Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Medical Sciences

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: Metal-based compound shows rare specificity in early tests of its cancer-fighting capabilities

Many drugs used to fight cancer are based on metals. But such organometallic agents are generally thought to have low specificity for potential targets in cells, raising concerns that they may inflict collateral damage on healthy cells. Now scientists have … Continue reading

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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

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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: 3-D Microtumor Model Offers New Insights into Tumor Progression

Most cancer-related deaths are caused by metastasis, as cancers spreads to sites throughout the body. Breast cancer metastasis is strongly associated with tumor size, and scientists want to better understand how these factors are linked. Now researchers have developed a … Continue reading

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Journal Club: A new take on why tumors develop drug resistance

Cancer’s notorious resistance to therapy is often explained as the result of natural selection of newly mutating cells. Cancer-killing drugs wipe out nearly all of a tumor’s cells, but random mutations may allow for drug resistance in some cells, and … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Newly found tiny peptides may have a big role

Tiny proteins known as micropeptides can play key roles in developmental biology. These molecules are encoded by equally little bits of DNA known as short or small open reading frames that often escape detection amidst an extraordinary number of meaningless … Continue reading

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Diagnosing asthma from a single drop of blood

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide, and over the past 30 years, the prevalence of asthma has risen significantly in many populations. Unfortunately, asthma is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Now scientists have developed a handheld device that could … Continue reading

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Short fuse, short telomeres

Men who live a high-stress life—with few social resources, low levels of optimism, and above-average levels of hostility—show signs of the stress in their cells. The ends of their chromosomes, so-called telomeres which wear down naturally as a person ages, … Continue reading

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Platelets as enzyme factories

The body of an average, healthy adult produces more than two hundred billion new platelets every day. The small cell fragments circulate through the blood stream, helping form blood clots and release growth hormones, for only a matter of days … Continue reading

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