Nature Special issues
Nature periodically publishes articles that focus on aspects of science in the Asia-Pacific region. Below is a list of some of these features.
Nature Index supplements
Nature Index 2022 Energy
07 September 2022
The global energy crisis lends urgency to many nations’ plans to decarbonise, shifting from fossil fuels to greener options.
Nature Index 2022 Nano
10 August 2022
With the right building blocks, nanoscience can revolutionize industries, whether it’s driving a new era in computing, boosting crop resilience or advancing medical innovations.
Nature Index 2022 Big 5 science nations
09 March 2022
With huge budgets, world-class facilities and a long history of scientific excellence, the leading five countries in the Nature Index (US, China, Germany, UK and Japan) also rely on collaborations to address global challenges.
Nature Index 2021 Young Universities
08 December 2021
Their goals may be different, and so may the paths they are taking to reach them, but the universities aged 50 and under featured in this Nature Index supplement are proof that youth need not be a barrier to strong research performance.
Nature Index 2021 Canada
17 November 2021
Key to Canada’s strength as a leading science nation is its high-quality research, informed by its vast natural resources. But the country is losing ground in areas where it held an early lead.
Nature Index 2021 Infectious disease
27 October 2021
COVID-19 has brought new urgency to the study of infectious disease. This Nature Index supplement shines a light on some of the research, and the people and institutions behind it, that aims to reduce the staggering human and economic cost of communicable disease.
Nature Index 2021 Science cities
25 September 2021
Many leading science cities are active in research related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This Nature Index supplement showcases how they are supporting climate change and clean energy targets, protecting oceans, coastal communities and food security.
Nature Index 2021 Materials Science
30 June 2021
Researchers are rethinking the nature and potential of matter. From new metal mixes that form more efficient catalysts to bio-inspired super-black products, their work is driving advances in manufacturing, drug discovery and product design.
Nature Index 2021 China
26 May 2021
China's successes in space exploration, quantum technologies and cutting-edge chemistry underline its superpower status in research, rivalling that of the United States. As the nation's science policy shifts towards self-sufficiency and talent repatriation, we see the impact of rising geopolitical tensions on collaborative articles with the US, and signs that its remarkable growth in research output in recent years is slowing down.
Nature Index 2021 Asia Pacific
17 March 2021
Sustainability, climate-change mitigation, and biomedical science are key areas for future research prowess in the Asia-Pacific region. While COVID-19 travel restrictions have disrupted collaborations between far-flung nations, they have focused attention on vast opportunities for researchers in countries in close proximity and South and southeast Asia to work more closely together on new initiatives.
Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence
10 December 2020
As investments and revenues soar year-on-year and nations vie for leadership in the field of artificial intelligence, research output continues its steep, upward trajectory. But there are significant ethical and technical challenges to overcome.
Nature Index 2020 Germany
26 November 2020
Although national science organizations are thriving under funding certainty, there are concerns that some universities will be left behind.
Nature Index 2020 South Korea
28 May 2020
This supplement investigates South Korea’s strategy to become a ‘first mover’ by investing in basic research grants and original discoveries.
Nature Index 2020 Annual Tables
30 April 2020
The Nature Index 2020 Annual Tables highlight the institutions and countries that dominated high quality research in the natural sciences in 2019 as tracked by Nature Index.
Nature Index 2020 Cancer
23 April 2020
This supplement features stories of success and challenges in the hard-fought and expensive race to increase survival rates. But it’s not all good news - improved treatments may still be out of reach in the countries where 70% of global cancer deaths occur.
Nature Index 2019 Materials Science
12 December 2019
This supplement explores the materials that will give rise to the new industries of the future. It highlights the intriguing field of energy harvesting and profiles the early career stars who are expanding the physical world through new materials discoveries
Nature Index 2019 Collaboration and Big Science
21 November 2019
This supplement explores the effects of political instability and escalating trade tensions on US-China and UK-EU research collaborations, and highlights the most successful 'big science' players in high-energy physics, genomics and oncology
Nature Index 2019 Young Universities
24 October 2019
Nature Index 2019 Young Universities profiles some of the most intriguing young universities in the world and highlights the research that’s putting them on the map, including treatments for paraplegia, tsunamis on Mars and medical microbots
Nature Index 2019 Biomedical Sciences
16 May 2019
Nature Index 2019 Biomedical Sciences highlights scientists and institutions prominent in the ongoing research effort that will further transform our ideals of a healthy human life in the coming decades.
Nature Index 2019 Japan
21 March 2019
Japan is relying on international collaboration as a way to arrest the decline in its contribution to global science, but will it be enough? Nature Index 2019 Japan seeks answers to that question.
