top ten research highlights

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

19 July 2019 ~ 18 August 2019

  • AI solves Rubik’s cube

    Nature Machine Intelligence, July 16, 2019

    A deep-learning algorithm that can solve the Rubik’s Cube and other combinatorial puzzles is published this week in Nature Machine Intelligence. Solving puzzles that have a large number of combinations can provide insights into how scientific problems are solved, such as protein folding.

    Finding the shortest solution for a combinatorial puzzle is hard. Solutions to such puzzles gene...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s42256-019-0070-z

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  • A thin layer to sustain life on Mars

    Nature Astronomy, July 16, 2019

    A thin layer of silica aerogel could be used to insulate the surface of Mars, thereby helping to sustain liquid water year-round and protect from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, reports a Nature Astronomy paper. This approach could potentially allow photosynthetic life to develop on Mars without extensive planetary-scale modifications.

    The conditions of the Martian surface are hosti...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41550-019-0813-0

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  • Engineering: Lightweight glove allows wearer to feel the shape of virtual objects

    Scientific Reports, July 19, 2019

    A lightweight glove that interacts with virtual reality to provide tactile feedback allows the wearer to feel and handle virtual objects. Details of the device are published in in a proof-of-principle study in Scientific Reports.

    Gloves that allow wearers to feel objects in virtual reality work by using sensors, which detect the wearer’s movements and actuators, which provide physical...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45422-6

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  • Infectious diseases: A two-pronged attack on mosquitoes

    Nature, July 18, 2019

    Near-elimination of an invasive, disease-carrying mosquito species is demonstrated in a field trial in China. The environmentally friendly and cost-effective approach, described in Nature this week, combines sterilization of females along with the introduction of an infection in males to control mosquito populations.

    The globally invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus is responsible for tra...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1407-9

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  • AI algorithm may accelerate cancer diagnosis

    Nature Medicine, July 16, 2019

    An artificial intelligence system that can differentiate cancer from healthy tissue is reported this week in Nature Medicine. This algorithm could help pathologists exclude up to 75% of uninformative tissue samples while retaining 100% sensitivity, thus aiding in diagnosis and accelerating routine clinical practice in cancer centres.

    The use of digital pathology systems designed to impr...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0508-1

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  • Genetic insight into anorexia nervosa

    Nature Genetics, July 16, 2019

    Eight significant genetic markers for anorexia nervosa are identified in an analysis of almost 17,000 cases in a paper published this week in Nature Genetics. The study represents the largest known genome-wide association study on anorexia nervosa to date.

    Anorexia nervosa is a complex and serious illness with a higher mortality rate than other psychiatric disorders.

    Cynthia Bul...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0439-2

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  • Ecology: Tamarins could help tropical forests recover

    Scientific Reports, July 26, 2019

    Tamarins, small monkeys that have a high tolerance to human disturbance of their habitat, may help tropical forests recover from deforestation, according to a study in Scientific Reports. Tamarins feed on fruit and may drop seeds from adjacent forests in deforested areas, enabling the growth of new plants and trees.

    Eckhard Heymann and colleagues used long-term ranging and feeding data ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46683-x

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  • Microbiology: Levels of multidrug-resistant bacteria on frequently touched London surfaces probed

    Scientific Reports, August 2, 2019

    An assessment of multidrug-resistant bacteria levels in samples collected from the surfaces of general public areas ― such as London Underground stations and shopping centres ― and public areas in hospitals across London is reported in Scientific Reports.

    Hermine Mkrchytan and colleagues swabbed commonly touched surfaces in East and West London to compare levels of antibiotic-resist...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45886-6

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  • Neurological disease: Cellular changes linked to the progression of multiple sclerosis

    Nature, July 18, 2019

    Cell-type-specific changes linked to the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) are reported online in Nature. The study highlights various biomarkers that could be used to help to characterize the disease, as well as targets that could help researchers to develop novel therapies in future.

    MS is a chronic disease of the brain and spinal cord, which is thought to occur when the immune s...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1404-z

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  • Earth science: Climate change may speed up degradation of Norse Viking Age remains

    Scientific Reports, July 12, 2019

    Organic remains of Norse Viking Age settlers, such as wood, bone or ancient DNA, which are highly vulnerable to degradation, may be especially under threat from the effects of future climate change, according to a modelling study in Scientific Reports.

    Jorgen Hollesen and colleagues collected 22 soil samples obtained from seven different archaeological sites across the Arctic. The sampl...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45200-4

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