Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Immunology

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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Journal Club: Removing an immune inhibitor helps protect against lethal fungal infections

Protecting cells from out-of-control immune reactions comes at a price: the same protein that quiets B and T cells to prevent autoimmune responses may also hinder the body’s fight against pathogens. Now researchers have found that in the case of … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Low-calorie diets might improve effectiveness of cancer treatments

The old saying goes, “feed a cold, starve a fever”—now scientists might add, “starve a tumor.” In mice, a low-protein, low-calorie diet sensitizes breast cancer and melanoma cells to attack by the immune system, while prodding the immune system itself … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Mosquito saliva inflames immune system to spread viruses, suggesting possible interventions

The quick, piercing bite of a mosquito leaves behind a tiny amount of saliva under the skin of its prey. This saliva has been shown to have potent effects, such as numbing the pain of the bite and preventing blood … 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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Skin’s immune memory lasts a lifetime

When a patch of skin becomes inflamed—due to an infection or irritation—immune cells flock to the site to fight off any pathogens. Now, scientists have discovered that cells lodged in the skin keep the memory of such an infection for … Continue reading

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