Skip to content

Category: Learn


Second World War: Paris neurosurgeon’s map outwitted Nazis

Second World War: Paris neurosurgeon’s map outwitted Nazis

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547281a

Authors: Pierre Bourdillon, Marc Lévêque & Caroline Apra

Neurosurgeon Jean Talairach (1911–2007) created his pioneering brain atlas with his colleague Gabor Szikla in 1967. Almost three decades earlier, he had painstakingly drawn a quite different map — of Paris’s subterranean ossuaries (see ‘Catacomb network under Paris’), a copy of which we recently unearthed via


NASA: No cost crisis for space telescope

NASA: No cost crisis for space telescope

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547281b

Author: Thomas H. Zurbuchen

Your report on NASA’s next large space telescope, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), misleadingly implies that NASA’s dark-energy probe faces a cost crisis (Nature546, 195;10.1038/546195a2017). NASA has not yet completed the work of estimating the costs of via


Africa: Restrict bush fires used in animal hunts

Africa: Restrict bush fires used in animal hunts

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547281c

Authors: Mwazvita T. B. Dalu, Tatenda Dalu & Ryan J. Wasserman

Controlled small-scale fires are traditionally used in the African savannah to flush out small mammals for hunting. Poachers in Zimbabwe are carelessly deploying crude versions of this practice, causing unmanageable bush fires and large-scale destruction.For generations, experienced local hunters have ensured that the impact via


Gravitational waves: Stellar palaeontology

Gravitational waves: Stellar palaeontology

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547284a

Authors: Ilya Mandel & Alison Farmer

A third gravitational-wave signal has been detected with confidence, produced again by the merger of two black holes. The combined data from these detections help to reveal the histories of the stars that left these black holes behind. via


Archaeology: Early signs of human presence in Australia

Archaeology: Early signs of human presence in Australia

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547285a

Authors: Curtis W. Marean

It emerges that people reached Australia earlier than was thought. This finding casts light on the technology used by the travellers, and their possible interactions with animal species that became extinct. See Article p.306 via


50 & 100 Years Ago

50 & 100 Years Ago

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547286a

50 Years AgoOne of the problems that continually faces electron microscopists is deciding whether organelles with the same fine structure have identical chemical composition and cellular function…does this apply to structurally simple organelles such as microtubules? Are they identical?Microtubules…occur in specifically arranged aggregates via


Materials science: Chemistry and physics happily wed

Materials science: Chemistry and physics happily wed

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547287a

Authors: Gregory A. Fiete

A major advance in the quantum theory of solids allows materials to be identified whose electronic states have a non-trivial topology. Such materials could have many computing and electronics applications. See Article p.298 via


Imaging techniques: X-rays used to watch spins in 3D

Imaging techniques: X-rays used to watch spins in 3D

Nature 547, 7663 (2017). doi:10.1038/547290a

Authors: Peter Fischer

Complex nanoscale magnetization patterns have been resolved in 3D using advanced X-ray microscopy. This could spur the design of magnetic devices that have unique properties and functions. See Letter p.328 via