Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Neuroscience

Journal Club: New roles found for protein key to neurotransmission

  Scientists know many of the proteins that make neurotransmission possible, but they don’t have a handle on how all the pieces work together.  “As someone who has studied the synapse for a long time, I still find it frustrating … Continue reading

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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

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Journal Club: Neural circuits and social status spur zebrafish to swim or flee

Should I stay or should I go? In the zebrafish (Danio rerio), two competing neural circuits determine whether an animal swims or turns tail and escapes. Social status can tip the balance between these circuits, leading dominant and subordinate animals … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Fruit flies use a protective reflex to kick mites off their wings

Predatory mites are only 200 to 300 micrometers long, but to 3 millimeter-long fruit flies, these tiny arachnids pose as much of a threat as a rat-sized blood-sucking tick would to a human. Now scientists find that fruit flies have … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Food first—Safety, friends, and water can come later

Suppose you’re hungry, but also cold. Your dog is barking at someone at the door, and you see your spouse heading toward the fridge—you wonder if he will take the last of the leftover pizza. With many competing factors vying … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Rats can be trained to “taste” light, sound, touch, and smell

Imagine the sight, sound, smell, taste, and feeling of peeling and eating an orange. Scientists had long thought the brain handled such multisensory experiences via brain regions known as primary sensory cortices that are exclusively unimodal—that is, each devoted solely … Continue reading

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Journal Club: “Sandman” molecule controls when fruit flies wake up

Sleep cuts people off from the outside world, which entails considerable risks and costs that scientists reason must be counterbalanced by a vital but enigmatic benefit. Now scientists have discovered what makes a switch flip in the brains of fruit … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Experimental technique uncovers new cell types in the brain

The brain is the most complex organ in the body, and presents countless mysteries – including the very nature of all the cells contribute to its function. By using single-cell RNA sequencing to map the genetic activity in more than … Continue reading

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First Look: Brains missing key left-right bridge from birth compensate

The right and left halves of the brain are connected by a bridge known as the corpus callosum. When people have their corpus callosum surgically removed, it can lead to disconnection syndrome, where one half of the brain might not … Continue reading

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Babies have hard-wired hand-to-mouth movements

Although babies lack much in the way of motor skills, they can still accurately bring their hands toward their mouth in a motion to feed themselves. Now scientists have discovered this self-feeding movement is encoded in a part of the … Continue reading

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