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Saving energy, monkeypox’s march — the week in infographics

How to save energy worldwide

The war in Ukraine has highlighted how reliant the world is on exports of Russian gas, oil and coal. This chart shows how a set of measures to slash energy demand could reduce countries’ dependence on Russian energy imports, as well as cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 2.9% in one year.

Emissions from transport could be cut by driving less, telecommuting more and swapping car journeys for ones by train or bike. The energy demand from buildings could be lowered by turning down thermostats and through behavioural nudges that cut household energy use. In the food sector, a change from growing fodder for animals to grains for human consumption would cut emissions further.

Barcharts showing the equivalent emissions from Russian fossil fuel exports for OECD countries and how to cut energy demand

Source: F. Creutzig Nature 606, 460–462; 2022 (Supplementary Information)

Where’s monkeypox?

As global monkeypox cases continue to rise, public-health officials and researchers are questioning whether the current outbreaks can be contained. These figures show how the outbreaks have expanded and most infections were detected in countries where outbreaks do not usually occur. Some nations have begun implementing a containment strategy called ring vaccination, but it’s unclear whether this can control the virus, as our News story explains.

Unusual spread: Map showing the location of confirmed monkeypox cases outside of West and Central Africa as of 6 June 2022.

Sources: Monkeypox (accessed 7 June 2022)/WHO

Mutations' impact

This graphic illustrates two types of mutation that can occur in genes. DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA, which is translated into protein. DNA mutations can be synonymous (blue star), meaning that they have no effect on the sequence of the protein that the gene encodes, or they can be non-synonymous (red star), indicating that they alter at least one amino acid. The authors of a paper in Nature systematically edited yeast genes to generate thousands of mutations, to test whether synonymous mutations affected the fitness of yeast less than non-synonymous ones do, as is often assumed.

They found that, on average, both mutation types reduce the amount of mRNA produced from a gene compared with that produced from the original DNA sequence. Both also reduce the fitness of yeast cells, says this News & Views article.

Figure 1



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