Nature

In Alysson Muotri’s laboratory, hundreds of miniature human brains, the size of sesame seeds, float in Petri dishes, sparking with electrical activity. These tiny structures, known as brain organoids, are grown from human stem cells and have become a familiar fixture in many labs that study the properties of the brain. Muotri, a neuroscientist at
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The plastic tubes winding through my workspace at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, deliver fluids, nutrients and therapeutics to mouse hearts. The still-beating hearts, each the size of a pea, tell us much about heart disease as well as about the processes of regeneration and repair. On this day, I was studying a
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Changing seasons might affect the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but researchers say it’s too early to tell.Credit: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Getty Winter is fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, and researchers warn that COVID-19 outbreaks are likely to get worse, especially in regions that don’t have the virus’s spread under control. “This virus is going to have a
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Human antibodies attacking the coronavirus (artist’s impression).Credit: Science Lab/Alamy When US President Donald Trump was ill with COVID-19, his physicians administered a bevy of medications — some proven, others experimental. But there is one that the president has hailed as a “cure”: a cocktail of coronavirus antibodies produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York.
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An electoral worker prepares to process ballots at the Miami-Dade County Election Department in Florida, a battleground state with a history of contested election results.Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty As election day approaches and COVID-19 cases surge in the United States, debate rages over how Americans should vote fairly and safely. Because of the pandemic,
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Credit: Adapted from Getty Last month in the United Kingdom, we entered the promised land when my children, after a 150-day absence, returned to their school in London. As with most much-anticipated events, except perhaps an end to the pandemic, it didn’t quite live up to expectations. The first change was the silence in my
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Credit: Adapted from Getty Like many graduate students around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to stay at home and analyse data instead of working in the laboratory. To take a break from the mind-numbing data mining and to remind myself of the good old days of lab work, I started to watch some
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Credit: Tad Theimer Joseph (Joe) Connell altered both what and how ecologists study. Tree by tree, coral by coral, barnacle by barnacle, he saw patterns and processes across diverse ecosystems. Simply and with incontrovertible evidence, he demonstrated that interactions such as competition and predation could determine where species lived. Before his classic experiments on Scotland’s
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Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here The diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) is notoriously tough.Credit: Alice Abela Material scientists have discovered what makes the diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) almost uncrushable. Scans showed that sections of the beetle’s exoskeleton lock together like
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The feathered dinosaur Ambopteryx longibrachium (artist’s impression) was inept at gliding and incapable of powered flight. Credit: Gabriel Ugueto Palaeontology 22 October 2020 Little bat-like dinosaurs could glide — but only just. It is one of the enduring wonders of evolution that natural selection can produce complex traits such as flight. But that doesn’t mean
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Credit: Sam Chivers When scientists, public-health bodies and governments around the world warn that antimicrobial resistance is the next great health crisis, they have good reason. Since the 1960s, bacteria and other microorganisms have become increasingly resistant to antimicrobial drugs, leading to more and more people dying. Drug-resistant diseases kill around 700,000 people each year,
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1. Roulois, D. et al. DNA-demethylating agents target colorectal cancer cells by inducing viral mimicry by endogenous transcripts. Cell 162, 961–973 (2015). CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar  2. Chiappinelli, K. B. et al. Inhibiting DNA methylation causes an interferon response in cancer via dsRNA including endogenous retroviruses. Cell 162, 974–986 (2015). CAS  PubMed 
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The diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) is notoriously tough.Credit: Alice Abela Scans reveal what makes beetle ‘uncrushable’ They don’t call it the diabolical ironclad beetle for nothing. Phloeodes diabolicus, a rugged insect native to western North America, has an almost supernatural ability to resist compression and blunt hits. Now, 3D scans have revealed that layered
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Sequencing DNA at the Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland.Credit: National Cancer Institute/SPL Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education Julie R. Posselt Stanford Univ. Press (2020) In 1916, Saint Elmo Brady became the first African American to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in the United States.
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Obesity is linked with diabetes, heart disease and other risk factors for severe COVID-19 symptoms.Credit: Edgard Garrido/Reuters When Jesús Ojino Sosa-García looks out over the people being treated for COVID-19 in his hospital’s intensive-care unit, one feature stands out: “Obesity is the most important factor we see,” he says. Sosa-García works at Hospital Médica Sur
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