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10 extraordinary Nature papers

A series of News & Views articles assesses the importance and lasting impact of 10 key papers from our archive.

News and Views

In 1947, scientists found a previously unseen particle, which is now called a neutral kaon. This work led to the discovery of elementary particles known as quarks, and ultimately to the establishment of the standard model of particle physics.

News & Views | | Nature

A 1975 Nature paper reported how cell lines could be made that produce an antibody of known specificity. This discovery led to major biological insights and clinical successes in treating autoimmunity and cancer.

News & Views | | Nature

In 1925, a Nature paper reported an African fossil of a previously unknown genus called Australopithecus. This finding revolutionized ideas about early human evolution after human ancestors and apes split on the evolutionary tree.

News & Views | | Nature

In 1985, scientists reported the discovery of the cage-like carbon molecule C60. The finding paved the way for materials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, and was a landmark in the emergence of nanotechnology.

News & Views | | Nature

The unexpected discovery of a hole in the atmospheric ozone layer over the Antarctic revolutionized science — and helped to establish one of the most successful global environmental policies of the twentieth century.

News & Views | | Nature

Nearly 30 years ago, a simple chemical principle was reported that enabled the synthesis of a plethora of porous materials — some of which might enable applications ranging from biomedicine to petrochemical processing.

News & Views | | Nature

The discovery that cell differentiation can be reversed challenged theories of how cell identity is determined, laying the foundations for modern methods of reprogramming cell identity and promising new regenerative therapies.

News & Views | | Nature

In the early 1950s, the identity of genetic material was still a matter of debate. The discovery of the helical structure of double-stranded DNA settled the matter — and changed biology forever.

News & Views | | Nature

In 1995, astronomers detected a blisteringly hot Jupiter-mass planet orbiting closer to its host star than Mercury is to the Sun. This discovery recast our thinking of how planets form and led to a new era of exoplanetary exploration.

News & Views | | Nature