Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Cell Biology

Journal Club: Neural circuits and social status spur zebrafish to swim or flee

Should I stay or should I go? In the zebrafish (Danio rerio), two competing neural circuits determine whether an animal swims or turns tail and escapes. Social status can tip the balance between these circuits, leading dominant and subordinate animals … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Phage find clever ways to infiltrate resistant bacteria and shuttle DNA between strains

In the gut, in the soil, and myriad other spots, bacteria reign, forming complex communities—but not in isolation. They’re often influenced by bacteria-killing viruses known as bacteriophages. A recent study in Cell now shows how such viruses can infect bystander, … 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: Childhood adversities correlated with shortened telomeres, poorer health later in life

Stressful experiences during youth seem to leave a mark on a person’s genome decades later, in the form of withered chromosomal caps. As reported in PNAS, childhood stress correlates with increased odds to have shortened telomeres, the chromosome tips that … 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: Low-calorie diets might improve effectiveness of cancer treatments

The old saying goes, “feed a cold, starve a fever”—now scientists might add, “starve a tumor.” In mice, a low-protein, low-calorie diet sensitizes breast cancer and melanoma cells to attack by the immune system, while prodding the immune system itself … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Mosquito saliva inflames immune system to spread viruses, suggesting possible interventions

The quick, piercing bite of a mosquito leaves behind a tiny amount of saliva under the skin of its prey. This saliva has been shown to have potent effects, such as numbing the pain of the bite and preventing blood … 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: Microvesicles facilitate crucial signals in developing embryos

Early in mammal development, tiny vesicles provide key communication between the cells that will become the fetus and those destined to form the placenta, researchers have found. The message the microvesicles are imparting: It’s time to implant into the wall … 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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