Nature Index 2018 China
13 December 2018
China’s rise is the story of the century in science. Its scientific output has already overtaken that of the United States, but on measures of quality, such as articles published in the high-quality journals tracked by the Nature Index, it still has a big gap to close. Some exceptional disciplines, though, are leading the way to overcoming the quality deficit.
Nature Index 2018 Science Cities
1 November 2018
Nature Index 2018 Science Cities profiles five science cities that are leaders in their regions. But each is contending with problems of equity and engagement that need to be addressed to keep them strong.
Nature Index 2018 Rising Stars
20 September 2018
If ideas are the flames burning from the torches of discovery, scientists are the hands that hold them. Creative minds uphold the scientific enterprise.
Nature Index 2018 Earth and Environmental Sciences
28 June 2018
For every top ten country producer of Earth and environmental sciences except China, output has been declining. Climate change is the issue that looms largest.
Nature Index 2018 Japan
22 March 2018
Has Japan’s contribution to high quality scientific output continued to decline?
Nature Index 2017 Science Inc.
7 December 2017
This supplement investigates the changing role of corporate institutions in the world of science and the costs and benefits to high-quality research of these evolving arrangements.
Nature Index 2017 United States
2 November 2017
This supplement reveals that the country’s output of high-quality research in the natural sciences has declined over the past five years, following on from long-term declines in federal funding for research and development.
Nature Index 2017 Science Cities
19 October 2017
Science thrives in cities. With two-thirds of the global population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, cities will become even more distinctly the domain of knowledge and innovation.
Nature Index 2017 Saudi Arabia
28 September 2017
Saudi Arabia is already the scientific leader of the Arab world, but it is not standing still. Through investment in research and education – and a new focus on maximising the commercial value of its academic prowess – the country is beating a path to reducing its reliance on oil.
Nature Index 2017 Innovation
10 August 2017
This supplement examines the connection between high-quality research and the commercialization of new products and services.
Nature Index 2017 China
25 May 2017
This report looks beyond China’s continued increase in publication output and examines how it holds up in other factors that contribute to a functioning research ecosystem.
Nature Index 2017 Japan
23 March 2017
Japan’s status as a science superstar is vulnerable. This supplement examines Japan’s efforts to arrest the decline and return to form as an innovative nation.
Nature Index 2016 Collaborations
17 November 2016
The supplement highlights some of the most fruitful collaborations between institutions and countries, such as those resulting from the bonds between China and the United States.
Nature Index 2016 Australia and New Zealand
27 October 2016
The supplement highlights these countries’ quality natural science research.
Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars
28 July 2016
This supplement identifies the ascendant performers in the world of science.
Nature Index 2016 Saudi Arabia
28 April 2016
In 2015 Saudi Arabia had the largest growth of its region in the production of high-quality research tracked by the Nature Index, propelling the country into a leading position.
Nature Index 2016 Japan
17 March 2016
Japan is among the top producers of high quality research in the Nature Index, but new analysis reveals this position is being challenged.
Nature Index 2015 China
17 December 2015
Nature Index 2015 China reveals the country’s output of high quality science continues to grow – a trend that shows no signs of slowing.
Nature Index 2015 Collaborations
12 November 2015
The supplement paints a picture of global research partnerships and yields insights into the power and impact of joint research.
Nature Index 2014 Global
13 November 2014
The Nature Index 2014 Global supplement provides a snapshot of results from the new Nature Index, comparing the countries and institutions around the world that contributed to some of the highest quality research during the previous calendar year.
Focal Point on Emerging Photonic and Quantum Technologies in Japan
10 August 2022
Japanese researchers and companies investing in new photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers (PCSELs) think halving laser-manufacturing energy consumption might be possible.
Focal Point on Neglected Tropical Diseases
03 August 2022
Japan is not a country immediately associated with the word ‘tropical’.
Focal Point on Genomic Medicine in Korea
19 January 2022
Startups and big data set to fuel genomic medicine in Korea
Genomic medicine is taking off in South Korea in a big way, thanks in large part to innovative startups and systems for collecting and analyzing big data.
Focal Point on the Chinese Pharmaceutical Industry
10 November 2021
Chinese pharma sets its sights on first-in-class
China’s rapidly expanding pharmaceutical industry is pivoting from producing drugs that imitate to those that set agendas.
Focal Point on Traditional Chinese Medicine
06 October 2021
Revitalizing the science of traditional medicinal plants
Enhanced technologies and research standards for plant research could help strengthen the contribution of traditional Chinese medicine to drug discovery.
Focal Point on Early Health Interventions
21 July 2021
The long-term impacts of early health
Tackling issues like low birth weight could help reduce the incidence later in life of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So why isn’t more being done?
Focal Point on Hydrogen Energy in Japan
24 March 2021
Japanese hydrogen gamble
Japan’s massive investment in hydrogen energy is aimed at positioning the resource-poor nation as a world leader in the energy economy.
