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Keio University Professor Hideyuki Okano speaks into multiple microphones during a press conference on ips cell treatment

Hideyuki Okano speaks at a press conference in Tokyo. He has approval to use iPS cells to treat patients with spinal cord injuries.Credit: Kyodo News via Getty

First iPS spinal-cord trial approved in Japan

Japan’s health ministry has approved the first ever trial of ‘reprogrammed’ stem cells to treat spinal-cord injuries in people. Stem-cell scientist Hideyuki Okano will use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are created by inducing cells from body tissue to revert to an embryonic-like state. The cells will then be coaxed to develop into neural precursor cells, and injected by the millions at sites of recent spinal-cord injuries — a process that has been proven to regenerate neurons in monkeys.

Nature | 3 min read

Randy Schekman talks eLife and Plan S

Nobel laureate Randy Schekman shook up the publishing industry when he launched the pioneering open-access journal eLife in 2012. After departing the journal last month, he tells Nature about the pros and cons of its innovative collaborative peer-review system, and how Plan S will shake up scientific publishing.

Nature | 5 min read

White House to gather anti-climate science group

The Trump administration plans to gather an ad hoc group of climate sceptics to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, reports The Washington Post. The group is being proposed in part to counter the findings of the US government’s own exhaustive, damning national climate-assessment report. This working group seems to be an evolution of a proposed formal advisory committee reportedly discussed in the White House last week — but will be subject to fewer rules about transparency and oversight.

The Washington Post | 7 min read


How to make the leap from academia to industry

From soft skills to networking, diversifying your experiences is key to opening up postgraduate opportunities outside academia. Take a break from the grindstone of finishing your PhD to consider your career path, with this guide by environmental scientist Crystal Romeo Upperman, who has made the leap herself.

Nature | 5 min read

“It looked like mission impossible”

Physicist Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of CERN, tells The Guardian what it felt like to discover the Higgs boson, and shares her hopes for the future of particle physics. “The fact that 95% of the universe is dark, is unknown to us, is a major embarrassment for scientists today,” she says. “But it’s also very exciting: it means there are many, many new things to discover.”

The Guardian | 8 min read

The dangers of a world made for men

From ill-fitting safety goggles to poorly understood chemicals in female-dominated workplaces, research and development that focuses on the average male body puts women at risk, argues journalist Caroline Criado-Perez in a excerpt from her new book. “We know everything about dust disease in miners,” says occupational-health researcher Rory O’Neill. “You can’t say the same for exposures, physical or chemical, in ‘women’s work’.”

The Guardian | 19 min read


“Unite behind the science, that is our demand.”

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week to announce a proposal to spend hundreds of billions of euros combating climate change over the next decade. (Reuters)