Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Journal Club: Simple model reproduces patterns of toxic protein buildup across multiple neurodegenerative diseases

Fatal neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) begin as tiny pockets of misfolded proteins that evade the body’s normal detritus-removal systems. They spread throughout the brain and clog neural pathways. But exactly how these proteins propagate … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Journal Club | Mathematics | Neuroscience | Physics | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: New screening method promises to reveal elusive cellular receptors for a range of pathogens

The surfaces of human cells are chock-full of proteins that help cells communicate with one another. Unfortunately, many viruses coopt these proteins, latching on in order to enter cells. By revealing which proteins are receptors for which viruses, researchers may … Continue reading

Categories: Genetics | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Microbiology | Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Dogs can harbor evolving flu viruses, signaling potential future threat to humans

When scientists search for the origins of a novel influenza A outbreak, they often trace the virus back to birds or pigs. These animals act as reservoirs, hosts that allow diverse flu viruses to swap genome segments, evolving into new … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Infectious disease | Journal Club | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Researchers may’ve finally solved mystery of crater ray formation

Look carefully at the full moon and you’ll see bright skinny streaks extending from large lunar craters. These are ejecta rays, spoke-like lines that seem to shoot from the circular impact site, a vivid testament to ancient explosions. But scientists … Continue reading

Categories: Astronomy | Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences | Journal Club | Physics | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Horizontal gene transfer can boost fitness quickly, but the conditions matter

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is rampant in the bacterial community, as well as in some other members of the tree of life. Researchers have long known that HGT events can improve an organism’s ability to adapt to changing environments. What’s … Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Older zebra finch fathers produce young with shorter lifespans

Scientists have long observed that the offspring of younger parents tend to live longer than the offspring of older parents in many animal species, including humans. But this phenomenon, dubbed the “Lansing effect” for the first scientist who described it, … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Journal Club | Population Biology | Reproductive biology | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: Scientists culture human placenta cells in hopes of understanding pregnancy complications

A collection of human placental cells known as trophoblasts are responsible for much of what goes right in a healthy pregnancy. But growing and studying these cells in the lab has been a major challenge. Now, a team of Japanese … Continue reading

Categories: Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Journal Club | Reproductive biology | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Club: In the mouse gut, a bacteria-killing virus evolves to attack a new strain

In scientists’ quest to understand how gut microbes affect human health, bacteria take center stage. But bacteriophages, the viruses that attack the bacteria, are often overlooked, says microbiologist Luisa De Sordi of the Institut Pasteur in France. “We keep an … Continue reading

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

Journal Club: Fruit fly hybrids make poor foragers, offering insight into how species remain distinct

  When one fruit fly species meets another, they sometimes interbreed. And yet despite this genetic mixing, distinct species still persist—over 2,000 of them. Evolutionary biologist Daniel Matute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of … Continue reading

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