Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Immunology

New insights into how influenza evades human immunity

Some viruses can only infect people once—measles for example. But other viruses, notably influenza, are capable of infecting repeatedly. Scientists have long puzzled over how the flu virus evades human immunity. Recent work in eLife clarifies exactly how the virus … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Tumors create an acidic environment that helps them invade surrounding tissues

Cancer cells tend to turn their extracellular environment acidic, thus helping these rogue cells thrive while creating a hostile environment for normal ones. Acidosis promotes tumor growth, metastasis and drug resistance, while helping tumor cells evade the immune system. But … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Amoeba have long-distance preference for certain bacteria, pointing to other cell-sensing insights

How does the microscopic amoeba track down prey in the vastness of the forest floor? Ample research on the soil amoeba Dicytostelium discoideum, affectionately called “Dicty” by researchers, has provided some clues. But the mechanisms behind long-distance sensing of bacterial … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Mutation helps Zika virus evolve to more easily infect mosquitoes, spread infection

Scientists discovered the Zika virus over half a century ago. But it wasn’t until recent outbreaks in French Polynesia and South America that the mosquito-borne virus, now associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults and microcephaly in newborn babies, reached epidemic … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Macrophages help regenerate ear parts in spiny mice

Salamander tails and fish fins are oft-cited examples of animals’ ability to regenerate a lost limb or organ. But one mammal—the African spiny mouse—has also emerged as a model of regenerative abilities. In a recent study, Ashley Seifert of the University … Continue reading

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Journal Club: A new strategy for producing polio vaccine without live virus

The poliovirus, which once paralyzed children across the globe, is nearly eradicated in nature. There were just 74 cases of polio reported in 2015, according to the World Health Organization, down from an estimated 350,000 in 1988. Two vaccines contributed … 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: 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

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Journal Club: Can transmissible vaccines have a major role in eradicating disease?

Vaccines are powerful, but they are not perfect. In some cases, communities struggle to vaccinate enough individuals to stop the spread of a pathogen. But suppose that instead of vaccinating most of a population, it were possible to vaccinate just … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Zika virus causes eye problems, suggesting implications for diagnostics and transmission

A significant number of Zika patients experience problems with their eyes. Now scientists find that the Zika virus can infect every part of the eye in mice. Moreover, its RNA can be detected in teardrops, and samples from infected eyes … Continue reading

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