This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focused on ways humanity can lower emissions and limit global warming. Researcher Alan Jenn of the University of California, Davis, contributed to that document and writes for The Conversation that “deep, immediate cuts” in greenhouse gas emissions are needed. Transformations in transportation – like more electric vehicles, more renewable energy to power them and more ride-sharing – could help get us there. But the necessary “drastic reduction would require a major, rapid rethinking of how people get around globally.”

A common refrain is that electricity generated by nuclear fusion is “always 20 years away.” But nuclear researchers David Donovan and Livia Casali from the University of Tennessee explain how a recent experiment brought the field one step closer to proving that fusion can be an energy source. As a reader, I was surprised to see that they credit the advance to something as prosaic as what the walls of the nuclear reactor are made of – tungsten and beryllium instead of the graphite used previously.

If you’re a longtime consumer of science news, you likely remember the headlines from 2003 when researchers with the Human Genome Project announced it had sequenced our species’ genetic blueprint. But it’s taken almost 20 more years to fill in a few gaps that were left in those DNA instructions. Gabrielle Hartley is a genome biologist at the University of Connecticut and part of the team of researchers who have now characterized these tricky chunks of “repetitive dark matter.”

Also in this week’s science and research news:

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Maggie Villiger

Senior Science + Technology Editor

Electric vehicle sales are growing quickly. Michael Fousert/Unsplash

Revolutionary changes in transportation, from electric vehicles to ride sharing, could slow global warming – if they’re done right, IPCC says

Alan Jenn, University of California, Davis

A new international report on climate change finds rapid changes could cut emissions from transportation by 80% to 90%. Three behavior change trends could bring big improvements.

Magnetic fusion reactors contain super hot plasma in a donut-shaped container called a tokamak. dani3315/iStock via Getty Images

Nuclear fusion hit a milestone thanks to better reactor walls – this engineering advance is building toward reactors of the future

David Donovan, University of Tennessee; Livia Casali, University of Tennessee

In January 2022, the JET fusion experiment produced more power over a longer period of time than any past attempt. Two physicists explain the engineering advancements that made the result possible.

Over half of the human genome contains repetitive DNA sequences whose functions are still not fully understood. Malte Mueller/fStop via Getty Images

The Human Genome Project pieced together only 92% of the DNA – now scientists have finally filled in the remaining 8%

Gabrielle Hartley, University of Connecticut

Advances in technology have enabled researchers to sequence the large regions of repetitive DNA that eluded the Human Genome Project.

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