What works in education

This graphic represents some of the evidence for effective techniques in education. The Education Endowment Foundation, a non-profit group in London, has synthesized evidence from studies of 30 educational approaches and converted the results into a toolkit for use by headteachers and other educators. Some countries are drawing on this type of evidence in efforts to help children catch up after COVID-19 school closures, as our feature reports.

Source: EEF

The hunt for new physics

The world’s most powerful machine for smashing high-energy particles together has fired up after a shutdown of more than three years. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Europe’s particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, is equipped with innovative ways to search for new physics. These should give more precision to measurements of known particles, such as the Higgs boson. But, as this graphic explains, physicists also want to know whether a host of odd recent results are genuine anomalies, which might help to fill some gaps in understanding about the Universe.

Hints of new physics: graphic that shows which physics anomalies the LHC will be focussing on during its next run.

Nik Spencer/Nature; Source: CERN

Clues to a fish-fossil mystery

Fossils of Palaeospondylus gunni have puzzled palaeontologists for more than a century. A fish-like animal no more than a few centimetres long, its strange skeleton and lack of scales, teeth and paired fins have made it hard to determine what sort of creature it was. A paper in Nature might help to solve the riddle, with high-resolution imaging of Palaeospondylus skeletons.

The authors suggest that the creatures are bony fishes called sarcopterygians (lobe-finned fishes). Sarcopterygians diversified during the Devonian period, and they include living examples such as the coelacanths and lungfishes. Sarcopterygians also gave rise to the tetrapodomorph fishes, the forerunners of the tetrapods (four-limbed land vertebrates that include Ichthyostega and ourselves). The team suggests that Palaeospondylus is a larval form of a tetrapodomorph, so it has a different form from that of the adult.

Figure 1

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