Daily briefing: Ten simple rules for a happier, healthier lab

How to make labs more nurturing, collaborative and people-centred, Ebola outbreak not an international emergency, death of a turtle could spell the end of a species.

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An Ebola response team arrives in Oicha, North Kivu, DRC

An Ebola response team arrives in Oicha in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to vaccinate people against the virus.Credit: Sven Torfinn/Panos

The emergency that's not an emergency

Despite a recent spike in cases, the World Health Organization has said that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo doesn’t reach the threshold of an international public-health emergency. Armed conflict and mistrust of Ebola responders among local populations are hampering efforts to curb the spread of the disease, which has infected more than 1,200 people so far in the latest outbreak. “We need all the help we can get — too many people are dying,” says Guillaume Le Duc of international aid group ALIMA.

Nature | 3 min read

Indonesian science mega-agency in the balance

Indonesians will vote on 17 April in a national election, and the stakes are high for science. President Joko Widodo says that if he is re-elected, he will create a single agency that will largely control how the country’s research is organized and funded. The main opposition candidate, former military general and nationalist Prabowo Subianto, has been silent on science so far.

Nature | 4 min read

Death of a turtle could spell the end of a species

One of the world’s rarest turtles, a Yangtze giant softshell (Rafetus swinhoei), died at the weekend, leaving just three known individuals remaining. The female turtle was at least 90 years old, and died shortly after a fifth attempt at artificial insemination. The cause of death is being investigated, and ovarian tissue was collected for future research.

South China Morning Post | 2 min read


Stylized image of an astronomer watching an eclipse and Einstein presenting a theory.

Illustration by Ana Kova

Einstein, Eddington and the 1919 eclipse

In 1916, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity in its full mathematical glory. Three years later, a solar eclipse conveniently allowed Arthur Eddington to test Einstein’s radical proposal. Eddington is now forever associated with two expeditions to view it: from Sobral in northern Brazil, and the island of Príncipe off the coast of West Africa. Those momentous ventures form the kernel of three books commemorating the centenary.

Nature | 5 min read

Ten simple rules for a happier, healthier lab

Ecologist Fernando T. Maestre lays out a step-by-step, fully referenced guide to making the working environment of labs more nurturing, collaborative and people-centred.

PLOS Computational Biology | 15 min read

For more on how to grow a healthy lab, check out this collection.

What the CRISPR-baby scientist told a former US mentor

In November, Chinese researcher He Jiankui caused huge controversy in the scientific community after claiming to have made the world’s first genome-edited babies. In the fall-out, many condemned the work as unethical and distanced themselves from He. But The New York Times reveals that Stanford University professor Stephen Quake is under investigation by his institution, after Chinese investigators alleged that he assisted He with his work. Quake denies the allegations.

The New York Times | 9 min read


“So while I appreciate the congratulations on a result that I worked hard on for years, if you are congratulating me because you have a sexist vendetta against Katie, please go away and reconsider your priorities in life.”

Astrophysicist Andrew Chael shuts down Internet trolls who have tried to portray him as an overlooked hero in the work to produce the first ever image of a black hole. He took to Twitter to defend his colleague Katie Bouman, after she became a social-media star overnight for her role in the imaging project. (Andrew Chael on Twitter)


Quirks of Nature cartoon

Flora is taking a well-earned break this week, so I’m temporarily back at teh helm. As always please do send your thoughts, comments, and Nature Briefing feedback to

Thanks for reading!

Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing

Nature Briefing

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