Tag Archives: Nature Magazine

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – March 23, 2023


nature Magazine – March 23, 2023 issue: One of the main hurdles to putting autonomous cars on the road is how to ensure the reliability of the artificial intelligence that replaces the human driver. Evaluating the safety of an AI driver to the level of a human in a naturalistic environment would require testing across hundreds of millions of miles — something that is clearly impractical. 

South Pacific plankton go berserk after minor cyclone

The biggest phytoplankton bloom ever recorded in the South Pacific Ocean was triggered by a small but lingering storm.

Planet or failed star? A mysterious object blurs the line

A body classified as an exoplanet has been shown to nurture thermonuclear fusion of heavy hydrogen — a trait of objects called brown dwarfs.

Gigantic map of fly brain is a first for a complex animal

Fruit fly ‘connectome’ will help researchers to study how the brain works, and could further understanding of neurological diseases.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – March 9, 2023

Volume 615 Issue 7951

nature MagazineMarch 9, 2023 issue:

Sims-style ‘digital twin’ models can tell us if food systems will weather crises

From COVID-19 to the war in Ukraine, virtual models could inform global food policy before emergencies unfold.

Big bats fly towards extinction with hunters in pursuit

Human hunt at least 19% of bat species worldwide — especially flying foxes, which can have wingspans of 1.5 metres.

Close-up of a Mauritian flying fox resting upside-down on a banana plant.
The Mauritian flying fox (Pteroptus niger). As relatively large bats, flying foxes are hunted more heavily than other species. Credit: Fabrice Bettex Photography/Alamy

Large tropical bats with narrow home ranges are disproportionately likely to be hunted by humans, according to a global analysis of 1,320 bat species — nearly all of the 1,400 known to science1.

How to stop the bird flu outbreak becoming a pandemic

From tracking the disease’s spread in wild birds to updating human vaccines, there are measures that could help keep avian influenza in check.

A veterinarian injects avian flu vaccine into a goose in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province of China.
A goose being vaccinated against avian influenza in China.Credit: Wei Liang/China News Service/Getty

Fears are rising about bird flu’s potential to spark a human pandemic, as well as its destruction of wildlife and farmed birds. An 11-year-old girl tragically died in Cambodia last week after catching avian influenza. That followed reports earlier this year of the virus spreading from mammal to mammal through a mink farm, and causing mass mortality in Peruvian birds and sea lions. Since the beginning of 2022, more than 50 million poultry birds in the United States, and a similar number in Europe, have either died of the disease or been killed in efforts to stem its spread. Can bird flu be stopped, and if yes, how?

Reviews: The Best New Science Books (Mar 2023)

nature Magazine Science Book Reviews – March 2023

The Good Life

Robert Waldinger & Marc Schulz Simon & Schuster (2023)

Isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the link between happiness and good relationships. Scientific evidence for the importance of relationships motivates this always engrossing, sometimes moving, study of happiness, grounded in the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Beginning in 1938, the project has followed two generations of the same families. Current director Robert Waldinger and associate director Marc Schulz show in detail how “the good life is a complicated life. For everybody.”


Paul R. Ehrlich Yale Univ. Press (2023)

Biologist Paul Ehrlich is best known for writing — with his wife, conservation biologist Anne Ehrlich — the 1968 book The Population Bomb, which sold two million copies and was widely translated. Its controversial warning of a crisis of overpopulation gave him global exposure. He became a public scholar working with people from many disciplines: economics, political science, history, law, aviation, military intelligence and dentistry “to name a few”, he remarks in his frank, polyphonic autobiography, dedicated “For Anne: Sine Qua Non”.

Masters of the Lost Land

Heriberto Araujo Atlantic (2023)

Since 2000, more than 2,000 people worldwide have been murdered for defending their lands or the environment. About one-third were Brazilian, mostly from the Amazon rainforest, notes investigative journalist Heriberto Araujo. He tells the story of the courageous Maria Joel, widow of Dezinho, the leader of a small Amazonian farmworkers’ union. Joel has fought to bring to justice the land baron who ordered her husband’s death. Based on four years of research in Brazil, the book is original, detailed and persuasive.

The Leak

Robert P. Crease & Peter D. Bond MIT Press (2022)

Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Yet a leak of radioactive water from the facility turned its 50th anniversary in 1997 into a year of “chaos rather than celebration”, write philosopher of science Robert Crease — author of a history of the lab — and former Brookhaven physicist Peter Bond. Although the incident posed no health hazard, according to federal, state and local officials, it sparked a “firestorm” of activism and politics, captured in this vivid first-hand account.

