top ten research highlights

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


Environment: Human contribution to Middle East’s poor air quality underestimated

Communications Earth & Environment, September 23, 2022

More than 90% of fine particle matter air pollution in the Middle East may be generated by human activity, reports an article published online in Communications Earth & Environment. The findings challenge the consensus that natural aerosols, such as desert dust, are the main cause of poor air quality and highlight the importance of reducing emissions to protect human health in the Mi...

doi: 10.1038/s43247-022-00514-6

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Sustainability: Swapping meat for seafood could improve nutrition and reduce emissions

Communications Earth & Environment, September 9, 2022

Sustainable seafood could provide more nutrition to people than beef, pork and chicken, whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reports an article published online in Communications Earth & Environment. The findings suggest that policies to promote seafood in diets as a substitute for other animal protein could improve future food security and help address climate change.

doi: 10.1038/s43247-022-00516-4

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Earth science: Fagradalsfjall eruption sheds light on source of Iceland’s fire

Nature, September 15, 2022

Unexpected observations of seismic activity and magma movements before and during the 2021 Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption in Iceland are presented in a pair of papers published in Nature. The insights have implications for understanding the processes that drove the eruption and for future monitoring of volcanic activity.

Fagradalsfjall volcano is located on the Reykjanes Peni...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05083-4

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Climate change: Urban greening can help reduce accelerated surface warming in cities

Communications Earth & Environment, September 30, 2022

Cities worldwide are warming by 0.5 °C on average per decade — 29% faster than in rural areas — according to an article published online in Communications Earth & Environment. The findings suggest that climate change and urban expansion are accelerating urban surface warming. Planting trees and vegetation in cities — also known as urban greening — is reported to offset about...

doi: 10.1038/s43247-022-00539-x

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Engineering: A new method to make hydrogen fuel from air

Nature Communications, September 7, 2022

A new method to extract water from the air to produce hydrogen is demonstrated in a paper published this week in Nature Communications. These findings may enable future solar-to-fuel conversion devices to operate anywhere on Earth.

Green hydrogen, produced by electrolyzers using electricity and water, represents a potential alternative to CO2-emitting fossil fuels. Electrolyzer...

doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-32652-y

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Cancer: Genomics may determine outcomes for personalized breast cancer treatment

Nature, September 8, 2022

Personalized genetic treatments for metastatic breast cancer improve treatment outcomes for a subset of genomic alterations, according to a phase two clinical trial presented in Nature. The findings could help to guide treatment decisions based on genomics.

DNA sequencing techniques are widely used to assess specific genetic mutations that may have contributed to an individual ...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05068-3

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Geoscience: Diamond from the deep reveals a water-rich environment

Nature Geoscience, September 27, 2022

A broadly water-saturated environment extends into the Earth’s lower mantle, according to analyses of mineral inclusions trapped inside a rare gem diamond that originates from a depth of 660 km below the Earth’s surface. The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, may improve our understanding of the Earth’s deep water cycle.

Earth is sometimes referred to as a water p...

doi: 10.1038/s41561-022-01024-y

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Fossils: Large catch of Silurian fish reveal the rise of jawed vertebrates

Nature, September 29, 2022

A collection of well-preserved fish fossils, found in two newly discovered fossil beds from the early Silurian (around 439 to 436 million years ago) of southern China, provides new insights into the initial spread and diversification of jawed animals. The findings, presented in four papers in Nature this week, reveal new fish species and describe the oldest known teeth from any jawed ver...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05136-8

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Anthropology: Oldest evidence of surgical limb amputation found in Borneo

Nature, September 8, 2022

A human skeleton found in Borneo, dated to about 31,000 years ago, shows that the left foot had been surgically amputated and that the patient recovered, reports a Nature paper. The findings suggest that advanced surgical procedures were happening in tropical Asia thousands of years earlier than previously recorded.

Amputations require a comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05160-8

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Climate change: Waning crop yields may impair climate mitigation technologies

Nature, September 8, 2022

The negative impacts of climate change on crop yields may reduce our ability to use crops to capture and store carbon as a means to limit global warming, according to a Nature paper. The findings suggest that exceeding the 2 °C Paris Agreement warming goal would threaten climate stability and food security.

Large-scale bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has been...

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05055-8

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