top ten research highlights

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


Planetary science: Building blocks of DNA detected in meteorites

Nature Communications, April 27, 2022

Pyrimidine nucleobases that are necessary for building DNA or RNA may have been delivered to Earth by carbon-rich meteorites, suggests a paper published in Nature Communications.

Two types of chemical building blocks, or nucleobases, are needed to form DNA and RNA. These are the pyrimidines, which include cytosine, uracil and thymine, and the purines, for example guanine and ad...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29612-x

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Animal health: New life expectancy estimates for UK dogs suggest Jack Russell Terriers live longest

Scientific Reports, April 29, 2022

Jack Russell Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers have the highest life expectancies of dog breeds in the UK, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. However, flat-faced breeds such as French Bulldogs and Pugs have some of the lowest life expectancies.

Kendy Tzu-yun Teng, Dan O’Neill and colleagues analysed 30,563 records of dog deaths from veterinary...

doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-10341-6

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Neuroscience: Neurons that selectively die in Parkinson’s disease identified

Nature Neuroscience, May 6, 2022

A specific subtype of dopamine-releasing neurons that is selectively lost in Parkinson’s disease has been identified in human brain samples, according to a study published in Nature Neuroscience.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by slowed movement, tremors, stiffness, and impaired balance and coordination. The disease is caused by the degene...

doi: 10.1038/s41593-022-01061-1

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Ecology: Surprisingly sweet seagrass

Nature Ecology & Evolution, May 3, 2022

Sucrose accumulates under seagrass meadows at concentrations that are approximately 80 times greater than previous marine records, according to a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The findings indicate that seagrass could represent a large global store of organic carbon, predicted to result from the inhibition of microbial activity that would otherwise degrade it.


doi: 10.1038/s41559-022-01740-z

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Ecology: Assessing the risk of reptile extinctions

Nature, April 28, 2022

Over 21% of reptile species are threatened with extinction, suggests a global assessment of more than 10,000 species published in Nature. The findings indicate that some reptiles, including many species of crocodiles and turtles, require urgent conservation efforts to prevent extinctions.

Comprehensive extinction risk assessments are available for birds, mammals and amphibians,...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04664-7

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Space Biology: One small step towards plants on the Moon

Communications Biology, May 13, 2022

Experiments to investigate the viability of growing plants on the Moon have unearthed that thale cress plants grow more slowly and show more signs of stress when grown in lunar soil samples collected during the Apollo missions than in volcanic ash from Earth. The findings, published in Communications Biology, highlight the need for further research into the interactions between plants an...

doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03334-8

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Psychology: Video calls are shown to reduce creativity

Nature, April 28, 2022

Video calls are shown to reduce the production of creative ideas, compared to in-person meetings, finds a study published in Nature. The findings suggest that virtual interactions may have a cognitive cost when creating ideas collaboratively.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of employees were required to work from home indefinitely and collaborate virtually using videocon...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04643-y

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Ageing: Cerebrospinal fluid from young mice improves memory in old mice

Nature, May 12, 2022

Memory improvements that are seen in old mice receiving cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from younger animals may be attributed to growth factors that are shown to restore neural cell function, a study published in Nature reports. The findings demonstrate the potential rejuvenating properties of young CSF for the ageing brain.

As the brain ages, cognitive decline increases along with ...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04722-0

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Aging: Rethinking optimal BMI for octogenarians in China

Nature Aging, April 26, 2022

Being overweight or mildly obese is associated with reduced mortality in those aged over 80 in China, according to an observational study involving over 27,000 individuals published in Nature Aging. The findings suggest that public health recommendations for optimal weights may need to be revised upward in this age group. Although further studies involving people from different geographi...

doi: 10.1038/s43587-022-00201-3

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Climate change: Weighing up the environmental benefits of replacing beef with microbial protein

Nature, May 5, 2022

Replacing 20% of global beef consumption with fermentation-derived microbial protein by 2050 could halve annual deforestation and associated carbon dioxide emissions, according to a modelling study in Nature. Higher levels of substitution, however, may have diminishing benefits.

As the negative environmental impacts of ruminant meat consumption become more evident — including...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04629-w

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