Graph Theory in America

Robin Wilson et alPrinceton Univ. Press (2023)

The modern development of graph theory — which models relationships between pairs of objects in groups — began in 1876 with James Joseph Sylvester, a British mathematician then in the United States. His work was first published in Nature. In 1976, US mathematicians Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken solved a long-standing conundrum in the field, the four-colour problem. The intervening century is described in this graphically illustrated historical treatise by three British and US mathematicians.

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-023-00673-2

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – March 2, 2023

Volume 615 Issue 7950

nature – March 2, 2023 issue:

Custom-built drug shows its powers against tuberculosis

An upgraded antibiotic holds promise for treating tuberculosis strains that are resistant to existing treatments.

Kevlar helps to make one tough synthetic tendon

A water-filled gel has the strength and elasticity of natural tendon.

Big dino, little dino: how T. rex’s relatives changed their size

‘Impressive’ fossil analysis reveals why some dinosaurs were massive but their cousins were tiny.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – Feb 23, 2023

Volume 614 Issue 7949

nature – February 23, 2023 issue:

Exercise triggers fat breakdown at some times of day and not others

Adipose tissue in mice dumps fat during early workouts rather than late ones.

Cities worldwide claw vast amounts of land from the sea

China, the United Arab Emirates and other countries are adding area by converting wetlands and shallow waters into solid land.

Genome editor tackles disease that can cause sudden death

Scientists repair a mutation that causes heart-muscle abnormalities and can kill without warning.

Science Reviews: Nature Magazine – Feb 16, 2023

Volume 614 Issue 7948

nature – February 16, 2023 issue:

Solar geoengineering is scary — that’s why we should research it

Research on blocking sunlight needs a dose of realpolitik.

How a tiny genetic change inflicts old age on young kids

Scientists identify a molecule key to the development of progeria, a lethal disease that causes hyper-accelerated ageing.

Noise shatters deep sleep thanks to dedicated brain circuit

Neurons that help to rouse you from sound slumber are connected to those that receive signals from the spinal cord.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine- February 9, 2023

Volume 614 Issue 7947

nature – February 9, 2023 issue:

Pill for a skin disease also curbs excessive drinking

The drug apremilast reduces alcohol intake in mice bred to imbibe to excess and in humans with alcohol-use disorder.

Einstein’s theory helps to reveal Jupiter’s distant duplicate

For the first time, astronomers have identified a planet outside the Solar System using ‘microlensing’ data from a telescope in space.

Fluffball foxes wander thousands of kilometres to find a home

The Arctic fox, which weighs less than many house cats, covers long distances in the frigid north.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine- February 2, 2023

Volume 614 Issue 7946

nature magazine – February 2, 2023:

How your brain stays on task when sizing someone up

Two brain regions help humans to filter out irrelevant information and concentrate on the right stuff in social situations.

Unspoilt forests fall to feed the global supply chain

Export of minerals, wood and energy drives a surprisingly high fraction of deforestation.

Underwater volcano near Greece is a sleeping menace

Magma chamber is discovered beneath Kolumbo volcano, near the Greek island of Santorini.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine- January 26, 2023

Volume 613 Issue 7945

nature Magazine – January 26, 2023 issue:

The water crisis is worsening. Researchers must tackle it together

It’s unacceptable that millions living in poverty still lack access to safe water and basic sanitation. Nature Water will help researchers to find a way forward.

Dainty eater: black hole consumes a star bit by bit

Repeating bursts of X-rays lead scientists to a black hole that eats in spurts.

ChatGPT listed as author on research papers: many scientists disapprove

At least four articles credit the AI tool as a co-author, as publishers scramble to regulate its use.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine- January 19, 2023

Volume 613 Issue 7944

nature Magazine – January 19, 2023 issue:

How the periodic table survived a war to secure chemistry’s future

A century ago, the discovery of hafnium confirmed the validity of the periodic table — but only thanks to scientists who stood up for evidence at a time of global turmoil.

How to make wearable devices people could forget they’re wearing

A metal–polymer composite conducts electricity and conforms to the skin, making it suitable for medical devices applied directly to the body.

Demon goddess moon takes control of a planet

Dwarf planet Eris’ rotation is constrained by its large moon Dysnomia, named after the Greek goddess of lawlessness.

Huge genomic study shows varicose veins’ links to height and weight

Analysis of more than one million people suggests that roughly 16% of the condition can be attributed to genetic factors.