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Oncologists have stumbled on a “previously unnoticed” pair of salivary glands while studying the effect of radiotherapy on salivation and swallowing. The elusive glands are in an inaccessible spot and can be spotted only with very sensitive imaging, such as positron emission tomography and computed tomography. Researchers say the glands could help to explain why cancer treatment can cause dry mouth and swallowing problems, especially because doctors haven’t known to spare the organs from damage.
Scans of the first known fossils of embryonic tyrannosaurs reveal that they were about the size of a small dog when born. A lower jaw bone and a foot claw, which were found at different sites in western North America, are thought to be from two babies that were 70 and 90 centimetres long. The embryos were not from Tyrannosaurus rex, but an earlier species of related tyrannosaur that has not been identified — which was, if you believe the accompanying illustration, super cute and fluffy.
Researchers in India are frustrated that the country’s biodiversity laws are preventing them from sharing microbe species with the world. The International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes, which validates newly discovered microbes, requires that each taxon be deposited in two culture collections in two countries. But Indian law requires that non-Indian researchers who want to access cultures from India get government permission, a lengthy process that often discourages researchers from trying to access those strains. The end result is that many strains don’t get validated, say researchers. The situation is ironic, notes taxonomist Yogesh Shouche, because if the country can’t document its own microbial riches, “the claim on this wealth is meaningless”.
Features & opinion
The first authorized history of the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) pulls back the curtain on one of the world’s pre-eminent secret intelligence agencies. Although the focus of historian John Ferris’s book is more military than scientific, it tells a global tale of mathematics, engineering, data sciences and linguistics.
Surveys suggest that many scientists from sexual and gender minorities (LGBT+) experience hostility or a sense of invisibility at work — and evidence shows that they are being driven out of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields. Nature spoke to six LGBT+ academics about the effects that fighting prejudice, assumptions and bias has had on their careers; how colleagues can be effective allies and advocates; and what policies institutions could have to make STEM workplaces more inclusive.
Could you draw yourself doing your favourite experiment in 60 seconds? Crystallographer Claire Murray would like to see it — and so would I.
Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature BriefingWith contributions by Nicky Phillips