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Psychiatrist Nora Volkow is leading the world’s biggest funder of addiction research — the US National Institute on Drug Abuse — while the country is grappling with a devastating surge in drug use. Volkow’s obsession with the biological effects of excessive drug use — fuelled in part by her own family’s past — has not only shattered dogmas in neuroscience, but has helped to mitigate the stigma people with addiction face.
US President Donald Trump’s administration has weakened automobile-emissions standards for cars and trucks. The policy will spare automakers from having to meet ambitious targets to reduce pollution harmful to the environment and public health. The rule might fall in the courts: the Trump administration is already locked in legal battles with California and other states that use California’s stricter emissions rules.
Features & opinion
In the oceans’ twilight zone, 200–1,000 metres deep, currents and ‘marine snow’ mix water from the abyss and the sunlit region above, and many organisms migrate up and down daily between layers. These poorly understood processes provide nutrient exchange and carbon sequestration. But the twilight zone is about to suffer a triple blow from carbon emissions, excessive fishing and increased sea-floor mining. Sixteen oceanographers call for scientists to seize the upcoming United Nations Decade of the Ocean, which starts next year, as an opportunity to focus on this crucial, neglected ecosystem.
When their schedules are crammed with laboratory work, teaching or administration, scientists often delay writing. Discover how productivity coaches, boot camps and online meet-ups teach researchers to avoid distractions and negative thoughts to get their writing projects done.
Last October, a treatment that promised to transform the lives of 90% of people with cystic fibrosis was approved in the United States. The three-part drug, Trikafta, has been spectacularly effective for some people, but it’s expensive, only available in the United States and is not suitable for everyone. With the promise of more precision-medicine successes on the horizon, Trikafta offers a case study of what happens after a long-awaited drug becomes a reality.
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Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing
With contributions by Davide Castelvecchi