top ten research highlights

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


International evaluation of an AI system for breast cancer screening

Nature, January 2, 2020

An artificial intelligence (AI) system capable of surpassing expert radiologists in the ability to detect breast cancer is reported in a paper published in Nature this week. This deep-learning model may contribute to prospective clinical trials to improve the accuracy and efficiency of breast cancer screening.

Many developed nations have implemented large-scale mammography screening p...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1799-6

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Prevention of tuberculosis in macaques after intravenous BCG immunization

Nature, January 2, 2020

Changing the dose and delivery route of the BCG vaccine improves protection against tuberculosis infection in a rhesus macaque model of the disease reports a study published in Nature this week. The data suggest that switching the delivery mode from intradermal to intravenous could be especially beneficial when given to adolescents or adult humans, although clinical tests are needed.


doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1817-8

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Ecology: Reassessing impacts of ocean acidification on fish behaviour

Nature, January 9, 2020

Ocean acidification due to rising CO2 levels may have a negligible impact on critical behaviours of coral reef fishes, reports a paper published in Nature. The findings, which challenge previous research, are the results of a multi-year, multi-species project aimed at assessing the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef fishes.

By the end of the century, the acidification of ...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1903-y

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Climate science: Impacts of global heating on US deaths from injuries assessed

Nature Medicine, January 14, 2020

A 1.5°C anomalously warm year, as envisioned under the Paris Climate Agreement, could be responsible for as many as 1,601 additional deaths by injury per year across the contiguous United States, according to a paper published in Nature Medicine.

To date, health consequences related to global temperature variations have been studied largely in the context of the spread of infectious ...

doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0721-y

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Medical Research: Impacts of childhood lead-exposure risk and family income on brain development

Nature Medicine, January 14, 2020

Cognitive and brain development impairment associated with lead exposure in childhood could be exacerbated by poverty, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.

Lead exposure in childhood, even in small concentrations, is known to negatively affect cognitive and behavioural development and has also been associated with lower socioeconomic status in later life. However, the...

doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0713-y

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Immunology: Bringing HIV out of hiding

Nature, January 23, 2020

Two methods to reverse HIV latency, which may improve the chances of eliminating the virus, are described in animal studies published this week in Nature.

Current antiretroviral therapies are unable to completely clear HIV infection as the virus can ‘hide’ from the immune system in a latent form in cells. The eradication of HIV infection after prolonged viral suppression therapy...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-1946-0

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Assessing progress towards sustainable development over space and time

Nature, January 2, 2020

China’s progress towards achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals is assessed in an analysis published in Nature. Based on a score representing the country’s overall performance from 2000 to 2015, the results indicate that China has improved its sustainability at a national and provincial level. However, the scores for four individual goals declined during that time....

doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1846-3

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Environment: Barriers preventing prescribed burns for California wildfire management identified

Nature Sustainability, January 21, 2020

Three types of sociopolitical barriers preventing the widespread application of prescribed burns for wildfire management in California - risk-related, resource-related and regulations-related - are identified in a paper published in Nature Sustainability. Prescribed burns are fires purposefully set under controlled conditions to clear ground fuels, and have been shown to be an efficient method ...

doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0451-7

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Stem cells: How stress turns mice grey

Nature, January 23, 2020

Stress can cause hair to turn grey in rodents by triggering the depletion of pigment-forming stem cells in hair follicles, reports a study in Nature. This effect seems to be driven by activation of the sympathetic nervous system, rather than by immune attacks or stress-related hormones - contrary to previous theories.

Stress has been linked to accelerated hair greying, although an und...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-1935-3

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Sociology: Measuring the pace of modern culture

Nature Human Behaviour, January 21, 2020

Modern culture evolves slowly, at a pace similar to that of biological evolution, reports a study published this week in Nature Human Behaviour. This finding challenges the popular perception that human culture evolves much faster than organisms do.

In the past century, long-term field studies have allowed researchers to study biological evolution in animal populations, and to estimat...

doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0802-4

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