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 September 2017 ~ 19 October 2017

  • Materials science: 3D printing of high-strength alloys

    Nature, September 21, 2017

    A method for three-dimensional (3D) printing high-strength aluminium alloys is presented in Nature this week.

    Metal-based additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, allows metal components to be built up layer by layer, increasing design freedom and manufacturing flexibility. Currently, however, only a handful of alloys can be reliably printed. The vast majority of the more than 5,500 al...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature23894

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  • Neurodegeneration: A dual role for APOE4 in Alzheimer’s disease

    Nature, September 21, 2017

    A major genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, APOE4, is shown to influence the harmful accumulation of the protein tau and exacerbate tau-mediated neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation, in mice. The study, published online in Nature this week, suggests that APOE4 adversely and independently affects both of the major neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.


    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature24016

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  • Fossils: Evidence for life in 3.95-billion-year-old rocks

    Nature, September 28, 2017

    Analysis of carbon isotope compositions of carbonaceous material and carbonate from sedimentary rocks in northern Labrador, Canada, suggests that organic life may have existed on Earth as early as 3.95 billion years ago. The findings, reported in Nature this week, might represent some of the earliest known life on Earth.

    Evidence for the presence of life early in Earth’s history rem...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature24019

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  • Energy: Renewable energy from evaporating water

    Nature Communications, September 27, 2017

    Natural water evaporation represents a promising alternative source of renewable energy, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Communications. An evaluation of the amount of energy that can be harvested from this natural process reveals that natural water evaporation could provide power densities three times that of the wind power.

    Nearly half of the solar energy absorb...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00581-w

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  • Palaeontology: A mixed diet for dinosaur herbivores

    Scientific Reports, September 22, 2017

    A group of large, herbivorous dinosaurs may not have been strict plant-eaters as previously thought, according to a study in Scientific Reports. The study suggests that some herbivorous dinosaurs may have eaten crustaceans at times during the year.

    Large, plant-eating dinosaurs are usually presumed to have been strictly herbivorous, based on analyses of their teeth and jaws, which sug...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11538-w

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  • Genetics: Parental age influences new genetic mutations in children

    Nature, September 21, 2017

    The older the parent - especially the father - the higher the incidence of new genetic mutations in the offspring, according to a paper published online this week in Nature. The paper also reports the largest resource to date of human de novo mutations (DNMs, changes to genes that present for the first time in a family, caused by a mutation in the egg or sperm of one of the parents). Understand...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature24018

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  • Engineering: Supercomputer-based structural design takes wing

    Nature, October 5, 2017

    A supercomputer-based tool that can optimize the internal structure of a full-scale aeroplane wing with unprecedented level of detail is described in Nature this week.

    In engineering, a technique called computational morphogenesis is used to determine the best possible shapes and material distributions to achieve specific objectives, such as maximizing performance or minimizing weigh...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature23911

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  • Planetary science: The melting pot that formed Earth

    Nature, September 28, 2017

    Earth’s distinctive chemical composition may have been shaped by the evaporation of molten rock from planetesimals (the precursors of planets), according to two independent studies published in Nature this week. These findings could help to explain how Earth, Mars and other rocky bodies in our Solar System formed.

    Earth and other rocky planets have different compositions from chondr...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature23899

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  • Astronomy: Haumea has a ring to it

    Nature, October 12, 2017

    The presence of a ring around Haumea, a dwarf planet located beyond Neptune, is reported online this week in Nature. This discovery opens up new avenues of research in the trans-Neptunian region.

    Of the four known dwarf planets in the Solar System that orbit the Sun at a greater average distance than does Neptune, Haumea is an unusual, very elongated and fast-rotating body. In contras...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature24051

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  • Medical research: Health issues for former rugby players

    Scientific Reports, September 28, 2017

    Former elite male rugby union players are at greater risk of suffering from osteoarthritis, joint replacement and osteoporosis compared to the rest of the population, according to a study in Scientific Reports this week.

    Using self-reported questionnaires, Madeleine Davies, Nigel Arden and colleagues assessed aspects of health amongst 259 former elite, male rugby players, compared to ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12130-y

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