top ten research highlights

The following highlights are the top ten most viewed research highlights on the English website of during the past month.


Palaeontology: Three fossils shed light on dinosaurs in China

Scientific Reports, August 13, 2021

Three dinosaurs from Northwest China represent two new species and are some of the first vertebrates uncovered in the region, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. The findings shed light on sauropods in China.

Dr. Xiaolin Wang and colleagues analysed fossil fragments (spinal vertebrae and rib cage) previously discovered in the Turpan-Hami Basin (Xinjiang, China) ...

doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94273-7

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Plastics: Economical plastic upcycling into chemicals and fuel

Nature Communications, August 18, 2021

Upcycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic into value-added chemicals and hydrogen fuel using an earth-abundant, metal-based catalyst is demonstrated in a Nature Communications paper this week. This research offers a new sustainable solution to contribute to the management of plastic pollution.

Whilst plastic can bring convenience to our daily life, ever-increasing plasti...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25048-x

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Medical research: Combined immunotherapy to treat metastatic lung cancer assessed

Nature Medicine, August 13, 2021

Combining two types of immunotherapy — immune-checkpoint inhibition and adoptive cell therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes — elicits anti-tumor responses in patients with metastatic lung cancer, according to a paper published in Nature Medicine. These proof-of-concept data (involving 20 participants) may offer a new treatment approach for patients with advanced lung cancer.

doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01462-y

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Climate change: Up to 95% of ocean surface climates may disappear by 2100

Scientific Reports, August 27, 2021

Between 35.6% and 95% of 20th century ocean surface climates — defined by surface water temperature, pH and the concentration of the mineral aragonite — may disappear by 2100, depending on how greenhouse gas emissions develop in the first half of the 21st century, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. The findings also suggest that between 10.3% and 82% of the global ...

doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94872-4

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A diffuse core in Saturn revealed by ring seismology

Nature Astronomy, August 17, 2021

Oscillations of Saturn’s rings provide insight into the structure of the planet’s interior, according to a paper published in Nature Astronomy. Cassini spacecraft data reveal that Saturn possesses a fuzzy or diffuse core without clearly defined boundaries, which has subsequently constrained the planet’s formation and evolution.

The internal structure of giant planets is usu...

doi: 10.1038/s41550-021-01448-3

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Evolution: Insights into the evolutionary continuity of same-sex sexual behaviour

Nature Human Behaviour, August 24, 2021

Genetic effects associated with same-sex sexual behaviour are also associated with a mating advantage among people who engage only in opposite-sex sexual behaviour, according to a study involving participants from the United States and United Kingdom published in Nature Human Behaviour. However, the authors caution that the genetic differences studied here are small, are spread throughou...

doi: 10.1038/s41562-021-01168-8

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Electronics: Wireless power scales up

Nature Electronics, August 31, 2021

A method to wirelessly power small electronic devices anywhere in a room is revealed in a paper published in Nature Electronics. The approach could potentially be used to create small charging cabinets, wireless charging rooms, or even has the potential to be scaled up to create untethered factories in which equipment is powered without cables.

Wireless power transfer technology ...

doi: 10.1038/s41928-021-00636-3

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Climate change: Strict fossil fuel extraction limits needed to meet 1.5°C warming limit

Nature, September 9, 2021

Nearly 60% of current oil and fossil methane gas, and 90% of coal reserves must stay in the ground by 2050 if we are to have at least a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C, according to a modelling study published in Nature this week. Many operational and planned fossil fuel extraction projects are not conducive to meeting internationally agreed climate targets; it is estima...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03821-8

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Climate: Montreal Protocol may have mitigated climate change by protecting terrestrial carbon stores

Nature, August 19, 2021

The Montreal Protocol may have helped to mitigate climate change by protecting plants from UV damage, thereby avoiding a reduction in carbon storage and an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, reports a modelling study published in Nature.

The ozone layer absorbs UVB light that is harmful to human and ecosystem health, including causing damage to plants that store carbo...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03737-3

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Astronomy: Promising views from the Tibetan Plateau

Nature, August 19, 2021

A new potential astronomical observation site on the Tibetan Plateau is detailed in a paper in Nature. Sometimes nicknamed the Earth’s ‘third pole’, this plateau, which stands at over 4,000 m above sea level, could be suitable for the installation of next-generation large telescopes, the study suggests.

The Earth has a limited number of high-quality astronomical sites deeme...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03711-z

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