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The maximum climate ambition needs a firm research backing
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537585b
We need to know what the 1.5 °C warming target will involve — even if we don’t reach it.
Encourage governments to heed scientific advice
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/537587a
Author: Bill Colglazier
To stop evidence-based policy losing its clout, researchers need to engage with policymakers and understand their needs, says Bill Colglazier.
Glaciology: Greenland ice loss underestimated
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537588a
Greenland's glaciers could be shrinking more in response to climate warming than scientists had thought.Shfaqat Khan of the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby and his colleagues used data from a network of Global Positioning System stations across Greenland (pictured) to measure the rise
Biotechnology: Portable way to make proteins
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537588b
Freeze-dried pellets of cellular proteins can be mixed with DNA sequences to produce vaccines, antibodies and other therapeutics without the need for specialized equipment.Engineered living cells are commonly used to mass-produce drugs, but the techniques involved are hard to perform in remote areas. To
Epigenetics: CRISPR edits gene methylation
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537588c
The CRISPR gene-editing tool has been modified so that it can add or remove methyl groups at specific positions on DNA, allowing researchers to test how such changes affect gene expression.DNA methylation helps to regulate gene expression, but its role at specific sites has
Stem cells: Targeting pain of spinal-cord injury
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537588d
Neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells can reduce pain and other effects of spinal-cord injury in mice.Persistent nerve pain and loss of bladder control often follow spinal-cord injury, and may be linked to reduced signalling by the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Thomas Fandel and
Materials: Graphene jiggles up and down
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537589a
Nanometre-scale measurements have revealed, with record precision, how atom-thick layers of carbon called graphene vibrate vertically.Paul Thibado of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and his colleagues used a scanning tunnelling microscope to study how a free-standing sheet of graphene moves owing to random
Agriculture: Maize engineered to kill pest
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537589b
A bacterial protein protects maize (corn) from a major insect pest that has grown resistant to other insecticides.The larvae of western corn rootworm feed on maize roots, and cause substantial crop losses across North America and Europe. Transgenic 'Bt' maize plants expressing insecticidal proteins
Astronomy: Early star-forming gas found
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537589c
Astronomers have identified distant gas-rich galaxies that probably caused the Universe's rate of star formation to peak some 10 billion years ago.Several teams used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to probe a well-studied patch of sky called the 'Hubble Ultra
Neuroscience: Ants get addicted to morphine
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537589d
Ants get hooked on morphine much like humans do, showing similar changes in behaviour and brain chemistry.Until now, only mammals have been shown to seek out addictive drugs in the absence of a concurrent natural reward such as sugar. Brian Entler, Timothy Cannon and
Computer science: Ancient scroll virtually unrolled
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537589e
Researchers have revealed the hidden contents of a fragile and damaged biblical scroll, thanks to computer scanning and imaging techniques.The En-Gedi scroll dates back to at least the fourth century AD — the oldest Hebrew scroll found, other than the Dead Sea Scrolls
Ecology: Rats and cats drive extinctions
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537589f
Non-native predatory mammals such as cats and rats can wreak havoc on native animal populations, especially on islands.Tim Doherty of Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and his colleagues studied the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species. They found
African elephants, forensic science and China’s gene bank
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/537590a
The week in science: 23–29 September
Cuban crocodiles pose conservation conundrum
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/537596a
Author: Sara Reardon
Genetic analyses of endangered animals reveal high level of interbreeding with hardier American species.
Solar on the steppe: Ukraine embraces renewables revolution
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/537598a
Author: Quirin Schiermeier
Former Soviet nation bids for independence from Russian fossil fuels.
Can Cuban science go global?
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/537600a
Author: Sara Reardon
Tensions between Cuba and the United States are easing. But researchers still struggle to join the scientific world.
Boost resilience of small and mid-sized cities
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537605a
Authors: Joern Birkmann, Torsten Welle, William Solecki, Shuaib Lwasa & Matthias Garschagen
Smaller settlements are growing faster than megacities — and they need more protection from extreme events, write Joern Birkmann and colleagues.
Where to put the next billion people
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537608a
Authors: Richard T. T. Forman & Jianguo Wu
Richard T. T. Forman and Jianguo Wu call for global and regional approaches to urban planning.
Give cities a seat at the top table
Nature 537, 7622 (2016). doi:10.1038/537611a
Author: Michele Acuto
Building more strategic links between urban innovation and global governance will help to tackle today's grand challenges, argues Michele Acuto.