top ten research highlights

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

25 April 2017 ~ 25 May 2017

  • Climate sciences: Explaining discrepancies in ‘global warming hiatus’ observations

    Nature, May 4, 2017

    The ‘global warming hiatus’ that occurred between about 1998 and 2012 does not change our understanding of the influence of human activity on long-term warming, reports an Analysis in Nature this week.

    Iselin Medhaug and colleagues review literature and reassess various models and observational evidence gathered since the so-called hiatus. During this period (1998-2012), Earth’s...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature22315

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  • Materials science: Martian masonry

    Scientific Reports, April 28, 2017

    A Martian-soil simulant - a compound that is similar in chemical composition to Martian soil - can be compressed into a solid that may hold potential as a building material according to a study in Scientific Reports this week.

    Permanent human settlement on Mars would require infrastructure to sustain life, and a steady supply of structural materials would be required. However, questio...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01157-w

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  • Neuroscience: Modelling neural networks in the developing brain

    Nature, April 27, 2017

    Two three-dimensional models of the developing human brain are reported in Nature this week. The systems, which provide the opportunity to study and modify key aspects of brain development in cultured cells, could help researchers to understand normal brain development and the neurodevelopmental origins of certain diseases, such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.

    As the h...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature22047

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  • Health sciences: Autistic traits associated with grandmother smoking

    Scientific Reports, April 28, 2017

    Smoking by maternal grandmothers during pregnancy is associated with a diagnosis of autism in grandchildren according to a study in Scientific Reports. The authors stress that it is important that this association is confirmed in other studies.

    Using data collected from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) - which has followed approximately 14,000 children sinc...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/srep46179

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  • Genomics: Barley genome cracked

    Nature, April 27, 2017

    The sequence of the barley genome is reported in this week’s Nature. A notable and long-awaited community resource for cereal genetics and genomics, the genome will provide vital information for researchers who seek to improve and modify barley through breeding.

    One of the first grains to be cultivated, today barley is a major cereal crop, widely grown in temperate regions. However,...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature22043

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  • Climate sciences: Asia’s glaciers protect against drought

    Nature, May 11, 2017

    Glaciers in the high mountains of Asia play an important but underappreciated part in protecting populations that live downstream from the effects of droughts, according to a study in this week’s Nature. Meltwater from these glaciers during the summer yield enough water to fulfil the basic needs of 136 million people, or most of the annual municipal and industrial needs of Pakistan, Tajikista...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature22062

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  • Love thy stranger

    Nature Human Behaviour, April 29, 2017

    People who donate a kidney to a stranger hold the welfare of strangers in higher regard than the general population does, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Human Behaviour. The study provides insight into the underpinnings of such extraordinary altruism, and suggests a psychological mechanism for possibly extending costly altruism beyond just friends and family, to strangers....

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41562-017-0100

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  • Climate sciences: The frequency of coastal flooding may double

    Scientific Reports, May 19, 2017

    A predicted rise in sea level of five to ten centimetres by 2050 may double the frequency of coastal flooding events in many regions, particularly in the Tropics, according to a study in Scientific Reports. Based on their models, the authors suggest that a ten centimetre rise in sea level would double the potential risk for floods in high-latitude regions, notably the North American west coast ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01362-7

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  • Biomedical engineering: A robotic solution to keeping your balance

    Scientific Reports, May 12, 2017

    A wearable robotic device that can help people recover their balance after they slip unexpectedly is described in Scientific Reports this week. The authors suggest that this device could be used to help prevent falls among the elderly.

    Silvestro Micera and colleagues describe a robotic exoskeleton device called the Active Pelvis Orthosis (APO) that, using an algorithm, can detect a lo...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/srep46721

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  • Physics: Remote detection of hazardous radioactive substances

    Nature Communications, May 10, 2017

    A method for the remote detection of radioactive material is demonstrated in Nature Communications this week. Remote detection tools could be used to aid the safe handling of radioactive substances and may have potential uses in dealing with nuclear hazards, including accidents at nuclear power plants and the detection of nuclear weapons.

    Conventional radiation detectors, such as Geig...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/ncomms15394

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