Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Genetics

Journal Club: Twin study elucidates environmental, genetic contributions to mouth microbiome and oral health

Some of the mouth’s microbial communities may promote good health, while others contribute to cavities, gum disease, and possibly even heart disease. Now, scientists are learning more about how genetic and environmental factors influence the mouth’s microbial makeup, and how … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Microbiology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: New roles found for protein key to neurotransmission

  Scientists know many of the proteins that make neurotransmission possible, but they don’t have a handle on how all the pieces work together.  “As someone who has studied the synapse for a long time, I still find it frustrating … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: CRISPR elucidates genetic basis of social behavior in ants

Drosophila has been a workhorse of genetics for roughly a century. But as a solitary insect, it hasn’t allowed researchers to investigate the genetic basis of complex social behavior in ants and bees. Now, a pair of studies published today in … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Biochemistry | Genetics | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

Categories: Ecology | Evolution | Genetics | Journal Club | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Social context affects immune system’s ability to fight infection

Social adversity has profound biological effects in the individuals who experience it. Risk of physical injuries and food scarcity aside, it turns out that experiencing adversity changes how effectively immune cells combat infection. But this effect is reversible, a new … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Immunology | Journal Club | Tagged , , , | 1 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: Human genetics contributes to gut microbiome composition

Microbial communities in the human gut are formed at birth and shaped over time by a person’s diet, and other aspects of lifestyle and environment. Now scientists have confirmed that human genetic sequence polymorphisms also play a key role in … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Genetics | Journal Club | Microbiology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Mutations in non-coding gene signal risk of celiac disease

Researchers struggling to find genes linked to celiac disease may have been looking in the wrong place. Recent findings have uncovered a gene that appears to amplify risk for the common autoimmune disorder by spelling out not a protein, but … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Genetics | Journal Club | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: How to find the rare, disease-resistant individuals who could help forge new therapies

A new study finds individuals who appear healthy despite having mutations associated with severe childhood diseases, a finding that could help uncover factors that protect against these diseases. “Finding those individuals is the starting point for searching for the other … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Journal Club | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment