Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Biochemistry

Journal Club: New roles found for protein key to neurotransmission

  Scientists know many of the proteins that make neurotransmission possible, but they don’t have a handle on how all the pieces work together.  “As someone who has studied the synapse for a long time, I still find it frustrating … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Genetics | Journal Club | Neuroscience | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: CRISPR elucidates genetic basis of social behavior in ants

Drosophila has been a workhorse of genetics for roughly a century. But as a solitary insect, it hasn’t allowed researchers to investigate the genetic basis of complex social behavior in ants and bees. Now, a pair of studies published today in … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Biochemistry | Genetics | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Categories: Biochemistry | Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Ecology | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Microbiology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Mutation helps Zika virus evolve to more easily infect mosquitoes, spread infection

Scientists discovered the Zika virus over half a century ago. But it wasn’t until recent outbreaks in French Polynesia and South America that the mosquito-borne virus, now associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults and microcephaly in newborn babies, reached epidemic … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Immunology | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Journal Club: Metal-based compound shows rare specificity in early tests of its cancer-fighting capabilities

Many drugs used to fight cancer are based on metals. But such organometallic agents are generally thought to have low specificity for potential targets in cells, raising concerns that they may inflict collateral damage on healthy cells. Now scientists have … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: ATP could help proteins dissolve in cells, prompting a rethink about its function and evolution

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is widely considered biology’s “energy currency”. A crucial player in cell function, it stores and releases energy for enzymatic reactions in its phosphate bonds. But cells typically hoard amounts of ATP several hundred-fold higher than that needed … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Cell Biology | Journal Club | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Biochemistry | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Journal Club: Shark blood compound offers up novel mechanism for stabilizing folded proteins

Sharks and other sea life often maintain high levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in their blood, a compound vital to their surviving in the saline environment. TMAO helps maintain an osmotic balance between body tissues and sea water to prevent … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Chemistry | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Categories: Biochemistry | Chemistry | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Microbiology | Pharmacology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Newfound avenue for disrupting peroxisome organelles could have big implications in the cell

Peroxisomes are packages of enzymes that help destroy toxins and digest fuels for cells. Disrupt the assembly of these organelles, and the results could be fatal for humans. Previously, all mutant proteins linked to such disorders were thought to be … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Cell Biology | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment