top ten research highlights

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


Materials science: A tissue-like sensor for the brain and gut

Nature, June 2, 2022

A tissue-mimicking sensor that can be used for real-time monitoring of neurotransmitter molecules in both the brain and gut is described in a paper published in Nature. The power of this sensor is illustrated by studying brain–gut communication in mice. The device may have the potential to perform biomolecular sensing in other soft organs across the body.

Neurotransmitters pl...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04615-2

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Public health: Overcoming COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Nature, June 2, 2022

Correcting misperceptions regarding doctors’ views about COVID-19 vaccines has been shown to improve vaccination rates in the Czech Republic, according to a Nature paper. These findings highlight the role of perceived expert views in vaccine hesitancy and also how this can be overcome by providing explicit and accurate information about the opinions of trusted experts.


doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04805-y

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Animals: Genetic clues to how dogs became man’s best friends

Scientific Reports, June 10, 2022

Two mutations in the melanocortin 2 receptor gene – which is involved in the production of the stress hormone cortisol – may have played a role in the domestication of dogs by allowing them to develop social cognitive skills in order to interact and communicate with humans. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

Changes to different genes, usually controlling hor...

doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11130-x

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Astronomy: Chance capture of Betelgeuse’s dimming by weather satellite

Nature Astronomy, May 31, 2022

The so-called Great Dimming of the bright red supergiant star, Betelgeuse, was serendipitously captured by a weather satellite known as Himawari-8. The observations — presented in a paper published in Nature Astronomy — suggest that the dimming was caused by a combination of the star cooling and dust condensing nearby.

Betelgeuse — a red supergiant star in the Orion const...

doi: 10.1038/s41550-022-01680-5

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Environment: Coral species at risk of extinction in Mexican Caribbean due to deadly disease

Communications Biology, June 10, 2022

An outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease has led to mortality rates of up to 94% among some coral species in the Mexican Caribbean, according to surveys of a 450 kilometre reef track. The findings, published this week in Communications Biology, highlight the need for human interventions to prevent the extinction of some coral species within this region.

Stony coral tissue...

doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03398-6

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Climate change: Renewable energy certificates undermine corporate mitigation targets

Nature Climate Change, June 10, 2022

The use of renewable energy certificates by companies to claim emission reductions may undermine science-based mitigation target, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change. These findings demonstrate the necessity of accurate corporate accounting for emissions reductions.

Companies face increasing pressure to reduce their emissions and to align with the temperatur...

doi: 10.1038/s41558-022-01379-5

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Quantum computing: Photonic processor lights up the route to quantum computing

Nature, June 2, 2022

A quantum photonic processor that takes just 36 microseconds to perform a task that would take a supercomputer more than 9,000 years to complete is reported in Nature this week. The system has improvements relative to previously demonstrated photonic devices and may represent an important step towards creating quantum computers.

A key goal for quantum devices is for them to out...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04725-x

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Palaeontology: Great white sharks may have contributed to megalodon extinction

Nature Communications, June 1, 2022

Competition for food resources with the great white shark may have contributed to the extinction of the megalodon, one of the largest carnivores to have ever lived, suggests a study published in Nature Communications. The findings provide insights into the diet of living and extinct sharks.

The trophic level of animals indicates their position within an ecosystem, and diet play...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30528-9

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Scientific community: Women credited less than men in scientific paper authorship

Nature, June 23, 2022

Women are less likely to be credited with authorship on scientific publications than men, suggests an analysis of US data published in Nature. The gender gap in attribution is found across almost all scientific fields and career stages. The findings may help to explain well-documented disparities in the apparent contributions of men and women in the field of science.

Women scie...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04966-w

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Health technology: New cost-effective smartphone test for middle ear function

Communications Medicine, June 17, 2022

A newly developed smartphone attachment can be used to test the function of the middle ear – which plays a vital role in conducting sounds that we hear – reports a study published in Communications Medicine. The smartphone-based device costs $28 for the materials (excluding the price of the phone) compared to traditional devices that can cost up to $5,000 to purchase, meaning this ma...

doi: 10.1038/s43856-022-00120-9

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