Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Journal Club: Record-breaking galaxy offers insight into early universe

A new champion has been crowned in the hunt for the most distant, independently-confirmed galaxy ever observed. Called EGS8p7, the galaxy existed when the universe was a mere 570 million years old, beating the previous frontrunner by almost 100 million … 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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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: Epigenetic marks may reveal how the environment affected ancient societies

Ancient DNA can shed light on the past in myriad ways — for instance, genes and mutations may reveal important adaptations or physiological changes. But gene-regulating molecules latched onto the DNA, known as epigenetic marks, may also reveal important clues. … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Study reveals most comprehensive snake family tree to date

Snakes are incredibly diverse, with more than 3,400 living species found on land and in the water. But little is known about how the first serpents looked and behaved. Now scientists at Yale University have reconstructed what the ancestor of … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Newly found mutation contributes to irregular chromosome number, a major cause of pregnancy loss

When a baby does not make it to term, an irregular number of chromosomes in the embryo is often the root cause. The phenomenon, known as aneuploidy, is surprisingly common: it can be detected in roughly three-quarters of human embryos … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Cultivated sweet potatoes were genetically modified — naturally 

The first genetically modified foods were not human creations. Scientists have now found that sweet potatoes all over the world naturally contain bacterial genes that the microbes introduced. Such transgenes may have provided attractive traits for domestication, researchers added. The … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Age of ‘Little Foot’ provides twist in story of hominid evolution

An early hominid named Little Foot has been dated to 3.67 million years old, making the timeline of human evolution even more complicated. Little Foot was found in a cave at Sterkfontein in South Africa, an hour’s drive from Johannesburg … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Genetic detective work suggests a crucial role for Maya in papaya domestication

Papaya is a multimillion-dollar crop with a complicated sex life. Now plant geneticist Ray Ming at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his colleagues find that hermaphrodite papayas, the version most useful to farmers, most likely arose due to … 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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