Nature

Many researchers’ suitcases have remained empty now for more than a year.Credit: Shutterstock In ‘normal’ times, Mike McCulloch has to scour the globe to find a person able and willing to join his laboratory. “My science is quite controversial, so I don’t get many applications for posts,” he says. But these are not normal times.
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European Research Council grants are among the most highly coveted for researchers in the European Union and associated countries.Credit: Serhii Nemyrivskyi/Getty Funding panels are more likely to give prestigious European Union early-career grants to applicants connected to the institutions of some of the panellists, a study of the 2014 funding round suggests. The effect seems
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RESEARCH SUMMARY 21 May 2021 Balancing carbon storage under elevated CO2 A global synthesis of experiments reveals that increases in plant biomass under conditions of elevated CO2 mean that plants need to mine the soil for nutrients, which decreases soil’s ability to store carbon. In forests, elevated CO2 generally seems to greatly increase plant biomass,
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A Micropholis stowi fossil, an extinct amphibian, has been found for the first time in Antarctica, according to researchers. Micropholis existed during the Early Triassic period, just after the planet’s most catastrophic mass extinction. It was historically only known from South African fossils. Its discovery in Antarctica has implications for how amphibians adapted to high-latitude
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Particles of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (blue-green; artificially coloured) infect a cell (orange).Credit: NIAID/NIH/SPL After people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, the levels of infection-blocking antibodies in their blood are a strong indicator of how much protection they’ve gained against the disease, according to a modelling study1. The research showed that the presence of even small
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A health-care worker gives an influenza jab in Milan, Italy. People in pro-science societies tend to have confidence in vaccines. Credit: Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto/Getty Human behaviour 21 May 2021 Why national attitudes about science matter for vaccine acceptance Views on vaccination are coloured by an individual’s stance on science — and by their society’s stance, too.
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A nineteenth-century illustration of a harvest in ancient Greece. Farming intensified around 2000 BC, when the rate of change in Earth’s plant life sped up. Credit: Docutres/Index/Heritage Images/Alamy Ecology 20 May 2021 Our radical changes to Earth’s greenery began long ago — with farms, not factories Humanity’s imprint on plant species and abundance began roughly
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As narratives over the COVID-19 vaccine battle it out, a new contender arrives from an unlikely party. Recently, a non-profit conservation organization has accused some pharmaceutical companies of using endangered shark oil in their work with coronavirus vaccine production. Shark-produced squalene – the center of new controversy At the center of this new controversy is
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Environmental activists protest against the Fukushima wastewater plan in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.Credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Scientists back Fukushima wastewater release Japan’s proposal to discharge more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station into the ocean has been strongly opposed by neighbours including China and
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According to Ecuador’s environment ministry, Darwin’s Arch, a rock formation in the Galápagos archipelago south-east of Darwin Island, has collapsed due to natural erosion. Two rocky pillars were left at the northernmost island of the Pacific Ocean archipelago, which lies 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the coast of South America, according to images posted on
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The COVID pandemic illustrated how a lack of reliable health care renders communities vulnerable.Credit: John Moore/Getty Vaccinating the world’s population against COVID-19 remains a global health priority. But it is vital that this effort does not overshadow the need to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to basic health care. Despite the urgency of the
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During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jay Van Bavel, a psychologist at New York University, wanted to identify the social factors that best predict a person’s support for public-health measures, such as physical distancing or closing restaurants. He had a handful of collaborators ready to collect survey data. But because the pandemic was
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Key Laboratory of Particle Astrophysics & Experimental Physics Division & Computing Center, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China Zhen Cao, Y. X. Bai, X. J. Bi, Y. J. Bi, J. F. Chang, X. C. Chang, L. Chen, M. J. Chen, M. L. Chen, S. H. Chen, S. Z. Chen, X. L. Chen, N. Cheng, Y. D. Cheng, H. L. Dai, X. J. Dong, Z. X. Fan, K.
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A health worker gives a second dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Valdemar in Bridgeport, Connecticut.Credit: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Gold-standard experiments on two COVID-19 vaccines suggest that they confer immunity against a subtype of the SARS-CoV-2 variant tearing through India. But the research also hints that this subtype is more resistant to antibodies than are
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As a teenager, I realized I was too sensitive to suffering to become a medical doctor, yet I still wanted to cure the world. I focused on chemistry for my PhD at the University of Miami, Florida, and then pursued physics as a postdoc at Trinity College Dublin, working on carbon nanotubes. The large surface
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RESEARCH SUMMARY 14 May 2021 Mining the gaps of chromosome 8 The first gapless, telomere-to-telomere sequence of a human autosome, chromosome 8, is complete. Sequencing and assembly of the corresponding centromere in the chimpanzee, orangutan and macaque reveals details of its rapid evolution over the past 25 million years. Glennis A. Logsdon  ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2396-0656 0
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Credit: Mary Zhu Austen Angell was one of the most versatile physical chemists of his generation. He made pioneering experimental discoveries on glasses and liquids, forms of matter that continue to challenge researchers in many disciplines. His work shaped the ideas that chemists, physicists and engineers use to investigate these materials, both in fundamental research
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RESEARCH SUMMARY 14 May 2021 Actin mixes up mitochondria for inheritance In cells that divide symmetrically, a meshwork of actin cables is shown to maintain the uniform distribution of mitochondria around the mitotic spindle. Actin clouds and comet tails are assembled dynamically to shuffle mitochondria locally and ensure the equal and random inheritance of these
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RESEARCH SUMMARY 14 May 2021 Breastfeeding influences the neonatal virome The first viruses to colonize the infant gut are shown to arise from bacteria, with human-cell viruses colonizing the gut later, at around four months of age. Exclusive and partial breastfeeding were associated with fewer human viruses in the gut of infants compared with formula-feeding
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Genomic analysis identified starch-loving Streptococcus sanguinis bacteria (artificially coloured) in the mouths of modern humans and Neanderthals, but not in chimpanzees’ mouths. Credit: National Infection Service/Science Photo Library Microbiome 14 May 2021 Microbes in Neanderthals’ mouths reveal their carb-laden diet Gunk on ancient teeth yields bacterial DNA, allowing scientists to trace the oral microbiome’s evolution.
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