Featured Journal Content
Volume 569 Issue 7755, 9 May 2019
Comment | 08 May 2019
Reboot ethics governance in China
The shocking announcement of genetically modified babies creates an opportunity to overhaul the nation’s science, argue Ruipeng Lei and colleagues.
Ruipeng Lei, Xiaomei Zhai[…] & Renzong Qiu
… China’s scientists and regulators have been going through a period of soul-searching. We, our colleagues and our government agencies, such as the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Health Commission, have reflected on what the incident says about the culture and regulation of research in China. We’ve also thought about what long-term strategies need to be put in place to strengthen the nation’s governance of science and ethics.
In our view, China is at a crossroads. The government must make substantial changes to protect others from the potential effects of reckless human experimentation. Measures range from closer monitoring of the nation’s hundreds of clinics offering in vitro fertilization (IVF), to incorporating bioethics into education at all levels…
Article | 08 May 2019
Mapping the world’s free-flowing rivers
A comprehensive assessment of the world’s rivers and their connectivity shows that only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length.
G. Grill, B. Lehner[…] & C. Zarfl
Free-flowing rivers (FFRs) support diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystems globally, providing important societal and economic services. Infrastructure development threatens the ecosystem processes, biodiversity and services that these rivers support. Here we assess the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers globally and identify those that remain free-flowing in their entire length. Only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length and 23 per cent flow uninterrupted to the ocean. Very long FFRs are largely restricted to remote regions of the Arctic and of the Amazon and Congo basins. In densely populated areas only few very long rivers remain free-flowing, such as the Irrawaddy and Salween. Dams and reservoirs and their up- and downstream propagation of fragmentation and flow regulation are the leading contributors to the loss of river connectivity. By applying a new method to quantify riverine connectivity and map FFRs, we provide a foundation for concerted global and national strategies to maintain or restore them.