Batches of ultra-thin transistors made from 2D materials
Materials scientists have devised a way to grow single layers of a promising class of 2D semiconductor on silicon wafers that are 10 centimetres across — all the while maintaining the impressive electronic properties seen in smaller samples1. They used the films to make hundreds of transistors, which tests showed worked in 99% of cases.
Invasive lionfish discovered in Brazil
Lionfish have overwhelmed ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean over the past three decades, eating or out-competing native species in what has been called the worst marine invasion ever. Now the fish seem to have extended their range to South America.
Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos
In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results are published in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted—rumours that sparked a high-profile debatelast month about the ethical implications of such work.
Climate scientists join search for alien Earths
The hunt for life beyond the Solar System is gaining new partners: NASA climatologists. After more than 30 years of studying Earth, a team at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York will adapt its global climate model to simulate conditions on potentially habitable exoplanets. The effort is part of a broader push to identify Earth-like worlds that NASA will launch on 20 April at a meeting in Washington DC.
Tails tell the tale of dinosaur sex
Researchers think they have come up with a way to tell fossils of male dinosaurs from those of females — at least for some small feathered species. The key differences between the sexes lie in bones near the base of the tail.
Materials science: The hole story
The crystals are metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), molecular scaffolds made up of metal-containing nodes linked by carbon-based struts . The resulting pores are ideal for trapping guest molecules and, in some cases, forcing them to participate in chemical reactions. And they can be tailored with exquisite precision: researchers have created more than 20,000 types of MOF, with potential applications that range from stripping carbon dioxide from power-plant exhausts to separating intractable industrial mixtures, catalysing chemical reactions and revealing molecular structures. “MOFs are the fastest growing class of materials in chemistry today,” says Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the pioneers of the field.
Tumour mutations harnessed to build cancer vaccine
Vaccines made from mutated proteins found in tumours have bolstered immune responses to cancer in a small clinical trial.
Extreme cryptography paves way to personalized medicine
The dream for tomorrow’s medicine is to understand the links between DNA and disease — and to tailor therapies accordingly. But scientists working to realize such ‘personalized’ or ‘precision’ medicine have a problem: how to keep genetic data and medical records secure while still enabling the massive, cloud-based analyses needed to make meaningful associations. Now, tests of an emerging form of data encryption suggest that the dilemma can be solved.
UK mapped out by genetic ancestry
Researchers have found genetic signatures among Britons that betray their historical roots in particular locales of the United Kingdom, leading to the finest-scale map of genetic variation yet created. The analysis — which shows a snapshot of clusters of genetic variation in the late 1800s, when people were less likely to migrate far from their region of birth — reflects historical waves of migration by different populations into the island.