Image courtesy of Peter Graystock

Read our October issue

Our October issue includes photosynthetic acclimation, plant-pollinator communities, mosquito mating, Neanderthal introgression and a collection of articles on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Combining phylogenomics with analysis of gene duplication to reconstruct the steps during eukaryogenesis the authors show that the Asgard archaea-related host already had some eukaryote-like cellular complexity, which increased further upon mitochondrial acquisition.

    • Julian Vosseberg
    • , Jolien J. E. van Hooff
    • , Marina Marcet-Houben
    • , Anne van Vlimmeren
    • , Leny M. van Wijk
    • , Toni Gabaldón
    •  & Berend Snel
  • Article |

    Human farmers have traded greater productivity for higher crop vulnerability outside specialized cultivation conditions. This study shows a similar trade-off in fungus-farming ants.

    • Jonathan Z. Shik
    • , Pepijn W. Kooij
    • , David A. Donoso
    • , Juan C. Santos
    • , Ernesto B. Gomez
    • , Mariana Franco
    • , Antonin J. J. Crumière
    • , Xavier Arnan
    • , Jack Howe
    • , William T. Wcislo
    •  & Jacobus J. Boomsma
  • Article |

    Phylogenomic analysis supports a diderm ancestor of the Firmicutes and points to an early origin of two-membraned cells in Bacteria and the derived nature of the Gram-positive envelope following multiple outer membrane losses.

    • Najwa Taib
    • , Daniela Megrian
    • , Jerzy Witwinowski
    • , Panagiotis Adam
    • , Daniel Poppleton
    • , Guillaume Borrel
    • , Christophe Beloin
    •  & Simonetta Gribaldo

News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    Global synchrony in tree growth shows a recent rapid rise tied to increasing temperature synchrony, which might alter global carbon sink dynamics.

    • Lara M. Kueppers
  • Comment |

    Monoculture plantations have been promoted for the restoration of the world’s forested area, but these have not contained or reversed the loss of biodiversity. More innovative incentive policies should be implemented to shift the planet’s forest restoration policies from increasing the area of forests per se to improving their biodiversity.

    • Junze Zhang
    • , Bojie Fu
    • , Mark Stafford-Smith
    • , Shuai Wang
    •  & Wenwu Zhao
  • Comment |

    As a result of identity prejudice, certain individuals are more vulnerable to conflict and violence when they are in the field. It is paramount that all fieldworkers be informed of the risks some colleagues may face, so that they can define best practice together: here we recommend strategies to minimize risk for all individuals conducting fieldwork.

    • Amelia-Juliette Claire Demery
    •  & Monique Avery Pipkin
  • Editorial |

    In this issue, we focus on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in science.

  • Comment |

    As conservation organizations seek to create inclusive communities, they should reflect on current experiences. Using interview vignettes, we bring to attention the isolation and discrimination experienced by scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour, alongside additional burdens of diversity and inclusion work.

    • Karen Bailey
    • , Nia Morales
    •  & Milton Newberry III
  • Comment |

    The pandemic will allow us to fundamentally remodel the way field-based sciences are taught, conducted and funded — but only if we stop waiting for a ‘return to normal’.

    • Eleanor M. L. Scerri
    • , Denise Kühnert
    • , James Blinkhorn
    • , Huw S. Groucutt
    • , Patrick Roberts
    • , Kathleen Nicoll
    • , Andrea Zerboni
    • , Emuobosa Akpo Orijemie
    • , Huw Barton
    • , Ian Candy
    • , Steven T. Goldstein
    • , John Hawks
    • , Khady Niang
    • , Didier N’Dah
    • , Michael D. Petraglia
    •  & Nicholas C. Vella


  • Researchers have performed the most comprehensive study to date on pollinator feeding habits in cities. They document what plants pollinators prefer and use computer models to predict the best ways to help them thrive.

  • Years before they conquered the Internet, cats colonized our sofas. DNA from over 200 cat remains shows that farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats 9,000 years ago, before a second wave of cat domestication a few thousand years later in ancient Egypt.

  • One of the major threats to biodiversity worldwide is international trade. The maps in this video show how consumers in the US and Japan are endangering animal species in 'threat hotspots' around the world.

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