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If you sandwich two sheets of graphene together and twist one in just the right way, it can gain some superconducting properties. Now, physicists have added another material to this sandwich that stabilizes that superconductivity, a result that could complicate physicists’ understanding of magic angles.
Funding agencies behind the radical open-access initiative Plan S have announced a policy that could make it possible for researchers to publish in any journal they want — even in subscription titles that haven’t yet agreed to comply with the scheme. Plan S funders will make it a condition of grants that authors can share an accepted version of their article under a liberal ‘CC-BY’ publishing licence, as soon as their work appears in a journal. Very few publishers allow this, but Coalition S, the group representing the plan’s members, announced that funders will simply override this prohibition. The already-agreed grant condition will have “legal precedence over any later publishing agreement”, says Robert Kiley, head of open research at Wellcome.
Features & opinion
Cuban painted snails are sought by collectors for their range of colours and complex patterns. But trading them has been banned since 2017. Researchers are trying to spread awareness among Cubans and visitors about the perils the snails face from illegal collecting, predation by invasive species, land clearing and climate change. They are also partnering with farmers to encourage them to care for the snails on their land. “They’ll see that it is more successful to protect them alive than to sell them dead,” says biologist Norvis Hernandez.
The editors-in-chief and production office at the Journal of Biogeography want to help make your figures pop off the page. “An appropriate number of nicely prepared, easily interpretable, information-rich figures will emphasize the positive and can to some extent compensate for shortcomings elsewhere during review,” they write in their guide. “A series of good figures can alone tell most of the story in a paper.” They suggest a summary figure that synthesizes your main findings, and dig into the nitty-gritty of size, colour, captions and resolution.
Where I work
Mechatronics engineer Zach Ousnamer is part of the team that built NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance, which is due to launch this month or next. The mission aims to seek signs of ancient life, and will be the first to return samples from the red planet. Since February, Ousnamer has been based at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, helping to put the finishing touches on the rover. “It’s nice to take a step back and think how we’ve sent rovers to other planets only a handful of times. It’s pretty monumental.” (Nature | 3 min read)
This week, Sir Leif of Penguinson is in the verdant chasm of Lud’s Church in England, which might have inspired the Green Chapel where Sir Gawain faced shenanigans in Arthurian legend. Can you find the penguin?
The answer will be in Monday’s e-mail, all thanks to Briefing photo editor and penguin wrangler Tom Houghton.
With contributions by Smriti Mallapaty