Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Genetics

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: 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

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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

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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

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Journal Club: Tasmanian devils hit with another contagious cancer

Cancers aren’t usually contagious, but a tiny number of them can spread when diseased cells move from one animal to another. One such cancer, an aggressive facial tumor, has wiped out large numbers of Tasmanian devils in Australia over the … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Even in honeybees, early aggression makes for angry adults

A childhood of violence can make humans and other animals violent later on. Now scientists unexpectedly find the same holds true for even the simple honeybee. Unlike people, however, greater aggression in honeybees was not associated with later health problems. … Continue reading

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Journal Club: T-cells transform, defying expectations and suggesting a new therapeutic avenue

Inflammation can help the human body fight off infections. If left unchecked, it can also lead to a variety of inflammatory disorders, such as gout and lupus. Now scientists find that in mice, a kind of immune cell that normally … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Epigenetic marks may reveal how the environment affected ancient societies

Ancient DNA can shed light on the past in myriad ways — for instance, genes and mutations may reveal important adaptations or physiological changes. But gene-regulating molecules latched onto the DNA, known as epigenetic marks, may also reveal important clues. … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Study reveals most comprehensive snake family tree to date

Snakes are incredibly diverse, with more than 3,400 living species found on land and in the water. But little is known about how the first serpents looked and behaved. Now scientists at Yale University have reconstructed what the ancestor of … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Newly found mutation contributes to irregular chromosome number, a major cause of pregnancy loss

When a baby does not make it to term, an irregular number of chromosomes in the embryo is often the root cause. The phenomenon, known as aneuploidy, is surprisingly common: it can be detected in roughly three-quarters of human embryos … Continue reading

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