Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Ecology

Journal Club: In the mouse gut, a bacteria-killing virus evolves to attack a new strain

In scientists’ quest to understand how gut microbes affect human health, bacteria take center stage. But bacteriophages, the viruses that attack the bacteria, are often overlooked, says microbiologist Luisa De Sordi of the Institut Pasteur in France. “We keep an … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Study of volcanic gases offers new fundamental insights into the Earth’s carbon cycle

To understand how the planet’s climate will evolve and has evolved over geologic time, scientists need to understand the Earth’s carbon cycle. In work recently published  in Science, researchers offer new insights into that cycle, upending calculations about just how … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Ancient diet helps tell the story of Easter Island

Famous for its towering stone human figures, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has long been shrouded in mystery, with the demise of its people the subject of an intense debate. Now, new findings about what its residents ate hundreds of … Continue reading

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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: Analysis of bony fishes suggests convergent evolution is more prevalent than previously thought

Habitats and environmental pressures shape a variety of animal morphologies and behaviors over vast evolutionary time scales. These environmental pressures can sometimes produce nearly identical traits, even in completely unrelated lineages. This phenomenon, called convergent evolution, results in modern species that appear very similar despite … Continue reading

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Journal Club: A physicist’s take on the age-old ecological puzzle of how species form communities

Ecologists have long searched for the rules that govern how individual species join together to form a community. Whether forest or desert, the problem is complex. Myriad factors influence a community’s composition and stability —from how strongly species compete to … Continue reading

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Journal Club: In a first, deep sea robots get a close look at giant larvaceans, a key player in the biological carbon pump

Closer inspection of the giant larvacean, seen here in an undersea video taken by a remotely operated vehicle, could reveal clues about how the deep sea sequesters carbon. Image Credit: © 2017 MBARI In the deeps off Monteray Bay, Calif., … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Antibiotics alter the honeybee microbiome and increase bee death

Antibiotics could potentially disrupt the health-promoting microbes that make up the microbiomes in humans and other animals. But pinning down exactly how microbiomes and antibiotics affect human health is complicated by the sheer number of microbes involved. Evolutionary biologist Nancy … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Potential life could have spread with relative ease amongst newly-discovered group of seven exoplanets

The odds of life spreading between the worlds of the newly-discovered seven-planet TRAPPIST-1 system are up to 1,000 times greater than in our own solar system. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis posted March 2 to the arXiv, an … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Fruit fly hybrids make poor foragers, offering insight into how species remain distinct

  When one fruit fly species meets another, they sometimes interbreed. And yet despite this genetic mixing, distinct species still persist—over 2,000 of them. Evolutionary biologist Daniel Matute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of … Continue reading

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