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 June 2018 ~ 21 July 2018

  • Cancer: Mechanism for tissue wasting in pancreatic cancer identified

    Nature, June 21, 2018

    Altered exocrine function in the pancreas may be responsible for the wasting of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle experienced by patients with pancreatic cancer, suggests a study published this week in Nature.

    Changes in cellular metabolism are symptoms of various forms of cancers. Pancreatic cancer is especially associated with the wasting of peripheral tissues, a metabolic syndrome...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0235-7

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  • Synthetic biology: Waking up (genetic circuits) with coffee

    Nature Communications, June 20, 2018

    A genetic circuit designed to regulate blood glucose levels, which is activated by the caffeine found in coffee, is demonstrated in a mouse model of diabetes. The findings are reported in Nature Communications this week.

    Type-2 diabetes mellitus affects more than 400 million people worldwide with substantial associated health costs. Successful health management requires monitoring and...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04744-1

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  • Animal behaviour: Crows can make tools from memory

    Scientific Reports, June 29, 2018

    New Caledonian crows can recreate tools from memory according to a study in Scientific Reports. This ability may allow them to improve their own tools over time by recreating and then modifying other crows’ tools designs that they have memorised. Being able to recreate and modify items from memory is a trait rarely associated with non-human animals.

    New Caledonian crows are known to...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27405-1

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  • Astrophysics: Sometimes a cigar-shaped ‘comet’ is just a comet

    Nature, June 28, 2018

    ‘Oumuamua - the cigar-shaped body spotted last year that is the first known visitor from outside the Solar System - is a comet after all, reports a paper published online this week in Nature. The travelling body had been the object of some debate previously, first being classified as a comet, then an asteroid, and finally the first of a new class of ‘interstellar objects’.


    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0254-4

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  • Climate targets could make meeting Sustainable Development Goals more costly

    Nature Energy, June 19, 2018

    Transforming energy systems to meet climate targets could make it costlier to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of providing energy access and food security for all, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Energy. The potential cost of meeting these goals while moving away from fossil fuel use could be in the tens of billions of dollars per year.

    Although energy cost...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41560-018-0179-z

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  • The cut and thrust of Neanderthal hunting

    Nature Ecology & Evolution, June 26, 2018

    Neanderthals hunted deer using close-range thrusting spears, reports a study published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

    The idea that Neanderthals - and their earlier hominin relatives, Homo heidelbergensis - used spears to hunt is supported by the previous unearthing of 300,000-400,000-year-old wooden spears in both Britain and Germany. However, since evidence of hunti...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0596-1

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  • Health science: Air pollution impact on African infant mortality rate evaluated

    Nature, June 28, 2018

    Around 40,000 infant deaths in Africa might have been avoided by reducing air pollution by 5 micrograms per cubic metre in 2015, suggests a modelling study published online this week in Nature.

    Poor air quality is associated with death, disability and ill health, with exposure to ambient, breathable particulate matter of diameters less than 2.5 micrometres (referred to as PM2.5) havin...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0263-3

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  • Psychology: Puppies learn from dogs and humans

    Scientific Reports, July 6, 2018

    Puppies as young as eight weeks old have social learning skills that allow them to learn by observing both dogs and humans, according to a preliminary study published in Scientific Reports this week.

    Claudia Fugazza and colleagues studied 48 eight-week-old puppies from a variety of different breeds to evaluate whether their ability to learn to open a puzzle box to receive a food rewar...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27654-0

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  • Scientific Data: Citizen science project reveals penguin breeding dynamics

    Scientific Data, June 27, 2018

    Data from almost 74,000 images capturing the dynamics of brush-tailed penguin breeding colonies across the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, and South Georgia are reported this week in Scientific Data. Using a citizen science approach, the images (taken from 15 different cameras as part of the Zooniverse project ‘Penguin Watch’) were classified by volunteers.

    Owing to i...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.124

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  • Tree lifetimes prolonged by disease-resistance genes

    Nature Plants, June 19, 2018

    The long lifespans of trees might be explained by an expansion of their disease-resistance genes, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Plants. This finding helps explain how some trees, such as oaks, can survive for centuries despite exposure to various threats over time.

    With 450 species spread throughout Asia, Europe and America, the oak’s ubiquity and longevity ha...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41477-018-0172-3

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