Meet the info sleuth who spurred the Dana-Farber retractions

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A colour adjusted photo of skeletons at Jabuticabeira II. Two bones are highlighted in yellow to illustrate the presence of pathogen DNA.

Genomes of micro organism that trigger treponemal illness have been recovered from a restricted variety of prehistoric stays (yellow, artificially colored) discovered beneath an unlimited shell mound in Brazil.Credit score: Jose Filippini

Historic DNA from a 2,000-year-old burial website in Brazil rewrites the historical past of the household of microorganisms that causes syphilis and different ‘treponemal’ illnesses. Bacterial genomes recovered from human stays suggests Treponema pallidum might have diversified so long as 14,000 years in the past — 10,000 years sooner than beforehand thought — and that fashionable strains developed prior to now 3,000. “It appears they’ve been accompanying us for a very long time, which wasn’t anticipated,” says archaeogeneticist and co-author Verena Schuenemann.

Nature | 4 min

“It’s by getting annoyed that I found PubPeer,” says molecular biologist Sholto David, who used the web site to report irregularities in dozens of most cancers papers by researchers affiliated with the Dana-Farber Most cancers Institute. Earlier this week, the Institute mentioned that it might search retractions for six papers and corrections for a further 31. Now a full-time research-integrity sleuth, David just lately left his 2,000th touch upon PubPeer — a much less “infuriating” course of than writing to journal editors, he says. Avoiding the kinds of picture mix-ups he usually spots is easy, he says: give information smart names and examine them towards the uncooked information earlier than publishing.

Nature | 6 min learn

The center of US particle physics, Fermi Nationwide Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), is available in the market for brand new administration. Fermilab has been criticized for its dealing with of the nation’s flagship particle-physics undertaking, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment; health-and-safety weaknesses and an unpopular resolution to maintain COVID-19 customer restrictions in place for too lengthy. The present supervisor, the Fermi Analysis Alliance, is reapplying for the contract to run the lab. And there are different contenders, together with Related Universities, Inc., which runs the Inexperienced Financial institution Observatory.

Nature | 6 min learn

Options & opinion

Addressing the plastic air pollution disaster requires shut collaboration between trade and academia, say researchers from one such US partnership, which is creating new bioplastics from renewable sources. Stigma is the primary hurdle to beat as a result of “some individuals see such collaborations as lecturers ‘promoting out’ and industrials ‘shopping for’ scientific outcomes”. The authors supply 5 classes for a profitable partnership:

Kind partnerships that you just belief

Preserve an open thoughts

Alter metrics for fulfillment

Reimagine funding fashions

Spend money on collaborations, don’t divest funds

Nature | 12 min learn

MAKING PLASTICS GO ROUND: diagram comparing a linear with a circular economy for plastics.

City planner Leonie Sandercock has spent her five-decade profession reimagining the potential of planning to champion linked, humane communites the place “strangers can change into neighbours”. Within the inaugural situation of Nature Cities, she writes that “the selection we should always make now’s to do what we are able to, regionally, to create risk within the midst of world decline; islands of sanity and local people self-organization amidst the macro chaos and breakdown”.

Nature Cities | 6 min learn

Round 40 million years in the past, otter-like cetaceans swam and strolled round coastal areas. A tooth present in North Carolina is the primary proof that remingtonocetids appear to have even migrated, by some means, from their hometown on the Indian subcontinent to the shores of North America.

Smithsonian Journal | 5 min learn

Reference: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica paper

Quote of the day

Thierry Klein and Peter Vetter, leaders at Nokia Bell Labs, bear in mind physicist Arno Penzias, who has died aged 90. When Penzias and Robert Wilson first noticed a ‘hiss’ with a Bell Labs radio antenna, they thought it was interference coming from close by cities, and even nesting pigeons, earlier than recognizing it because the cosmic background radiation — a discovery for which they shared the Nobel Prize. (Nokia Bell Labs press launch | 3 min learn)

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