Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Journal Club

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

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

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

Categories: Animal Behavior | Applied Physical Sciences | Ecology | Journal Club | Mathematics | Physics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Study dissects stereotypes, looking to understand their roots and ways to break them down

A stereotype, put simply, is a belief about a group. But for psychology professor Andrei Cimpian of New York University, that definition doesn’t have sufficient nuance. To understand what a stereotype truly is, he says, we need to understand its … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Social Sciences | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

Categories: Animal Behavior | Applied Biological Sciences | Climate science | Ecology | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Geometry of Greenland’s glaciers helps predict future ice melt

The changing climate is just one factor contributing to the melting and thinning of the slow-moving rivers of ice that terminate in spots such as Greenland’s fjords. Each glacier’s geometry—including its thickness and how steeply it flows—also makes a difference. … Continue reading

Categories: Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: A new, twisted topological insulator

About a decade ago, physicists began identifying and probing materials that suffer something of an identity crisis. On the surface of these crystals, electrons flow and form currents, like in a conductor. But in the interior, electrons are pinned and … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Physical Sciences | Computer sciences | Condensed Matter Physics | Journal Club | Mathematics | Quantum Mechanics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Tracking memories in fruit fly brains

Memories help animals make predictions. A honeybee may remember that the smell of orange blossoms means nectar is nearby. But sometimes memories require updating. “If you know that your fridge is a good source of food, and you go to … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Journal Club | Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Super-sensitive new microscope uses ultracold atoms to image magnetic fields at high precision

In recent years, physicists have developed an arsenal of sensitive, high-resolution tools to probe the smallest magnetic fields, revealing nanoscale subtleties lost in larger-scale measurements. An understanding of these structures can offer insights into exotic quantum materials. A new microscope … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: New chip allows for rapid, low-cost disease diagnosis from small DNA, RNA samples

A new point-of-care biochip enables rapid detection of nucleic acids in blood samples, paving the way for quick, cheap tests for HIV, MRSA, and numerous other diseases. Video Credit: Yeh et al. Sci. Adv. 2016;3:e1501645 Ideally, an urgent diagnosis occurs rapidly and at … Continue reading

Categories: Applied Biological Sciences | Biochemistry | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: In some cases, water management practices exacerbated California drought, according to model

Many of California’s reservoirs are now fuller than they’ve been in years thanks to an extraordinarily wet winter. Yet drought conditions are likely to return based on historical cycles, even without accounting for climate change. And California’s depleted groundwater is … Continue reading

Categories: Agriculture | Climate science | Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Environmental Sciences | Journal Club | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment