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Russia's crackdowns are jeopardizing its science
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/523383a
Author: Fyodor Kondrashov
The escalating encroachment on democratic freedoms undermines the nation's claim of support for science, says Fyodor Kondrashov.
Energy: Sun's heat could cut fossil-fuel use
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523384a
Integrating solar technologies into coal-fired power plants could ease the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.Vishwanath Haily Dalvi of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India, and his colleagues looked at solar thermal technology, which collects the Sun's energy as heat.
Anthropology: Earliest signs of chicken husbandry
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523384b
Humans first used chickens for economic gain roughly 2,300 years ago in the Middle East, before Europeans began exploiting the bird.The chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) was first domesticated in southeast Asia, but its dispersal from that region has been unclear. Lee Perry-Gal
Stem cells: Heart cells come of age
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523384c
Human stem cells have been coaxed into forming heart progenitor cells that then develop into more-specialized heart cells.Researchers have struggled to turn stem cells into large pools of cardiac cells that would further divide. Christine Mummery at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands
Astronomy: Total eclipse of rare twin stars
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523384d
Amateur and professional astronomers have spotted a rare pair of stars in which one completely eclipses the other as they orbit each other.A team led by Heather Campbell at the University of Cambridge, UK, analysed data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite and
The week in science: 17–23 July
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/523384a
A pledge on fishing in Arctic high seas; global inequalities on mental health; and another ethics scandal at the University of Minnesota.
Materials: Nanocrystals seen in solution in 3D
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523385a
Researchers have determined the 3D structure of individual nanoparticles in a solution with near-atomic resolution.Paul Alivisatos at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues used graphene (sheets of single carbon atoms) to protect a solution containing platinum nanocrystals from the vacuum conditions of
Evolution: Hands hold clues to primate evolution
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523385b
Human hand proportions are similar to those of some of our ancestors, suggesting that our hands did not evolve to serve the unique needs of modern humans.Sergio Almécija at George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues analysed hand-length proportions in humans, apes
Chemistry: Elusive molecule made in the lab
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523385c
An organic molecule first postulated a century ago has finally been created and characterized in the lab.Scientists first theorized the existence of ethylenedione in 1913, but it remained unobserved despite its simple chemical formula (OCCO). Andrei Sanov and his colleagues at the University of
Neuroscience: 'Mini-brain' gives autism hints
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523385d
Researchers have cultured stem cells from people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to form brain-like structures in the lab, revealing errors in neuronal development.Flora Vaccarino of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and her colleagues took skin cells from four people with ASD and
Palaeontology: Oldest animal sperm spotted
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523385e
Cells preserved inside a 50-million-year-old fossilized worm cocoon represent the oldest animal sperm ever found.Because of their delicate nature, sperm cells are rarely found in fossils. But Benjamin Bomfleur at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm and his colleagues spotted the sperm
A cellular puzzle: The weird and wonderful architecture of RNA
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/523398a
Author: Elie Dolgin
Cells contain an ocean of twisting and turning RNA molecules. Now researchers are working out the structures — and how important they could be.
Conservation: Stop misuse of biodiversity offsets
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523401a
Authors: Martine Maron, Ascelin Gordon, Brendan G. Mackey, Hugh P. Possingham & James E. M. Watson
Governments should not meet existing conservation targets using the compensation that developers pay for damaging biodiversity, say Martine Maron and colleagues.
Environmental science: Agree on biodiversity metrics to track from space
Nature 523, 7561 (2015). doi:10.1038/523403a
Authors: Andrew K. Skidmore, Nathalie Pettorelli, Nicholas C. Coops, Gary N. Geller, Matthew Hansen, Richard Lucas, Caspar A. Mücher, Brian O'Connor, Marc Paganini, Henrique Miguel Pereira, Michael E. Schaepman, Woody Turner, Tiejun Wang & Martin Wegmann
Ecologists and space agencies must forge a global monitoring strategy, say Andrew K. Skidmore, Nathalie Pettorelli and colleagues.