Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Microbiology

Journal Club: Antibiotics alter the honeybee microbiome and increase bee death

Antibiotics could potentially disrupt the health-promoting microbes that make up the microbiomes in humans and other animals. But pinning down exactly how microbiomes and antibiotics affect human health is complicated by the sheer number of microbes involved. Evolutionary biologist Nancy … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Layer-cake chemistry offers up a cheap way to perform chemical tests

Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi started her study with a trip to the supermarket to buy Listerine breath strips, the sort that melt on your tongue in seconds. But the chemical engineering postdoc at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada wasn’t worried about bad … 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: 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: 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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Future antibiotics: Keep bacteria from sensing each other

Alone, a single cell of Pseudomona aeruginosa—the bacteria blamed for many hospital-acquired infections—can’t cause much damage to the human body. In fact, the bacteria won’t even produce virulence factors, the compounds that make it pathogenic to humans, if it doesn’t … Continue reading

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Bacteria work together to gather food

Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria living in the still water at the bottom of salt marshes cooperate with one another to pull food in their direction faster than it would arrive through diffusion, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of … Continue reading

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Yeast metabolism altered by exposure to light

Visible light causes cellular metabolism effects even in cases where the tissue or specimen does not have specialized photoreceptors, report biologists in PNAS Early Edition. That could be a problem for the many researchers who assume natural light or fluorescent … Continue reading

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Strategies to kill dormant tuberculosis bacteria

Existing antibiotics can wipe out active bacteria, but they generally work poorly against persister, bacteria that are dormant, which are often the reason treatments of chronic bacterial infections fail. For instance, tuberculosis notoriously resists many antibiotics when dormant, helping lead … Continue reading

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