Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

The More, the Merrier

When it comes to scientific collaborations, many researchers have found value in forming multi-disciplinary partnerships involving experts from various fields. But "diversity of discipline" is only the first step, says Lehigh University President Alice Gast at Scientific American — collaborations are strengthened when they include "international diversity" as well. That's because despite cultural, geographic, and other differences, "science is a unifying force," Gast says, adding that much progress to date has come from multinational collaborations. For example, a team of 11 labs from nine countries identified the SARS coronavirus in 2003.

International collaborations aren't always easy, Gast says, drawing on her own experience working long-term with groups in Germany and Mexico. While cultural differences can sometimes affect the way the work is done, in the end, Gast says such teamwork is worth the effort. "The need to reach across national boundaries places greater demands on scientists," she adds. "While scientists become more specialized as they proceed through their studies, broadening and collaborative experiences make them better able to 'think differently' and 'connect the dots' to discover new things. Ultimately it leads to better science."

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.