top ten research highlights

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


Aging: Inflammatory aging ‘clock’ can predict risk of age-related diseases and immune decline

Nature Aging, July 13, 2021

A new aging clock can identify individuals with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular and other diseases, according to a paper published in Nature Aging. The tool, which uses blood-based signals that drive chronic inflammation throughout the body, may have implications for early diagnosis and intervention.

Although the interplay between the immune system and many age-rel...

doi: 10.1038/s43587-021-00082-y

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Quantum computing: A step towards error-corrected quantum computers

Nature, July 15, 2021

Exponential suppression of errors in Sycamore, a quantum processor designed by Google AI, is reported in Nature this week. This experimental demonstration may pave the way for the development of scalable, fault-tolerant quantum computers.

Quantum computers, like their classical counterparts, are prone to errors caused by ‘noise’ from the underlying physical system. A solution...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03588-yv

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Physics: ATLAS experiment measurements support universal truth of particle physics

Nature Physics, July 6, 2021

A measurement of a fundamental principle of the standard model of particle physics — lepton flavour universality — captured by the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider is reported in a paper published in Nature Physics. The findings supersede the long-standing result from the Large Electron–Positron Collider.

Our understanding of elementary particles — the buildi...

doi: 10.1038/s41567-021-01236-w

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Economics: Targeting aging could be worth trillions of dollars

Nature Aging, July 6, 2021

Treatments that target aging and extend healthy life expectancy could be worth trillions of dollars in economic gains, according to a study published in Nature Aging this week.

In recent times, growing emphasis has been placed on the concept of ‘healthy’ aging rather than focusing solely on life expectancy. Determining the economic value of increasing healthy life expectancy,...

doi: 10.1038/s43587-021-00080-0

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Palaeontology: Ancient wing sheds light on insect communication origins

Communications Biology, July 9, 2021

The discovery of a fossilized insect wing, the features of which provide the earliest evidence so far of wing-based communication in insects, is reported this week in Communications Biology. The finding suggests that insects may have been using their wings to broadcast information since the Late Carboniferous period (approximately 310 million years ago).

Many insects use wing sha...

doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02281-0

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Climate change: Planting trees increases European rainfall

Nature Geoscience, July 6, 2021

Expanding European forest cover could enhance rainfall and partly counteract future drying trends expected with climate change, according to a paper published in Nature Geoscience this week.

Several countries worldwide are considering planting more trees in efforts to tackle rising global temperatures. Such widespread reforestation could also influence local rainfall by altering ...

doi: 10.1038/s41561-021-00773-6

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Astronomy: Event Horizon Telescope zooms in on another black hole

Nature Astronomy, July 20, 2021

High-resolution radio observations of a jet of plasma emitted from a supermassive black hole are in agreement with expectations based on general relativity down to a scale of less than a lightday, according to a study published in Nature Astronomy. These findings suggest that black holes behave similarly over a wide range of masses.

The first image of a black hole shadow — the ...

doi: 10.1038/s41550-021-01417-w

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Archaeology: A 51,000-year-old giant deer bone engraved by Neanderthals

Nature Ecology & Evolution, July 6, 2021

The discovery of a 51,000-year-old engraved bone carved by Neanderthals is reported in a paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. This finding adds to growing evidence of sophisticated symbolic behaviour by the species.

Examples of art and symbolic behaviour have been widely found in early Homo sapiens across Africa and Eurasia. However, similar evidence that could shed lig...

doi: 10.1038/s41559-021-01487-z

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Food: Supply chain diversity protects cities against food supply disruption

Nature, July 8, 2021

Improving a city’s food supply chain diversity enhances its resilience to disruptions to supply, known as food shocks, reports a study published in Nature. This relationship is demonstrated with a statistical model — constructed using four years of data from 284 cities across the United States — that may guide policymakers.

Food supply shocks — such as those caused by ext...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03621-0

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Medical research: Lack of sex and gender variables in many COVID-19 clinical studies

Nature Communications, July 7, 2021

Only 4% of studies investigating therapeutic approaches for the treatment of COVID-19 registered on explicitly reported a plan to include sex and/or gender as an analytical variable, according to a paper published in Nature Communications.

Sex and gender differences impact the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 mortality. The inclusion of sex as a v...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24265-8

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