Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Biochemistry

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journal Club: Newly found tiny peptides may have a big role

Tiny proteins known as micropeptides can play key roles in developmental biology. These molecules are encoded by equally little bits of DNA known as short or small open reading frames that often escape detection amidst an extraordinary number of meaningless … Continue reading

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

Identifying antibiotic “elicitors” with a new high throughput approach

Most clinically used antibiotics actually originate from bacteria, derived from small molecules produced by gene clusters in the microbes. Recent investigations have revealed that most bacterial gene clusters are inactive or “silent,” raising hopes that finding ways to activate them … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Chemistry | Leave a comment

Printing living cells with “woodblocks”

The inkjet printer technology often seen in offices is now finding use in research that uses suspensions of living cells as their ink to explore ways to manufacture complex tissues and organs. However, inkjet-based cell printing leaves many cells damaged … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Engineering | Leave a comment

In the deepest deep, fish can’t take the pressure

Living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench would feel like 50 jumbo jets were piled on top of you. Surveys of our planet’s watery depths reveal that life can thrive even at these outrageously high pressures. But fish, it … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Why mitochondrial mutants accumulate in aging cells

Why do we grow old and die? The question is a scientific conundrum, as well as an existential one. While scientific answers are sparse, two biologists from the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University believe they’ve found a … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Real-time zinc sensor

Metal ions from calcium to zinc help the human body stay healthy, performing key roles in signaling pathways of living cells. Yet, nailing down exactly what each ion does, and where, is challenging, since individual molecules and ions are too … Continue reading

Categories: Biochemistry | Leave a comment