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The above image shows just some of the more than 50 polar bears that inundated the small Russian town of Belushya Guba in February. Experts say that the animals moved inland to find food because the sea ice was late to form, preventing the bears from hunting seals. See more of the most stunning science images of the past month, as selected by Nature’s photo team.
Surging conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is hampering efforts to stamp out Ebola in the region, with the outbreak surging towards 1,000 cases — the second-largest ever recorded. Political protests, attacks on treatment centres and violence towards front-line health-workers are contributing to a situation in which the virus has become difficult to treat and contain. Also worrying are recent data from the World Health Organization that suggest the virus is also spreading through undetected means.
Cuba has already introduced aggressive policies to address climate change, and the country has now become one of a growing number to have enshrined the fight against climate change in its constitution. Although some see such high-level acknowledgement of the climate crisis as a sign of the willingness to address it, others see it more as a political move that’s unlikely to lead to meaningful action.
FEATURES & OPINION
A new book from Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California, argues for a future in which artificial intelligence (AI) helps to re-establish empathy and trust between doctors and patients. Reviewer Thomas Insel explores whether AI will heal the doctor–patient relationship, or exacerbate the problems of technology with devices that replace more humans and destroy privacy.
Cells buzz with different types of organelle, but these components don’t exist in isolated compartments, as cell-biology textbooks like to suggest. There’s constant cross-talk between organelles, with almost every type coming into close conversation with every other type. Probing these connections is leading to new discoveries, and forcing a dramatic rethink of cell biology.
PODCAST PICKS FOR SCIENTISTS
Benjamin Thompson, host of the Nature Podcast, recommends four science shows to tickle your eardrums.
• Each episode of Flash Forward explores one specific future scenario, “from the completely absurd to the terrifyingly likely”. It’s a wonderfully produced show, and Rose Eveleth is the perfect guide for investigating what our far-flung tomorrows might actually look like.
• In each episode of the BBC’s The Life Scientific, physicist Jim Al-Khalili interviews a single researcher, taking a deep dive into their life and work. Start with cosmologist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who describes her pulsar discovery, her career and “the grit that was needed just to be there”.
• I think the Nature Podcast is really good (of course), but don’t take my word for it — listen to the latest episode on coastal carbon sinks, mobile health, and Mileva Marić (and tell all your friends).
This week, on our 150th anniversary, all the people who make Nature have gathered (for the first time in at least 20 years) to explore the future of our publication. We’d love to hear what you have to say: send me your thoughts about what the future of Nature should look like — or any other feedback — to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!
Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing