Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here
The United Arab Emirates’ Hope orbiter is now winging its way to Mars after launching successfully from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. The probe, built by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) together with US partners, is the first interplanetary mission from any Arab state. The spacecraft will take seven months to wend its way to the red planet. Then comes the tricky part: entering Mars’s orbit in February 2021.
Read more: How a small Arab nation built a Mars mission from scratch in six years (Nature | 13 min read)
Features & opinion
Over the past week, more than 200 universities in the United States have shown the power of swift, mass mobilization, argues a Nature editorial. Institutions large and small, private and public, mounted legal challenges to a decision by the US government that could have seen international students deported from the country if all their classes were taught online. The editorial commends US universities for standing up and challenging an injustice and says they must keep up the fight — for their students and faculty, for international cooperation, for scholarship and for research.
Fisheries ecologist Emma Hodgson and Gwich'in researcher and photographer Arlyn Charlie take it in turns to share their observations from their collaborative study of the migratory whitefish łuk dagaii (Coregonus nasus) in the western Canadian Arctic. Considering their work towards merging Western and traditional knowledge, Charlie questions how climate change is disrupting the patterns of nature that underlie that deep and hard-won understanding.
Molecular biologist Flossie Wong-Staal, the first scientist to clone HIV and determine the function of its genes, died on 8 July at the age of 73. Her work continues to be influential in the fight against HIV and other viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. “You have to think of AIDS research as a window of opportunity. This is one of a few major diseases for which we have a defined cause,” she said in a 1997 National Institutes of Health interview. “It’s a defined target even though it’s a very slippery target. We shouldn’t lose sight of that.”
Where I work
With contributions by Smriti Mallapaty