News & Views Forum

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  • COVID-19 broadened the use of pulse oximeters for rapid blood-oxygen readings, but it also highlighted the fact that skin pigmentation alters measurements. Two groups of researchers analyse this issue, and its effects on people with dark skin.

    • Matthew D. Keller
    • Brandon Harrison-Smith
    • Mohammed Shahriar Arefin
    News & Views Forum
  • A higher number of damaging variations in certain genes is associated with an increased likelihood that a man will be childless. A geneticist and an anthropologist discuss what can — and can’t — be learnt from this finding.

    • Loic Yengo
    • Heidi Colleran
    News & Views Forum
  • A quantum device uses ultracold atoms to sense gravitational changes that can detect a tunnel under a city street. Here, scientists discuss the advance from the viewpoints of quantum sensing and geophysics.

    • Nicola Poli
    • Roman Pašteka
    • Pavol Zahorec
    News & Views Forum
  • Research has uncovered factors that underlie the weight gain associated with cessation of smoking. Here, scientists consider the implications of this finding from the perspectives of gut biology and of smoking.

    • Matthew P. Spindler
    • Jeremiah J. Faith
    • Paul J. Kenny
    News & Views Forum
  • An atlas of the cell types found in the motor cortex of the brain has been built using various types of data. Two neuroscientists explain the technological feats involved in the project, as well as the utility of the resource for future research.

    • Johan Winnubst
    • Silvia Arber
    News & Views Forum
  • Does time spent using digital technology and social media have an adverse effect on mental health, especially that of adolescents? Here, two scientists discuss the question, and how digital devices might be used to improve well-being.

    • Jonathan Haidt
    • Nick Allen
    News & Views Forum
  • Researchers and policymakers rely on computer simulations called integrated assessment models to determine the best strategies for tackling climate change. Here, scientists present opposing views on the suitability of these simulations.

    • Kevin Anderson
    • Jessica Jewell
    News & Views Forum
  • Engineering approaches allow biological structures and behaviours to be reconstituted in vitro. A biologist and a physicist discuss the potential and limitations of this bottom-up philosophy in providing insights into complex biological processes.

    • Matthew Good
    • Xavier Trepat
    News & Views Forum
  • Adult tissues must maintain themselves and regenerate after damage. But are these crucial functions mediated by dedicated populations of stem cells, or do differentiated cells adopt stem-cell-like properties according to an organ’s needs? Here, two scientists present evidence from both sides of the debate.

    • Pura Muñoz-Cánoves
    • Meritxell Huch
    News & Views Forum
  • A study finds that meeting climate-change mitigation targets will lead to a substantial reduction in economic damages. Here, economists present opposing views on the approach used by studies such as this one.

    • Wolfram Schlenker
    • Maximilian Auffhammer
    News & Views Forum
  • Wolbachia bacteria infect insects and can cause mating incompatibilities, an outcome that is used to fight insect-transmitted disease. The proposed genes responsible illuminate this process and the disease-control mechanisms. See Letter p.243

    • William Sullivan
    • Scott L. O'Neill
    News & Views Forum
  • Global sea levels would rise by several metres if the Greenland Ice Sheet melted completely. Two studies have examined its past behaviour in an effort to evaluate its vulnerability in a warming world — and have come to seemingly conflicting conclusions. Two geochemists and a glaciologist discuss the issues. See Letters p.252 & p.256

    • Pierre-Henri Blard
    • Guillaume Leduc
    • Neil Glasser
    News & Views Forum
  • Neuroscientists are increasingly using virtual reality to facilitate studies of animal behaviour, but whether behaviour in the virtual world mimics that in real life is a matter for debate. Here, scientists discuss the strengths and limitations of the approach.

    • Matthias Minderer
    • Christopher D. Harvey
    • Edvard I. Moser
    News & Views Forum
  • Our knowledge of how Earth's natural satellite formed is increasingly being challenged by observations and computer simulations. Two scientists outline our current understanding from the point of view of the satellite's geochemistry and its early dynamical history.

    • Tim Elliott
    • Sarah T. Stewart
    News & Views Forum
  • Analysis of cancer genomes is moving beyond the confines of a particular disease — researchers are now comparing the genetic and epigenetic characteristics of multiple tumour types. Two scientists comment on what such studies can teach us about cancer biology and how they may guide clinical practice. See Article p.333

    • Alan Ashworth
    • Thomas J. Hudson
    News & Views Forum
  • An innovative assessment of climate change calculates the year in which ongoing warming will surpass the limits of historical climate variability. Three experts explain this calculation's significance compared with conventional approaches, and its relevance to Earth's biodiversity. See Article p.183

    • Chris Huntingford
    • Lina Mercado
    • Eric Post
    News & Views Forum
  • The finding that the shells of certain algae can contain a signature of low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has prompted the discovery of the emergence of this signature in the fossil record. Here, experts discuss the implications of this for climate science and ocean ecology. See Letter p.558

    • Richard D. Pancost
    • Marcus P. S. Badger
    • John Reinfelder
    News & Views Forum
  • Research shows how the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum manipulates the expression of its var genes to avoid recognition by the host immune system. Four experts comment on the implications of these results for our understanding of gene regulation in general and the development of antimalaria vaccines. See Letter p.223

    • Swaminathan Venkatesh
    • Jerry L. Workman
    • Maria Teresa Bejarano
    News & Views Forum
  • An investigation of droplet freezing in clouds suggests that a minor component of mineral dust in the atmosphere is the main catalyst for this process. Two experts discuss the ramifications of this finding for those investigating cloud-droplet freezing, and for scientists studying atmospheric aerosols. See Letter p.355

    • Thomas Koop
    • Natalie Mahowald
    News & Views Forum