The SciNight Journal Club is an open forum in which students and faculty can meet to informally discuss primary scientific research articles. During the Spring 2017 semester, the journal club will meet on Thursdays at 7:30pm on the North Las Vegas Campus in room N221.

Bonus! Come to 2+ meetings this semester and get a SciNight T-shirt

Each week the article to be discussed will be posted on this website below. Download the article, read it, and come ready to discuss what you have learned with your fellow students and various faculty. The articles will come from different disciplines within the sciences to address a variety of research interests here at CSN. The general topics each week will be:

1st Thursday of the month: Microbiology

2nd Thursday of the month: Biomedical

3rd Thursday of the month: Physical Science

4th Thursday of the month: Educational/Learning or Guest Presenter

Journal clubs are a great low pressure way for students involved in undergraduate research and those interested in science in any way to get introduced to primary scientific literature and learn about cutting edge information.

Interested students can also send email to Chelsey.McKenna@csn.edu for more information.


When: Thursday evenings, 7:30pm

Where: North Las Vegas Campus Room N221

Who: Anyone interested in science.

Contact Dr. Chelsey McKenna for more information.

Upcoming Journal Articles

September 7

Microscopic Life in Household Dust

Have you ever wondered what types of microorganisms live in your home? Does it matter what part of the country you live in? Does it matter if you have a cat or dog? Will the microbes be different based on the human occupants of the home? We are just starting to get some answers.

September 14

Two articles in the same journal show similar conclusions that a high fat, low carb diet in mice can extend longevity and cognitive functions. Let's look at one to see what they found. We will talk about this one in depth Ketogenic Diet Reduces Midlife Mortality and Improves Memory in Aging Mice and reference the second paper with similar positive results A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice as well

September 21

A city goes to sleep with a tropical storm off its coast, forecast to make landfall the next day. Residents are warned to expect street and stream flooding, and perhaps a day missed from work. The next morning, the city awakens to a Category 4 hurricane 12 hours out; no time to evacuate, and devastation imminent. Not a common occurrence, but it's likely to become so. The oceans are warmer. With more energy in the oceans, more tropical weather systems are growing stronger. They are also strengthening faster, which makes forecasting and planning more difficult. We'll take a look at what the models suggest we can expect in the way of storm behaviour, and how we can mitigate the effects.


September 28

How did wolves come to be dogs? People have wondered about that question almost as long as dogs have been dogs. Genetics is starting to shed some very interesting light on the topic.

The main paper for tonight is 'Dog Sociability Genes', but here are a couple more papers which may interest you. 'Breed Genetics' takes a look at the genetic history of different dog breeds. 'Origin Stories' examines the process of domestication in other animals, as well as in dogs.

October 5

This week's paper is a nice review about the current state of laundry microbiology. Come learn a little about the bacteria on our clothes and how we are trying to get rid of them using a washing machine.

Laundry Hygiene -- How to get more than clean

October 12

The necessity for more data storage is on the rise. A cubic millimeter of DNA could potentially provide 700 terabytes of data storage! Can using DNA for data storage be the solution? Can we use this DNA storage technology to record what happens in the cell as a molecular recorder? We will take a look at one of the latest papers to use DNA as a storage medium in living organisms

CRISPR–Cas encoding of a digital movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria

You can get a printable link from the CSN library here (you will need to sign in with your student ID)

October 19

What do we know so far about climate change? What's happening already? How certain are we about the causes? What's inevitable in the future? What changes can we still prevent, and how? How can we prepare for what's going to happen? Tonight we'll be discussing the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. This report is authored by hundreds of scientists around the world, and reviewed by thousands of others. The full report is huge, its four sections total 659.4 MB, more than 2,500 pages! Each section has a Summary for Policymakers; these summaries themselves total 122 pages. But each section of a summary is preceded by a bullet box that contains a summary of that section of the summary, so I'd suggest that to prepare for SciNight, in place of our usual download-and-read-a-journal-paper, you download the four Summaries, read through the bullet boxes, and read the sections that interest you. We'll probably spend at least half our time on the first section (which has most of the science), with another good-sized chunk of our time on the third section (the what-do-we-do-about-it section).

You can find the four sections of the report at: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/. Clicking on each section will take you to a table of contents, from which you can download the Summary, or any other parts you want.

As a bonus, if any of you are doing papers or reports about climate change, you can download any of the figures in the reports from the IPCC website; just be sure to cite them properly!

As many of you know, the current pope is also a scientist. The year after the Fifth Assessment Report came out, he issued an encyclical on the topic of climate change. It's very unusual to have the Roman Catholic church speak out on a scientific issue. You can find the encyclical here ENCYCLICAL LETTER

October 26

What is the purpose of sleep? There may be more than one answer to this question, and various hypotheses are being hotly debated. A related question, almost as vexing, is: which organisms sleep? We will take a look at two papers which examine sleep in animals that you may not have considered to be 'sleepers': worms and jellyfish.

Worm Sleep and Jellyfish Sleep

November 2

Do viruses talk and help one another? Do viruses socialize like living things? Recent evidence has revealed how viruses communicate and even cooperate with each other. Studying 'sociovirology' may give us new approaches to treating viral infections in the future. At this week's SciNight, we will take a look at a commentary about the social nature of viruses.


November 9

What can thinking about your thinking do for your grade? With the addition of an online metacognition assignment, the lowest performing students in chemistry classes were able to raise their final exam score a full letter grade compared to the control group. Assignments like this might help students overcome their tendency to overestimate their test taking ability and improve their grade

Improving Grades through Metacognitive Training

November 16

Where is Earth's raw material? It's axiomatic today that asteroids are leftover raw material from planet formation. We have tens of thousands of pieces from asteroids, but we can't find a match for the material that formed Earth. This month, and the next physical science session, we'll explore that question. Here are two short relevant papers. The first is about a flurry of meteorites that struck Earth about 470 million years ago; that storm was the result of the breakup of an asteroid, and we also have a piece of the asteroid that hit the first one and caused the breakup. The second paper is about a new analysis that teaches us much about what the asteroid belt was like when the Solar system formed - how many asteroids were there, and how big were they. Then for the next physical science SciNight, we'll investigate the results from a new radioisotope method that's teaching us a great deal about the formation of the Solar system.

1- Ordovician Meteorites

2- Primordial Asteroid Family

November 23

Thanksgiving Holiday - No SciNight

November 30

As part of the One Book One Campus initiative, SciNight Journal Club is going to discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This is an excellent book to discuss multiple topics not just on the science of HeLa cells but the ethics of science. This is a full novel, so please start to read early. There are copies available on the three CSN campus libraries, or you can purchase from Amazon or used from Thriftbooks

The novel mentions an hour long BBC documentary on Henrietta Lacks, this is a link to that video The way of all flesh

December 7

"Tungsten Isotopes in Planets"

Why should we care? This review papers offers us a chance to look at two things; an exciting new technique in geochemistry, and more broadly, at how geochemistry offers us insight into how planets form and work.