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Some species of hummingbird evolved to fight, with strong, sharp beaks that can parry and stab. They might be cute and tiny, but “the Aztecs weren’t fooled. Their god of war, Huitzilopochtli, was a hummingbird,” writes The New York Times.
Lab-grown meat has attracted soaring amounts of private investment, but scientists say that there is insufficient funding for basic research into how to bring the meat to the masses. To make matters worse, the advances made by commercial firms are often protected as trade secrets. Now, open-source research in the field has been given a boost by a new US$3-million grant, to be divvied up among 14 projects on ‘clean meat’ and plant-based proteins.
Researchers in Germany who don’t have access to Elsevier are hitting the publisher’s paywall around 10,000 times a day. That’s because their institutions and the publisher have failed to agree on subscription deals that would also pay for open access. Some researchers are increasingly frustrated by the time it now takes them to source papers. But libraries say they’re making considerable savings, and some scientists say they are willing to suffer temporary inconvenience to eventually achieve more open science publishing.
FEATURES & OPINION
Studies of how many people perish in conflicts and disasters are controversial, and the political and societal stakes are huge. Gruelling, emotionally exhausting work in Puerto Rico, Darfur and Iraq is giving researchers new ways of measuring mortality rates.
Historian Rebekah Higgitt relishes a biography of “pit boy turned professor” Charles Hutton, the mathematician who calculated Earth’s density and called for scientific reform.
Some scientists choose to forgo promising careers abroad to return to their countries of birth. Nature speaks to some of the researchers who have tackled the challenges and rewards of heading home.
QUIRKS OF NATURE
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Updates & Corrections
Correction 07 February 2019: A previous version of this article included a photo of the wrong bird accompanying the story about hummingbirds. The photo has been changed, with thanks to the many readers who spotted the mistake!