Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Biochemistry

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: 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

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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

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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

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Journal Club: Phosphorylation has surprisingly big role in control of circadian clocks

The network of molecules that makes up the circadian clock, which governs the timing of cellular processes in most living things, has been well studied. But thus far, technological limitations have prevented researchers from elucidating exactly how the clocks orchestrate … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Extremophiles captured from normal freshwater lake

Microbes capable of stunning metabolic feats—such as thriving in extremely hot or acidic conditions —might not require a trek to an exotic hot spring. The neighborhood pond might do just fine. That’s the implication of a new study in Biology … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Clues into how dormant cancer cells come alive

Tumors can come equipped with time-bombs—cells that migrate through the bloodstream, lodge in a distant organ, and then enter a dormant state. A new study of such cells in the lungs of mice examines how they wake up from dormancy … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Animals that glow for courtship have more species

The distinct blinking pattern of fireflies enables mate recognition and, thus, the perpetuation of the species. But it seems this flashy courtship ritual could be driving the formation of new species, too. A new analysis of diverse animal lineages—from octopuses … Continue reading

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Journal Club: “Zombie” HIV RNA could cause ongoing damage

Streaming through the blood of people with HIV are cells carrying mutant, incomplete viral genomes—viral DNA sets that researchers have long deemed duds, irrelevant to disease. But a study in PNAS this week refocuses attention on these defective viral tagalongs. … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Rule-breaking microbe lacks mitochondria

Mitochondria, organelles central to cellular metabolism and energy production, are typically a hallmark of the eukaryotic cells that make up plants, animals, fungi, and many other organisms. Now scientists report the first known example of a eukaryotic organism that lacks … Continue reading

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