScU] The way pulsating corals open and close their soft, feathery tentacles in a rhythmic grabbing motion is what earned them their name. First described nearly 200 years ago by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck—the naturalist most noted today for his ideas … Continue reading

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Making vaccines not need refrigeration

Millions of deaths happen each year from vaccine-preventable diseases because vaccines break down from heat and developing countries often lack ways to properly refrigerate them. Now researchers suggest eggshell-like coatings can make vaccines more thermally stable. Vaccines against polio, smallpox, … Continue reading

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Problems in the cotton field

For US cotton farmers the world changed dramatically in 1996. During the prior year, the nibblings of tobacco budworms, cotton bollworms, and pink bollworms cost the industry upwards of a quarter billion dollars in lost yields. But in 1996 a … Continue reading

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Malnourishment in fetuses a risk factor for later diabetes

In the past century, Austria experienced three major famines. Now researchers suggest those born in these times of hunger suffered from excess risk for diabetes, according to a paper published in PNAS Early Edition. In 1918, at the end of … Continue reading

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Gauging the potential of a “micro” window into disease

With every beat of a person’s heart, blood whooshes through their vessels, transporting blood cells, immune cells, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Over time, as blood pulses in and out of the heart, it accumulates other materials—hormones, cells from … Continue reading

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