It’s not the first time that Moscow has threatened to escalate its offensive against Ukraine – with the unspoken risk that the deployment of nuclear weapons is imminent. But, as Stefan Wolff and Tatyana Malyarenko explain, that’s no reason to dismiss Russian president Dmitry Medvedev’s latest “judgement day” warning should Ukraine strike targets in Crimea. His use of the phrase “systemic threat” in relation to any attacks on Crimea points to one of the triggers for the use of nuclear weapons in Russia’s military doctrine.

In the latest from cutting edge research, Joanna Moncrieff and Mark Horowitz unpack findings that challenge the decades-long held belief that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. For their part Julien Benoit, Kenneth D. Angielczyk, Ricardo Miguel Nóbrega Araújo and Romain David set out how a combination of intuition, technology and fossils found in South Africa helped them revisit the dates at which the ancestors of mammals first became warm-blooded.

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor

Ukraine war: why Moscow could go nuclear over Kyiv’s ‘threats’ to Crimea

Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham; Tatyana Malyarenko, National University Odesa Law Academy

Crimea has been a very important strategic outpost for Russia, which is why Moscow is threatening “doomsday” if Ukraine attacks.

Depression is probably not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain – new study

Joanna Moncrieff, UCL; Mark Horowitz, UCL

A new shows there’s no clear evidence that depression is caused by abnormally low levels of serotonin in the brain.

Mystery solved: when mammals’ ancestors became warm-blooded

Julien Benoit, University of the Witwatersrand; Kenneth D. Angielczyk, University of Chicago; Ricardo Miguel Nóbrega Araújo, Universidade de Lisboa ; Romain David, Natural History Museum

Warm-bloodedness is the key to what makes mammals what they are today. That’s why working out when it emerged in mammal ancestors matters.

How record-setting heat waves in cities across UK, US and mainland Europe could punish economies already reeling from inflation

Derek Lemoine, University of Arizona

The UK recorded blistering hot temperatures as the US and Europe also experienced sweltering heat waves.