Focal Point on Deep-sea Resources
03 February 2021
The rich resources in Japan’s deep-sea muds
Vital to many expanding technologies, rare-earth deposits were identified in Japan’s deep-sea clays in 2013. Scientists have been contemplating the technical and environmental challenge this presents.
Focal Point on Food Science in Japan
17 December 2020
Fresh twist for the future of food science
Japanese food scientists are creating new value through novel ways of utilizing food and ingredients that have potential to support a healthy planet and an ageing population.
Focal Point on Food Security in Japan
3 December 2020
Rising a steep challenge
Japan's farming sector has been dealt a tricky hand, but necessity might just push its robotics and smart agriculture industry forward.
Focal Point on Synthetic Biology in Japan
6 August 2020
Japan's bioeconomy built on a foundation of fermentation
With cells primed to drive key production processes and more sustainable economies, Japan’s strong history with fermentation research will help push ideas to commercialisation.
Focal Point on Genomic Medicine in Thailand
4 June 2020
A twisted ladder to prosperity
Genomic medicine is being harnessed to address southeast Asian health concerns and to help Thailand reach high-income status.
Focal Point on Genome Editing And Gene Therapy In Japan
31 October 2019
Japan's gene therapy and genome editing boom
The timing is right, as intensified commercial interest collides with maturing research in these cutting-edge fields.
Focal Point on AI and big data healthcare in Korea
28 March 2019
Cracking the code of personalized medicine
South Korea is at the vanguard of a revolution in AI and big data healthcare.
Focal Point on Nanomedicine in Japan
15 November 2018
A race against time and old age
Nanomedicine is on the frontline of Japan’s efforts to revitalise its economy, and it may pre-emptively solve some of the world’s toughest problems to boot.
Focal Point on Vaccine Research in Asia
8 November 2018
Looking to the east
The future of vaccine research may be in Asia.
Focal Point on Kobe
4 October 2018
A seismic shift
How Kobe rebuilt itself after a devastating earthquake and turned into a biotechnology hub.
Focal Point on Japan's Designated National University Initiative
22 March 2018
Reforming the system
Japan’s radical new program to boost just a handful of universities has precedents across the world.
Focal Point on Commercial Space Exploration in Japan
8 February 2018
Entering a new era of space development
Businesses are increasingly investing in space exploration and development.
Focal Point on Medical Innovation
21 December 2017
Speeding up the sequencing
In the age of genomic big data, the worlds of medicine and IT are rapidly colliding.
Spotlight on Taiwan
15 January 2020
Taiwanese start-up detects an opportunity
Evolution of a company that uses spectroscopy techniques shines a light on business development in Taiwan.
Spotlight on Western Australia
18 October 2018
Western Australia’s science finds strength in its isolation
Deep local collaborations and research with regional character are powerful drivers in the state, one of the world’s most remote scientific communities.
Spotlight on Kanazawa
11 October 2018
An alternative Japan experience
Meet the sides of Japanese cities that most international researchers never see.
Spotlight on Kanagawa
21 December 2017
A smart place to work
Lower house prices, proximity to Tokyo, and a burgeoning R&D ecosystem are thrusting Kanagawa into the modern world from its ancient history.
Spotlight on Anti-ageing
14 December 2017
Scientists seeking to reverse or stall the effects of ageing are trying to make the leap from laboratory research to human trials.
Spotlight on Nanocarbon Technology in Japan
7 December 2017
Catching up with carbon
Japan's historical leadership in the field of nanocarbon research is being challenged. Learn how it’s fighting to stay on top of a field it pioneered.
Spotlight on Sports Science
7 September 2017
Smarter, not harder
The young discipline of sports science is finding ways to stretch the boundaries of human biology
3 December 2014
Liver cancer is one of the most lethal forms of the disease: fewer than 40% of those who have it survive a year after diagnosis, even with treatment, and there are not many promising therapies in the pipeline. But if researchers can understand why some people with unhealthy livers develop cancer but others do not, they may be able to more effectively treat the disease — or even prevent it.
30 October 2014
A simple grain with global impact, rice has helped to build empires and fed revolutions. Now, scientists are starting a rice revolution of their own to feed a hungry world. By decoding genetics, improving breeding and, perhaps, reshaping the plant’s biology, researchers are working to take the world’s most vital crop into the future.
24 July 2014
The issue of how to evaluate the fruits of academic research confronts scientists and policymakers all over the world. Each country has its own set of circumstances depending on its research infrastructure and wealth as well as its economic, environmental and developmental objectives. Australia and New Zealand might be neighbours, but their programmes of research assessment are very different. Focusing on the tools and methods used to measure the quality and impact of science in Australia and New Zealand should inform similar debates throughout the scientific world.