top ten research highlights

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


Evolution: New species of Early Cretaceous dino-bird shook its tail feather

Communications Biology, November 15, 2019

The fossil of a previously unknown species of bird found in Japan is reported in a paper in Communications Biology. This specimen, which lived during the Early Cretaceous around 120 million years ago, may increase our understanding of early bird evolution.

The Archaeopteryx from the Late Jurassic (around 160 to 140 million years ago) found in Germany is generally considered to be the ...

doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0639-4

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Physics: A sound design for 3D displays

Nature, November 14, 2019

A system that can generate a 3D image that can also emit sound and provide a tactile response when ‘touched’ is reported in Nature. The prototype, which resembles displays seen in science-fiction movies such as Star Wars, may have applications in biomedical and computational-fabrication fields.

Ryuji Hirayama and colleagues created the Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display, which can...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1739-5

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Environment: Value of national parks’ impact on mental health estimated

Nature Communications, November 13, 2019

National parks could provide an economic value of around US $6 trillion per year globally in the improved mental health of their visitors according to initial estimates in a Perspective published in Nature Communications. The findings are based on calculations from pilot studies and more detailed analysis is required to refine the estimates.

The economic costs of poor mental healt...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12631-6

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Engineering: New virtual-reality device has skin in the game

Nature, November 21, 2019

A wireless, touch-sensitive interface that can softly layer over skin is reported in a paper published this week in Nature. This apparatus can communicate information through mechanical vibrations and can be used as a virtual-reality (VR) synthetic skin with applications in social media, prosthetic control and video gaming.

Many previous approaches to create a communicative VR ‘skin...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1687-0

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Neuroscience: A brain-scanning bike helmet

Nature Communications, November 6, 2019

A wearable brain scanner system using a modified bike helmet is reported today in Nature Communications. The device could make brain scans easier and more reliable in children, and facilitate the study of brain development throughout life.

Brain scanning technologies, such as magnetoencephalography (which measures brain activity based on small magnetic fields produced by the brain...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12486-x

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Astronomy: The first global geological map of Titan

Nature Astronomy, November 19, 2019

The first global geological map of Saturn’s moon Titan is presented in a paper in Nature Astronomy this week. This map, drawn using data from Cassini, will add to our understanding of the history and evolution of Titan.

Titan is the only moon of the Solar System with a dense atmosphere and a full, methane-based hydrological cycle, which has a significant impact on its surface and ev...

doi: 10.1038/s41550-019-0917-6

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Biology: Arctic sea ice loss may facilitate disease spread in marine mammals

Scientific Reports, November 8, 2019

Arctic sea ice reduction due to climate change may allow pathogens infecting sea mammals to spread more regularly between the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Shifts in the environment, such as loss of sea ice, may drive exposure to new pathogens by altering animal behavior and opening up water routes that allow for contact between p...

doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51699-4

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Climate Change: Environmental stress negatively impacts women in climate hotspots

Nature Climate Change, November 26, 2019

Environmental stress negatively affects women’s agency - the ability to make meaningful choices and strategic decisions - in climate hotspots in Africa and Asia, suggests a paper published in Nature Climate Change. Such stressors can lead to household adaptation strategies that increase the responsibilities and burdens women face.

Entrenched social structures, reinforced at househo...

doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0638-y

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Ecology: Lost deer-like species ‘rediscovered’

Nature Ecology & Evolution, November 12, 2019

A species of deer-like ungulate that was thought lost to science has been discovered living in the wild in Vietnam, reports a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Previously, the last known record of the silver-backed chevrotain was a hunter-killed specimen from 1990, but researchers have now photographed the species alive for the first time in 30 years.

The Greater Annamites Ecoregio...

doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-1027-7

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Nature Reviews Endocrinology: A new approach for assessing health risks of endocrine disruptors

Nature Reviews Endocrinology, November 13, 2019

A universal framework for evaluating the potential health risks posed to humans by endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), is outlined in a Consensus Statement published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology this week.

EDCs are chemicals that interfere with hormone action, and thus can impact health risks, including for cancer, reproductive impairment, cognitive deficits and obesity. ...

doi: 10.1038/s41574-019-0273-8

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