top ten research highlights

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


Ageing: Measuring ageing in naked mole rats

Nature Aging, December 24, 2021

The naked mole rat — an exceptionally long-lived rodent that outwardly seems to defy ageing — does age on the molecular level, as measured by epigenetic changes, according to a new study in Nature Aging.

Naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) have exceptional longevity for rodents of their size — with a maximum lifespan of 37 years — and are resistant to age-rel...

doi: 10.1038/s43587-021-00152-1

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Archaeology: More precise age for earliest known human fossils from Ethiopia estimated

Nature, January 13, 2022

The remains of the Kibish Omo I from Ethiopia — among the oldest known fossils of Homo sapiens in eastern Africa — could be at least 36,000 years older than previously thought, according to a paper published in Nature. The minimum age is estimated to be approximately 233,000 years old, a timescale that aligns more consistently with models of modern human evolution.

The Omo ...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-04275-8

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Climate change: Top five greenhouse gas emitters set to exacerbate regional heat extremes

Communications Earth & Environment, January 7, 2022

Greenhouse gas emissions from the top five contributors – China, the US, the European Union, India and Russia – are expected to increase the probability of extreme hot years by 2030, according to a modelling study published online in Communications Earth & Environment. Under current climate change mitigation pledges, emissions from these regions could double the number of countri...

doi: 10.1038/s43247-021-00320-6

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Astronomy: A promising new exomoon candidate

Nature Astronomy, January 14, 2022

A new candidate for an exomoon — a moon that orbits planets beyond the realm of our Solar System — is presented in a paper published in Nature Astronomy. If its exomoon status is confirmed, Kepler-1708 b-i — which is 2.6 times larger than Earth — could represent a missing piece in the puzzle to understand the formation and evolution of extrasolar planetary systems.


doi: 10.1038/s41550-021-01539-1

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Microbiology: Bacteriophage therapy helps treat pan-drug resistant bacterial infection

Nature Communications, January 19, 2022

Combining bacteriophage therapy with antibiotics markedly improved the condition of a 30-year-old patient with a fracture-related, pan-drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infection, according to a study in Nature Communications. This case study demonstrates the promise of bacteriophage treatments for drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Pan-drug-resistant bacteria — o...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27656-z

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Genetics: Genetic risk factor for COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste identified

Nature Genetics, January 18, 2022

A genetic risk factor that influences whether an individual is likely to experience a loss of smell or taste as symptoms of COVID-19 is revealed in a paper published in Nature Genetics. The genetic locus — situated near two genes, UGT2A1 and UGT2A2 — is associated with an 11% increase in the chance of developing either of these symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Loss ...

doi: 10.1038/s41588-021-00986-w

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Immunology: Assessing immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy

Nature Communications, January 19, 2022

SARS-CoV-2 exposure during pregnancy prompts a placental inflammatory response involving both maternal and foetal cells, but does not infect the placental tissue, suggests a study involving 12 women who tested positive for the virus while they were pregnant, published in Nature Communications.

While most pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or suffer mild sy...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27745-z

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Ozone pollution responsible for US$63 billion in crop losses in East Asia

Nature Food, January 18, 2022

An estimated US$63 billion worth of annual losses from crop production in East Asia are associated with ozone pollution, according to a study published in Nature Food. This estimate includes relative yield losses of three major staple crops — wheat, rice and maize — in Japan, China, and South Korea.

The surface concentration of the greenhouse gas, ozone, in Asia is increasi...

doi: 10.1038/s43016-021-00422-6

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Mental health: Consuming traditional media has little impact on well-being

Scientific Reports, January 7, 2022

Consuming traditional forms of media – including books, music and television – has little effect on short-term adult well-being, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports.

It is often assumed that engaging with traditional types of media improves well-being, while using newer types of media, such as social media, worsens well-being. However, evidence of trad...

doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03218-7

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Ageing: Life expectancy to outpace healthy working life expectancy in England

Nature Aging, January 21, 2022

Healthy working life expectancy in England is predicted to increase at a slower pace than overall life expectancy up to 2035, according to a study in Nature Aging. This finding highlights the need to identify measures to help promote a healthy working lifespan.

The state pension age in several European countries is set to increase in line with projected increases in life expect...

doi: 10.1038/s43587-021-00161-0

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