Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Cell Biology

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

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Journal Club: Experimental technique uncovers new cell types in the brain

The brain is the most complex organ in the body, and presents countless mysteries – including the very nature of all the cells contribute to its function. By using single-cell RNA sequencing to map the genetic activity in more than … Continue reading

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The secrets of sticky starfish feet

Animals like mussels and barnacles produce strong adhesives that don’t dissolve in water. One reason this property has drawn the interest of scientists because of the potential to produce commercial products that mimic these sticky underwater properties. Yet the starfish, … Continue reading

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Researchers flesh out new model describing tissue mechanics

Enough tension will do anything in. Cells grown in a constrained environment, in a matrix or on a platform, have a bad habit of breaking due to their own strength. Though frustrating for those working in regenerative medicine, which seeks … Continue reading

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Serotonin alters body’s insulin response in pregnancy

While most people have to worry about eating just enough to keep their own body functioning, a pregnant woman has an extra job: keeping nutrients flowing toward her baby. In a new PNAS Early Edition paper, researchers have discovered one … Continue reading

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Sufficient chromosome missegregation can suppress tumours

More than a century ago, researchers discovered cancer cells often have an abnormal number of chromosomes. Whether this aberration was a cause or effect of tumor formation was controversial. Now scientists find the way chromosomes are divvied up among dividing … Continue reading

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New ruler for telomere length

It’s not just organisms that change as they grow old—individual cells age too. Among myriad changes during cellular aging is the gradual shortening of telomeres, the protective ends of gene-containing chromosomes. To study telomeres, their regulation, and their associations with … Continue reading

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An antihistamine’s hidden talent: Fighting prion disease

When they screened a library of existing drugs for their ability to treat neurodegenerative prion diseases, one team of researchers was in for a surprise. Astemizole, an antihistamine that’s been used to treat seasonal allergies since the 1970s, lengthened the … Continue reading

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Flagellar anchors help bacteria adhere to surfaces

The whip-like flagella that stream off the ends of some bacteria are typically given credit for motoring microbes forward as they explore their surroundings. But bacterial flagella have another, seemingly contradictory job, a team of researchers has discovered: The tails … Continue reading

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