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 February 2018 ~ 23 March 2018

  • Genomics: How the Bell Beaker spread across Europe

    Nature, February 22, 2018

    Insights into the lives of Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans can be gleaned from a pair of Nature papers, which trace the spread of distinctive cultural artefacts and agriculture via genomic techniques.

    The cultures of ancient peoples are often defined by the artifacts they left behind. The Bell Beaker Complex, for example, refers to a group of objects, including stylized bell-shaped...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature25778

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  • Marine science: Coral reefs on acid

    Nature, March 15, 2018

    Artificially increasing the acidity of seawater flowing over a natural coral reef community in the Great Barrier Reef reduces coral calcification by about one-third, reports a paper published in Nature this week. Ocean acidification poses a significant threat to tropical coral reef ecosystems by reducing the saturation state of the aragonite mineral of which coral skeletons are primarily compos...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature25968

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  • Planetary science: Plumbing the depths of Jupiter

    Nature, March 8, 2018

    Detailed insights into the properties of Jupiter, including its gravitational field, its atmospheric flows, its interior composition and its polar cyclones, are reported in four papers published in this week’s Nature. The studies present some of the key findings of NASA’s Juno mission to the gas giant. Despite extensive studies of Jupiter’s surface, with its distinctive dark ‘bands’ a...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature25491

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  • Psychology: The ‘wrong’ kind of smile could stress you out

    Scientific Reports, March 2, 2018

    Smiles may reduce or increase physical stress responses in situations where people are being evaluated, depending on what they perceive a smile to mean, according to a study involving 90 male undergraduate students in Scientific Reports.

    Verbal feedback cues - such as “that was/wasn’t good” - in evaluative situations, for example when people are giving a speech, are known to act...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21536-1

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  • Ecology: A bird’s eye view of mountain diversity

    Nature, February 22, 2018

    Bird populations become less diverse at higher mountain elevations - but they diversify faster. This finding is reported in a paper published online this week in Nature, which challenges long-held assumptions that species richness should be highest at mid-elevations, and that high local diversification rates are necessary to support rich species populations.

    Mountain ranges play a key...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature25794

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  • Genetics: Local environment affects gene expression

    Nature Communications, March 7, 2018

    Exposure to local environmental factors, such as air pollution, has a larger impact than genetic ancestry on modulating gene expression and health reports an analysis involving a cohort of about 1,000 individuals from Quebec, Canada, published this week in Nature Communications.

    Industrialization and increased use of fossil-fuel energies have led to air pollution and hazardous air qua...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03202-2

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  • Astronomy: New-born supernova caught on camera

    Nature, February 22, 2018

    The birth of a new supernova, captured serendipitously by an amateur astronomer who was testing a new camera, is reported in Nature this week. This chance observation provides an opportunity to learn more about the properties of the star that exploded and offers new insights into supernova evolution.

    The surge of light at the birth of a new supernova can provide information about the ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature25151

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  • Coming of age: The science of adolescence

    Nature, February 22, 2018

    The often-paradoxical nature of adolescence - a time both of risk and vulnerability, and of peak growth and potential - is explored in a package of articles published in ten journals in the Nature Research family and in Scientific American this week.

    Introducing the special, Nature remarks that we have a long way to go in understanding adolescence itself. The concept of puberty does n...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-02168-x

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  • Neuroscience: New neuron creation dwindles as we age into adults

    Nature, March 8, 2018

    The development of new neurons in the brain’s hippocampus decreases as we get older and has stopped completely by adulthood, reports a paper published online this week in Nature.

    Neurons are cells that carry electrical impulses. In some mammals, new neurons are created throughout adulthood within the hippocampus - a process that has been linked to memory, mood, stress, exercise and ...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/nature25975

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  • Bad blood: genome and microbiome explain vampire bats’ unusual diet

    Nature Ecology & Evolution, February 20, 2018

    The common vampire bat has adapted to a diet that is low in nutrients and exposes the animal to a broad range of blood-borne diseases, reveals a joint study of its genome and gut microbiome published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Compared with nectar-feeding, fruit-eating, and meat-eating bats, the microbiome in vampire bats is completely distinct.

    The common vampire...

    Original article doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0476-8

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