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A Japanese scientist plans to insert human cells into rat embryos (photograph). Credit score: Science Photos Ltd. / SPL

Hiromitsu Nakauchi, a scientist specializing in stem cells, is the primary to obtain assist from the Japanese authorities to create animal embryos containing human cells and transplant them into surrogate animals. This follow had already been banned in Japan till the rules have been modified in March. Human-animal hybrid embryos have been manufactured in the US, however have by no means been profitable. Nakauchi says that he’ll proceed slowly and with warning, however that his final purpose is to provide animals with organs made up of human cells that may ultimately be transplanted into people.

Nature | four min learn

The forest fires over the Arctic Circle in North America and Europe are "unprecedented within the 16 years of satellite tv for pc recording" and launch big quantities of carbon into the ambiance. Most annoying are the large peat fires, a few of which exceed 100,000 hectares, which sink deep into the soil and final for much longer than regular wildfires. Final month, fires within the Arctic emitted extra carbon dioxide than in all the previous 9 years mixed, says environmental geographer Thomas Smith.

USA At present | three min studying

Seven months after the election of controversial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, fears of many scientists and advocates of the surroundings are materializing. On account of the relief of laws and the diminished utility of those who stay, deforestation within the Brazilian a part of the Amazon rainforest has elevated by virtually 40% in comparison with the identical interval of final 12 months. . Bolsonaro has described the deforestation knowledge supplied by his authorities companies as "lies", in line with the New York Occasions.

The New York Occasions | 5 min studying

Learn extra: The victory of "Tropical Trump" in Brazil surprises scientists (Nature, from October)


A brand new technology of protein engineers is discovering that the easiest way to create a molecule is to construct it from scratch. Pure proteins are troublesome to switch with out disrupting their total construction. However novice protein designers can create extra tolerant proteins. They will create enzymes with actions unknown to nature, which permits them to check their understanding of protein biology and make sure that they honestly perceive the basics.

Nature | 11 min learn

"Africa has many challenges to beat, however most of them could be solved by Africans," says analytical chemist Veronica Okello, who selected to work in her nation, Kenya, after have studied in the US. She and 6 different researchers from African nations are discussing the choice to remain of their dwelling nation or going overseas, the very best approaches to discovering funding and challenges associated to the promotion of science on the continent.

Nature | 10 min learn

Nature's 11-step information will enable you to get out of purgatory and get to paradise for brief, efficient, and productive conferences.

Nature | 5 min studying


Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) needs to be added to the genus Homo and profit from the fitting to liberty and independence, argue the evolutionary anthropologist Itai Roffman and his colleagues. (Human evolution)

Relaxation in peace Chaser, a canine that has discovered to know easy sentences and greater than 1,000 names. The late psychologist John Pilley skilled his beloved Border Collie as much as 5 hours a day for three years, explaining to him the correct and customary names of "800 material toys, 116 balloons, 26 Frisbees and an assortment of things. plastic articles ". Inform me what you might be learning – or another touch upon this briefing – at

Flora Graham, Editor-in-Chief, Nature Briefing

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