top ten research highlights

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

11 November 2018 ~ 11 December 2018

  • Oncology: Mannose sugar may impair cancer growth in mice

    Nature, November 22, 2018

    Administration of the simple sugar mannose, either alone or alongside chemotherapy, slows tumour growth in mice, reports a paper published online this week in Nature. Although promising, further research is needed to confirm these findings.

    Many tumours undergo metabolic changes and display increased glucose uptake, raising the question of whether the administration of different types o...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0729-3

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  • Microbiology: Modest effects of a low-gluten diet on gut microbiota

    Nature Communications, November 14, 2018

    A low-gluten diet induces moderate changes in the gut microbiota and physiology of 60 healthy people, reports an article published in Nature Communications. The authors suggest that most of these effects may be driven by qualitative changes in dietary fibres upon reduction of gluten-rich food items.

    Gluten is a major component in wheat, rye and barley, and consists of proteins that ar...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07019-x

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  • Engineering: Flight of the silent, solid-state aeroplane

    Nature, November 22, 2018

    The flight of a small aircraft with a solid-state propulsion system, as opposed to an engine with moving parts, is described in a paper published this week in Nature. These findings open up possibilities for aircraft that are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions.

    Historically, aircraft have been powered by engines with moving components, such as propellers...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0707-9

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  • Infectious diseases: Study of road traffic-killed badgers sheds new light on bovine TB epidemic in UK

    Scientific Reports, December 7, 2018

    Mycobacterium bovis, the bacterium that causes bovine tuberculosis (TB), has been detected in about one-fifth of a sample of 94 road-killed badgers collected between 2014 and 2015 in the UK county of Cheshire, according to a study in Scientific Reports. Cheshire was thought to be on the edge of the bovine TB epidemic in the UK, but has seen an increase in the incidence of TB in cattle since 201...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35652-5

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  • Serpentine spiral conceals massive binary star system

    Nature Astronomy, November 20, 2018

    A swirl of dust and gas obscures a pair of massive stars orbiting each other, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Astronomy. Measurements of the velocities in the nebula suggest that at least one of the stars is rotating rapidly enough to potentially fire off a long-duration gamma-ray burst when it explodes as a supernova.

    Cosmic pinwheels such as this one - which has b...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41550-018-0617-7

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  • Astronomy: Hints of a super-Earth orbiting a nearby star

    Nature, November 15, 2018

    A cold planet more than three times the mass of Earth may be orbiting a star in our neighbourhood, suggests a study of stellar movements published this week in Nature.

    A red dwarf that predates the Solar System, Barnard’s star is the closest solitary star to the Sun. The star’s proximity to the Solar System has made it a long-running candidate in the hunt for exoplanets; however, ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0677-y

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  • Genetics: Bitter taste perception may influence coffee drinking

    Scientific Reports, November 16, 2018

    How people perceive bitter substances - which is associated with having a certain set of genes - has an impact on whether their preferences of coffee, tea or alcohol, according to a study in Scientific Reports.

    Jue-Sheng Ong, Liang-Dar Hwang and colleagues analysed genetic variants associated with the perception of three bitter substances - propylthiouracil [PROP], quinine and caffeine ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34713-z

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  • Archaeology: Neanderthal lives not so traumatic

    Nature, November 15, 2018

    Neanderthals and Upper Palaeolithic modern humans who lived 80,000 to 20,000 years ago experienced similar levels of head trauma, reports a paper published online this week in Nature. These findings challenge the stereotype that Neanderthals lived more violent lives.

    Although Neanderthals are commonly depicted as leading more dangerous lives than contemporaneous modern humans, evidenc...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0696-8

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  • RNA interference targets the placenta

    Nature Biotechnology, November 20, 2018

    RNA interference, an emerging therapeutic strategy for silencing disease-causing genes, reduces expression in the mouse and baboon placenta of a gene responsible for preeclampsia, reports a study published online this week in Nature Biotechnology. Further animal studies of efficacy and safety are needed before this approach could be considered for clinical trials in women with preeclampsia, a ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nbt.4297

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  • Rooting around in the truffle genome

    Nature Ecology & Evolution, November 13, 2018

    The genomes of four truffle species are reported in a paper published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution. These findings reveal the genetic underpinnings of one of the world’s most aromatic and expensive foods.

    Truffles are the spore-filled, fruiting bodies of fungi that grow on plant roots. Truffle-forming species have evolved independently more than a hundred times, ap...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0710-4

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