Nature’s favourite long-reads of 2017

Our top News Features covered time crystals, refugee scientists, the most popular human genes of all time and more.

The quest to crystallize time Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not.

Illustration by Peter Crowther

A quantum pioneer unlocks matter's hidden secrets Physicist Gil Lonzarich has sparked a revolution in the study of phase transitions driven by quantum fluctuations.

Biology's beloved amphibian — the axolotl — is racing towards extinction Although abundant in captivity, the salamander has nearly disappeared from its natural habitat, and that’s a problem.

An Axolotl breathing underwater

Axolotls inhabit thousands of labs and home aquariums around the world, but are vanishing from their natural habitat.Credit: Brett Gundlock for Nature

The rise and fall and rise again of 23andMe How Anne Wojcicki led her company from the brink of failure to scientific pre-eminence.

The secret war against counterfeit science China has a lucrative market for fake research reagents. Some scientists are fighting back.

Dr. Huang Song in a darkened lab showing a bottle of reagents used for his research.

Huang Song has taken steps to stem the purchase of counterfeit reagents at the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing.Credit: Gilles Sabrié for Nature

Cruel fusion: What a young man’s death means for childhood cancer Epigenetic discoveries are fuelling renewed interest in the fusion proteins that have bedevilled cancer biologists.

Hunted, haunted, stateless and scared: the stories of refugee scientists Displaced researchers face huge challenges making lives abroad, even if they find work.

Cassini’s 13 years of stunning Saturn science — in pictures As the mission speeds towards its conclusion, Nature takes a look at what researchers have learnt about the planet’s moons, rings and tempest-filled skies.

In 2004, Cassini became the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn.Credit:NASA/JPL

Out of the Syrian crisis, a data revolution takes shape Aid organizations have been piloting a nimble approach to cut through the fog of war.

The most popular genes in the human genome A tour through the most studied genes in biology reveals some surprises.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-08548-z

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