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Game-playing software holds lessons for neuroscience
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/518465a
Author: Elizabeth Gibney
DeepMind computer provides new way to investigate how the brain works.
Planetary science: The Pluto siblings
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/518470a
Author: Alexandra Witze
Leslie and Eliot Young have spent their lives studying Pluto. Now they are gearing up for the biggest event of their careers.
Ecology: Competing bluebirds make tougher sons
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518458a
Female western bluebirds that have to compete for nesting sites produce more early-hatching male chicks than do females with fewer competitors. The chicks are also likely to be more aggressive. This has long-term effects on the range and behaviour of subsequent generations.Renée Duckworth and
Photonics: Water lens with adjustable focus
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518458b
Researchers have developed a microscopic lens with a focal length that can be controlled in less than a millisecond.Controlling the focus of an optical lens is useful for microscopy and photography, but existing reconfigurable lenses are often bulky or slow to adjust. Romain Quidant
Biomaterials: DNA-based gel for printing organs
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518458c
A gel that can be infused with live cells and nutrients makes a promising material for printing three-dimensional tissues such as artificial organs.Dongsheng Liu at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Wenmiao Shu at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, and their team made two water-based inks
Volcanology: Sulfur in magma gets a lift
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518458d
Sulfur and metals can hitch a ride on bubbles rising in molten magma. This could explain why some volcanoes spew out more sulfur than expected, and how metal ores can form in the crust nearby.Sulfur-rich magma normally sinks to the bottom of magma chambers.
Epidemiology: Plague came to Europe in waves
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518459a
The bacterium that causes the plague, which killed millions of Europeans over four centuries from the 1350s, was repeatedly reintroduced from Asia and did not establish itself in European rodents as was thought.Yersinia pestis bacteria live in wild rodents and can infect humans
Biochemistry: Sunlight damages DNA in the dark
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518459b
Sunlight can cause cancer-related DNA damage hours after light exposure, owing to a skin pigment that was largely thought to be protective.Douglas Brash at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and his team studied how the pigment melanin in mouse skin
Cancer: Bacteria protect tumours
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518459c
Bacteria hiding out in tumours can shield them from attack by the immune system.The oral bacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum has been linked to premature birth, rheumatoid arthritis and colon cancer. Gilad Bachrach and Ofer Mandelboim at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and their colleagues
Plant science: Nectar fends off bee parasites
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518459d
Floral nectar helps to control parasites in bumblebees.Plants produce molecules called secondary metabolites that are harmful to herbivores but in some cases can also protect animals from parasites. To see whether such metabolites in nectar similarly affect pollinators, Leif Richardson at Dartmouth College in
Palaeoecology: Coral growth shut down for millennia
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518459e
Coral reefs in the eastern Pacific Ocean stopped growing for 2,500 years, probably because of a change in climate four millennia ago.Lauren Toth at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne and her colleagues extracted a 2.68-metre core from a reef in the Gulf
Seven days: 20–26 February 2015
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/518460a
The week in science: Head of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change resigns; Europe’s graphene project is on track; new killer virus discovered in United States.
Francis Crick Institute raises alarm about train line
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/518464a
Author: Daniel Cressey
London biomedical powerhouse fears that proposed route will disrupt delicate science experiments.
Researchers seek definition of head-trauma disorder
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/518466a
Author: Helen Shen
Guidelines should assist in diagnosis of brain disease seen in retired American footballers.
Neuroscience in court: The painful truth
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/518474a
Author: Sara Reardon
Brain-scanning techniques promise to give an objective measure of whether someone is in pain, but researchers question whether they are reliable enough for the courtroom.
Data sharing: Make outbreak research open access
Nature 518, 7540 (2015). doi:10.1038/518477a
Authors: Nathan L. Yozwiak, Stephen F. Schaffner & Pardis C. Sabeti
Establish principles for rapid and responsible data sharing in epidemics, urge Nathan L. Yozwiak, Stephen F. Schaffner and Pardis C. Sabeti.