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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.
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.
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.
FEATURES & OPINION
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.
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.”
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’.”