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 2019 ~ 21 July 2019

  • Conservation: Asian elephants form all-male groups in areas with increased human activity

    Scientific Reports, July 5, 2019

    Highly endangered adolescent Asian elephants have been observed forming all-male groups in land fragmented by human activity, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Group formation in male elephants may be an adaptive behaviour to improve reproductive fitness in areas where the risk of contact with humans is high, the authors speculate.

    Nishant Srinivasaiah and colleagues...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45130-1

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  • Ecology: The recipe for a successful ‘alien’ bird invasion

    Nature, June 20, 2019

    ‘Alien’ bird species are most likely to survive in a new habitat if the environmental conditions are similar to those in its native home, reveals a study in this week’s Nature. The research, which provides a vital insight into the conditions that help some non-native species to thrive, should assist those who seek to curb future invasions.

    As human activity continues to reshape ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1292-2

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  • Gut microbiome linked to performance of elite athletes

    Nature Medicine, June 25, 2019

    Specific bacteria in the gut microbiome of elite runners may contribute to enhanced athletic performance, suggests a study published online this week in Nature Medicine.

    The human microbiome (the microorganisms that reside within the human body) is known to influence human health. Previous research has associated exercise with changes in the microbiome, but the effects of these changes ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0485-4

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  • Physiology: Foot calluses are good for your sole

    Nature, June 27, 2019

    Foot calluses protect the soles of barefoot walkers without compromising sensitivity or gait, reports a study published online in Nature this week. By contrast, cushion-soled shoes reduce sensitivity and alter the forces transmitted from our feet to our joints. Footwear with thin, stiff and uncushioned soles, such as moccasins or sandals, might offer protection and sensitivity that are more sim...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1345-6

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  • Gut bacteria treatment may improve the health of patients with cardiovascular risks

    Nature Medicine, July 2, 2019

    Boosting the levels of specific gut bacteria may have beneficial effects for overweight or obese people, reports a small clinical trial published online this week in Nature Medicine. Akkermansia muciniphila is a species of gut bacteria less abundant in the gut of individuals that are overweight or obese, or that have untreated type 2 diabetes mellitus or inflammatory bowel diseases. This study ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0495-2

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  • Capuchin monkeys have been making stone tools for 3,000 years

    Nature Ecology & Evolution, June 25, 2019

    Wild capuchin monkeys have been making stone tools for at least 3,000 years, and their technology has changed over this time, suggests a study published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

    Monkeys, chimpanzees and otters are all known to use stones in the wild to crack open nuts and shells. However, until now, chimpanzees were the only non-human animal with a known archaeo...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0904-4

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  • Ageing: Immune invasion in the ageing brain

    Nature, July 4, 2019

    Observations of age-dependent changes in the collection of cells that contribute to the production of new neurons (the neurogenic niche) in mice are reported in Nature. The study identifies a role for the immune system in the age-related decline of the neurogenic niche. These findings may help to inform strategies for countering the decline of neuron precursor cells in the ageing mammalian brai...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1362-5

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  • Neuroscience: The wiring of worms revealed

    Nature, July 4, 2019

    Maps of all the connections in the nervous system of both sexes (male and hermaphrodite) of the adult nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans are presented in this week’s Nature. The findings represent the most complete neural maps (or connectomes) of C. elegans published to date and allow comparisons between the nervous systems of the sexes to take place. The maps could help to decipher the neu...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1352-7

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  • Engineering: Robot fish powered by synthetic 'blood'

    Nature, June 20, 2019

    A synthetic circulatory system consisting of a hydraulic liquid that mechanically drives and electrically powers a soft robotic lionfish is demonstrated in a Nature paper this week. In tests of the system, the robot was able to swim against a current and could fan its pectoral fins. The findings could lead to improved energy storage, efficiency and autonomy in future robot designs.


    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1313-1

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  • The mashed-up evolutionary history of the modern European potato

    Nature Ecology & Evolution, June 25, 2019

    The potatoes first introduced to Europe were closely related to Andean varieties and then were interbred with Chilean varieties, according to a study published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

    Potatoes originated in the South American Andes and are now found around the globe. Historical records of the potato in mainland Europe date back to the late 16th century in Spain...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0921-3

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