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Quantum internet tech at QuTech in Belgium.

A prototype of a nitrogen-vacancy center, a piece of hardware used in a quantum network at the QuDelft laboratory in the Netherlands.Credit: Marcel Wogram for Nature

Here’s what the quantum internet has in store

We might start seeing benefits from a future ‘quantum internet’ long before it reaches technological maturity, according to a team of physicists who have laid out a six-stage roadmap for how the network might evolve. The first stages promise virtually unbreakable privacy and security in communications; a more mature network could include a range of applications for science and beyond that aren’t possible with classical systems.

Nature | 6 min read

Read more: The quantum internet has arrived (and it hasn’t)

Major cancer-research funder takes on bullying

One of the world’s biggest funders of cancer research has launched a tough anti-bullying policy that could lead to the withdrawal of funding from scientists whose institutions uphold allegations made against them. Cancer Research UK is the largest independent funder of cancer research in Europe, and the second major UK research funder to introduce anti-bullying and anti-harassment rules, after the Wellcome Trust introduced a similar policy in June.

Nature | 2 min read

Anatomy does not equal gender

Researchers say that the Trump administration’s latest plan to define gender goes beyond the limits of scientific knowledge. According to a memo seen by The New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing that gender be defined narrowly as a biological condition determined by genitalia at birth. Scientists and medical professionals have long since moved on from such a binary reading of biology, and exactly what determines gender identity is still unclear.

New York Times | 4 min read

Read more: Sex redefined: The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.

Which planets do space scientists love most?

Everyone has a favourite planet (wait — you don’t??). But it seems that some get more love from space scientists than others. Every one of our Solar System’s worlds has been paid at least a flying visit by a spacecraft, but Earth’s closest neighbours, Mars and Venus, are the attention-grabbers. They’ve each clocked up dozens of visits since planetary missions began in the 1960s, with Mars becoming a favourite when it became clear that water was once present. But the faraway worlds of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are comparatively unloved: each have had only one visit.

Nature | 4 min read


Do authors comply when funders mandate open access to research?

In a huge analysis of more than 1.3 million papers subject to funders’ open-access mandates, researchers found that some two-thirds were indeed freely available to read. But rates varied greatly, from around 90% for work funded by the US National Institutes of Health and the UK’s Wellcome Trust, to 23% for work supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Nature | 9 min read

The bones that could shape Antarctica’s fate

In 2048, part of the treaty that maintains harmony in Antarctica will be up for review — could archaeological discoveries there influence the continent’s future? If a country can demonstrate that it had people living in Antarctica earlier than other nations staking land claims, then they have more bartering power in negotiations.

BBC | 5 min read

How to build a Moon base

Momentum for a human return to the Moon is growing, but rather than rerun the Apollo missions, space agencies are slowly warming to the idea of establishing a sustainable settlement on the lunar surface. But how do you plan for lunar living, working out the best options for everything from power sources to shelter and food? (Spoiler: a lot of kale.)

Nature | 14 min read


“It is inconceivable how a faculty member in the course of carrying out his work responsibilities could believe that the conduct would ever be appropriate.”

Mark Searle, Arizona State University’s provost, on the behaviour of physics professor Lawrence Krauss, who last week agreed to retire after the school concluded that he breached its policies on sexual harassment. (BuzzFeed News)