top ten research highlights

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

21 January 2019 ~ 20 February 2019

  • Genome editing: And CRISPR-Cas12b makes three

    Nature Communications, January 23, 2019

    A third CRISPR-Cas platform for genome editing in human cells is presented in Nature Communications this week.

    CRISPR-Cas9 is a versatile platform for genome editing, but it is not the only RNA-guided nuclease (an enzyme that cuts DNA) in the Cas family of proteins. In addition to Cas9, Cas12a and Cas12b have also been identified. Although Cas12a has been developed for genome editing,...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08224-4

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  • Hidden blood vessels in limb bones revealed

    Nature Metabolism, January 22, 2019

    A network of channels within the long bones of mice has been observed for the first time, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Metabolism. These tiny blood capillaries pass through the bone itself, connecting the bone marrow to the wider circulatory system.

    Blood has been assumed to enter long bones (such as shinbones) through arteries at the bones’ ends or through the...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s42255-018-0016-5

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  • Evolution: Small-eyed prehistoric ‘platypus’ may have hunted by touch

    Scientific Reports, January 25, 2019

    Two new specimens of a marine reptile from the Early Triassic (about 250 million years ago), called Eretmorhipis carrolldongi are described in a study published in Scientific Reports this week. The reptile, which shows similarities to the modern duckbilled platypus, had very small eyes relative to its body size. The specimens thus represent the oldest known record of amniotes (reptiles, birds, ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37754-6

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  • Zoology: UV vision helps birds see the forest for the trees

    Nature Communications, January 23, 2019

    By exaggerating the contrast between the tops and bottoms of leaves, UV vision could help bring forest structure into high definition and thus help birds navigate these spatially complex environments. The findings are reported in Nature Communications.

    Cynthia Tedore and Dan-Eric Nilsson photographed forest habitats in Sweden and Australia using a ‘multispectral’ camera with filte...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08142-5

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  • Genetics: New insights into what makes a morning person

    Nature Communications, January 30, 2019

    Genetic variation influences whether someone is a morning person, with potential consequences for mental health, reports a paper published in Nature Communications this week. This large-scale genome-wide association study expands on previous work and increases the total number of genetic loci that may be associated with chronotype (the innate propensity to sleep at a particular time) from 24 to...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08259-7

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  • Climate change: Melting ice sheets may have major climate impacts

    Nature, February 7, 2019

    The melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets may have indirect effects on the global climate system, triggering more variable weather and further melting, reports a paper published this week in Nature. A separate paper in Nature explores a debated process for runaway ice-cliff collapse in the Antarctic.

    Global temperatures could potentially rise by three to four degrees Celsi...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0901-4

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  • Climate science: Regulations in China have not curbed methane emissions

    Nature Communications, January 30, 2019

    Methane emissions from coal mining in China have continued to increase since 2010 despite government regulations attempting to curb them. The findings are published in Nature Communications this week.

    The coal sector contributes the highest fraction of China’s anthropogenic methane emissions (about 33%). In 2010, the national government enacted a policy requiring that companies either...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07891-7

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  • Electrical engineering: Viewing hidden objects with digital cameras

    Nature, January 24, 2019

    Ordinary digital cameras can be used to view out-of-sight objects, reports a paper published in Nature this week. This feat has previously only been achieved with specialist and expensive optical systems, and this cheaper, simpler technique represents a major advance in viewing hidden objects.

    Non-line-of-sight imaging techniques analyse the light reflected off a surface - which plays...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0868-6

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  • Earth's inner core may have formed in the nick of time

    Nature Geoscience, January 29, 2019

    The Earth’s magnetic field was at its lowest intensity about 565 million years ago, with its powering dynamo on the verge of collapse, suggests a paper published online this week in Nature Geoscience. As the formation of the Earth’s solid inner core would have strengthened the geomagnetic field, this finding suggests that the inner core had not fully begun solidifying by that time.


    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41561-018-0288-0

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  • Cancer: Finding a better liquid biopsy for brain tumours

    Nature, January 24, 2019

    The detection of tumour-derived DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could be used to track tumour progression in some gliomas, reports a study in Nature this week. Gliomas are the most common cancerous brain tumours in adults. This liquid biopsy approach could be a minimally invasive alternative to sampling brain tissue for disease classification, and could help to guide the treatment of patients ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0882-3

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