Research Highlights

Selections from the scientific literature by Nature's news team

Sliced sections from two brains on a black background. The left is a normal brain in blue, the right is a brain with Alzheimer's disease in green and purple

The brain of a healthy person (left) contrasts sharply with the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease (right). A machine-learning model can distinguish between Alzheimer’s dementia and that caused by other conditions. Credit: Jessica Wilson/Science Photo Library

Medical research

AI tool can pinpoint dementia’s cause — from stroke to Alzheimer’s

Algorithm that distinguishes among a host of underlying causes of dementia could be used for diagnosis in hospitals and clinics.
Coated resin beads on a necklace on a black background

Shells were coated with resin to make these imitation amber beads, which were found in a tomb in what is now Portugal. Credit: C. P. Odriozola et al./J. Archaeol. Sci.


Fake jewellery from the Stone Age looks like the real deal

‘Amber’ beads dating to the Neolithic period, lasting from the fifth to the third millennium BC, are actually mollusc shells coated with resin and natural pigments.
Aerial view of a deforested area of land in the Amazon rainforest

Only one-fourth of Amazon deforestation, which is driven mainly by demand for cattle grazing, stems from international demand. Credit: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty


The surprising driver of Amazon deforestation

Demand from Brazil itself accounts for more than half of the demand for crops and livestock from the Amazon and the savannah that surrounds it.
Illustration of a supermassive black hole shown in various shades of yellow and orange

Supermassive black holes (artist’s impression of one such object) in the early Universe might have formed from the collision of small galaxies. Credit: Mark Garlick/SPL

Astronomy and astrophysics

How huge black holes sprouted just after the Big Bang

Hubble observations of faint galaxies suggest that such objects could have been the seeds of very early supermassive black holes.