top ten research highlights

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

27 January 2017 ~ 26 February 2017

  • Environmental science: Saturday driving restrictions have no effect in Mexico City

    Scientific Reports, February 2, 2017

    The introduction of licence-plate-based driving restrictions on Saturdays in Mexico City have not led to an improvement in air quality, according to a study published in Scientific Reports this week.

    Driving restrictions were introduced in Mexico City in November 1989. The program - Hoy No Circula - bans drivers from using their vehicles one weekday per week based on the last digit of...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/srep41652

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  • Regenerative medicine: Interspecies organ generation yields transplant success

    Nature, January 26, 2017

    Mouse pancreatic islets, grown inside rats and then transplanted into diabetic mice, can function normally for prolonged periods of time, a paper published online in Nature this week reveals. This proof-of-principle study demonstrates how the organs of one species can be grown inside the body of another, a method that could one day aid the production of transplantable human tissue, although man...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature21070

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  • Human behaviour: She’s the greatest dancer

    Scientific Reports, February 10, 2017

    The female dance moves that are the most highly rated are pinpointed in a study in Scientific Reports this week. The authors found that in women the degree of hip swing and asymmetric movements of the thighs and arms contribute independently to a perceived higher quality of dance.

    Using 3D motion-caption, Nick Neave and colleagues recorded 39 women whilst they danced to a basic rhythm...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/srep42435

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  • Social science: Finding wisdom within the crowd

    Nature, January 26, 2017

    A strategy for determining the correct answer to a question posed to a group, when the most popular or most confident response fails under the same circumstances, is described this week in Nature.

    The consensus of a group is often considered to be the best answer to a particular question because this approach takes advantage of the ‘wisdom of the crowd’. However, this method does ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature21054

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  • Fossils: Oldest evidence for preserved protein

    Nature Communications, February 1, 2017

    Evidence for the preservation of collagen within a 195-million-year-old dinosaur bone is presented in a study published in Nature Communications this week. This finding extends the record of protein preservation by over 100 million years from previous studies.

    Soft tissues provide a unique source of biological and evolutionary information, but they are rarely preserved during fossiliz...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/NCOMMS14220

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  • Plant sciences: Quinoa genome may help improve important crop

    Nature, February 9, 2017

    The first high-quality reference genome for quinoa is published online this week in Nature. The new resource will assist genetic improvement and breeding strategy efforts for quinoa, with the potential to enhance global food security.

    Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a highly nutritious, gluten-free, low-glycaemic-index crop that contains an excellent balance of essential amino acids, f...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature21370

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  • Geoscience: Searching for lost continents

    Nature Communications, February 1, 2017

    The discovery of three-billion-year-old minerals from under the island of Mauritius is presented in a study published in Nature Communications this week. This finding provides evidence for the presence of ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius, which would have been part of the continent ‘Mauritia’ and formed part of the ancient nucleus of Madagascar and India.

    There is growi...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/NCOMMS14086

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  • Genetics: DNA portrait of modern USA populations

    Nature Communications, February 8, 2017

    DNA and genealogical information from over 700,000 American individuals paint a detailed picture of the subtle patterns of migration and settlement in post-colonial USA. The analysis, published online in Nature Communications this week, shows levels of population structure, shaped by many different geographical and cultural factors, which have previously been difficult to determine.


    Original article doi: 10.1038/ncomms14238

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  • Genetics: New genes identified for developmental disorders

    Nature, January 26, 2017

    Sequencing and analysis of the exomes, protein-coding regions of the DNA, of more than 4,000 individuals with severe, undiagnosed developmental disorders has identified 14 novel genes that underlie the risk of developing these disorders. The findings, published online in Nature this week, could help to improve the diagnosis of developmental disorders and aid the development of potential therape...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature21062

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  • Cancer: Automated system classifies skin cancers

    Nature, January 26, 2017

    A new algorithm that classifies skin cancers from photos is described in a paper published online in Nature this week. The study highlights the potential of artificial intelligence to support, simplify and extend the reach of skin disease diagnostics.

    Skin cancer, the most common human malignancy, tends to be diagnosed visually, and then confirmed with follow-up biopsies and histologi...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature21056

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