top ten research highlights

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

23 August 2018 ~ 22 September 2018

  • Drug discovery: A potential new antibiotic identified

    Nature Communications, September 5, 2018

    A fungal compound called albomycin δ2 is identified as a promising antibiotic candidate in a paper in Nature Communications this week. The study presents an approach, which has made it possible to efficiently obtain the compound in the laboratory, and subsequently tests its activity against various bacteria in cell culture.

    Typically, antibiotics are natural substances with chemicall...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05821-1

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  • Infectious diseases: Natural killers associated with latent tuberculosis

    Nature, August 23, 2018

    Higher levels of natural killer cells are associated with tuberculosis latency, reports a paper published online this week in Nature. The findings raise the question as to whether natural killer cells might play an active role in controlling tuberculosis infections.

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease and a leading cause of infection-related deaths. The majority of TB infections ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0439-x

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  • Ecology: Human-made structures could help threatened corals flourish

    Scientific Reports, August 17, 2018

    Anthropogenic structures in the ocean - such as oil and gas rigs, shipwrecks or renewable energy devices - could connect populations of species under threat from human pressure and climate change, thereby increasing their chances of survival, according to a modelling study in Scientific Reports.

    The increasing spread of human-made structures in the world’s oceans could negatively im...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29575-4

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  • Microbiology: A new class of antibiotics identified

    Nature, September 13, 2018

    The chemical optimization of the arylomycin class of natural products into a compound with potent, broad-spectrum activity against multidrug-resistant infections of Gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli, is reported this week in Nature. These findings, in cells and mice, may pave the way to develop these compounds into essential new drugs to combat a serious risk to global health.


    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0483-6

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  • Ecology: Monitoring rural hedgehog populations

    Scientific Reports, September 7, 2018

    Factors that may threaten rural hedgehog populations in England and Wales are assessed in a study in Scientific Reports this week. The paper reports the results of a national survey of rural hedgehog populations, which the authors say can be used as a baseline for future monitoring of hedgehog numbers.

    Factors that may threaten rural hedgehog populations in England and Wales are assesse...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30130-4

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  • Animal behaviour: Meerkats trust experienced guards more

    Scientific Reports, August 24, 2018

    Foraging meerkats are less watchful when individuals with more experience as guards issue calming calls, according to a study in Scientific Reports.

    When groups of several meerkats forage for food, typically one individual (seldom more) scans the surroundings and regularly calls out to the others. This is known as sentinel behaviour. By calling, sentinels provide the foragers with inf...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29678-y

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  • Evolution: Breaking ground on the gradual start of roots

    Nature, August 23, 2018

    Modern roots evolved at least twice, and developed their characteristic features gradually, reports a study in this week’s Nature. This conclusion comes from the discovery of a transitional root fossil from the earliest-known land ecosystem.

    The defining feature of modern-day plant roots is the meristem - a self-renewing structure that is covered by a cap at its apex. Root meristems...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0445-z

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  • Animal behaviour: How did ants develop divisions of duties?

    Nature, August 23, 2018

    Beneficial divisions of labour in ants develop with increasing colony size - starting with just six individuals - reports a paper published online this week in Nature. The finding improves our understanding of how complex sociality emerges.

    The ability to improve efficiency by dividing up tasks is a major benefit of group living, and a hallmark of human society. Even more elaborate la...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0422-6

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  • Palaeontology: Turtle evolution comes out of its shell

    Nature, August 23, 2018

    The fossil of a newly discovered Triassic turtle species, found in Guizhou Province, China, is described in a paper in this week’s Nature. This specimen, dated to around 228 million years ago, is an early relative of turtles and reveals their complex early history.

    The origins and phylogenetic relationships of turtles have remained one of evolution’s most enduring puzzles. These a...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0419-1

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  • Particle physics: AWAKEning the future of high-energy particle accelerators

    Nature, August 30, 2018

    The first demonstration of proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration is reported online this week in Nature. The results represent a step towards the development of future high-energy particle accelerators.

    High-energy particle accelerators have been crucial in providing a deeper understanding of fundamental particles, and plasma wakefield acceleration has the potential to usher in ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0485-4

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