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Nature is the international weekly journal of science: a magazine style journal that publishes full-length research papers in all disciplines of science, as well as News and Views, reviews, news, features, commentaries, web focuses and more, covering all branches of science and how science impacts upon all aspects of society and life.
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Human history defies easy stories

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Human history defies easy stories

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517527a

The discovery of part of a 55,000-year-old human skull in Israel will help to answer some questions about our species’ evolution — but it shows that the tale is complicated.

Categories: Literature

Technical support

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Technical support

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517528a

Technicians are often under appreciated, but without them there could be no research.

Categories: Literature

Gather data to reveal true extent of doping in sport

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Gather data to reveal true extent of doping in sport

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/517529a

Author: Roger Pielke Jr

Drug cheats will not be tackled properly until anti-doping agencies do more to assess the scale of the problem scientifically, says Roger Pielke Jr.

Categories: Literature

Hydrology: Dams reshape the world's rivers

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Hydrology: Dams reshape the world's rivers

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517530a

Dams have altered 48% of all river flow worldwide. And if all dams planned for the next few decades are built, that proportion will nearly double.Günther Grill of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and his team developed two ways to analyse how dams break

Categories: Literature

Ageing: Less cancer protein, longer life

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Ageing: Less cancer protein, longer life

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517530b

Mice live longer — and seem to age more slowly — if they express lower levels of a cancer-promoting protein called MYC.High levels of MYC favour tumour growth, but some expression of the protein is required for survival. John Sedivy of Brown University in

Categories: Literature

Biomechanics: Bird's flight captured in a box

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Biomechanics: Bird's flight captured in a box

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517530c

Researchers have measured the aerodynamic forces of a bird flying inside a box.Until now, the aerodynamic lift achieved by free-flying animals has only been estimated using models. David Lentink of Stanford University in California and his team built an enclosed device to directly measure

Categories: Literature

Chemistry: Sodium explosion caught on camera

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Chemistry: Sodium explosion caught on camera

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517530d

Chemists have scrutinized a classic piece of bench chemistry — the explosion that happens when sodium metal hits water — and revised the thinking of how it works.On contact with water, the metal produces sodium hydroxide, hydrogen and heat, which was thought to ignite

Categories: Literature

Climate science: Big swings in weather to come

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Climate science: Big swings in weather to come

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517530e

Weather extremes could become more common as the climate warms this century, because extreme cooling events in the Pacific Ocean are predicted to occur more often.La Niña events occur when the equatorial Pacific cools, causing droughts and floods worldwide. Wenju Cai of the Commonwealth

Categories: Literature

Palaeoanthropology: Ancient hands built for tools

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Palaeoanthropology: Ancient hands built for tools

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517531a

The hands of hominins that lived about 3 million years ago were capable of clutching tools.The first tool-using hominin is widely believed to have been Homo habilis — known as the handyman — in part because its appearance in the fossil record 2.4

Categories: Literature

Ecology: Pumas feel the fear near humans

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Ecology: Pumas feel the fear near humans

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517531b

Female pumas that live near human populations hunt more often but spend less time eating their prey than do those in less populated areas.Humans can cause declines in wildlife populations, but their effect on animal behaviour is less well understood. Justine Smith and her

Categories: Literature

Environmental science: Methane escapes from major city

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Environmental science: Methane escapes from major city

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517531c

The ageing pipeline infrastructure of Boston, Massachusetts, is leaking natural gas — mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas — at more than double the rate of previous estimates.Atmospheric methane levels had plateaued but have been growing worldwide since 2007, for reasons that are unclear.

Categories: Literature

Evolution: How yeast go multicellular

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Evolution: How yeast go multicellular

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517531d

A genetic mutation in single-celled yeast turns it into a multicellular organism — hinting at how multicellularity might have evolved.William Ratcliff at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and his co-workers studied a strain of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in which the

Categories: Literature

Seven days: 23–29 January 2015

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Seven days: 23–29 January 2015

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/517532a

The week in science: Obama announces precision-medicine push, marijuana research endorsed by paediatric group, and Israel frees jailed Palestinian physicist.

Categories: Literature

Neanderthals gain human neighbour

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Neanderthals gain human neighbour

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/517541a

Author: Ewen Callaway

Cranium discovery shows that Homo sapiens was living in Middle East 55,000 years ago.

Categories: Literature

Not your average technician

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Not your average technician

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/517542a

Research relies on unsung heroes working behind the scenes — and some of them have rather unusual jobs.

Categories: Literature

Cultural heritage: Save Libyan archaeology

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Cultural heritage: Save Libyan archaeology

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517547a

Author: Savino di Lernia

Until violence eases and fieldwork can resume, fund research in labs, museums and on computers, urges Savino di Lernia.

Categories: Literature

Sociobiology: Altruists together

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Sociobiology: Altruists together

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517550a

Author: Herbert Gintis

Herbert Gintis applauds two books that powerfully enrich the dialogue on behavioural science.

Categories: Literature

Books in brief

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Books in brief

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517551a

Author: Barbara Kiser

Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.

Categories: Literature

Climate debate: In praise of Holt as head of the AAAS

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Climate debate: In praise of Holt as head of the AAAS

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517553a

Author: Joseph Romm

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has chosen Rush Holt, who was a Democratic congressman for eight terms, as its new chief executive. Daniel Sarewitz attacks this choice as “political” (Nature516, 9;10.1038/516009a2014), but it is

Categories: Literature

Shale gas: Nuance in output predictions

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:00

Shale gas: Nuance in output predictions

Nature 517, 7536 (2015). doi:10.1038/517553b

Authors: Steve Holditch, Dan Hill & Ruud Weijermars

You claim that the most recent estimates of future output for shale gas in the United States have become more conservative, but in our view this is a red herring (Nature516, 28–30;10.1038/516028a2014).State-of-the-art projections for the

Categories: Literature

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