Movable solar panels could substantially improve buildings’ energy efficiency, AI poker bot is first to beat the pros at six-player Texas hold’em and the seven best books about the Apollo Moon landings.

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Poker players around a table in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

An artificial intelligence (AI) system called Pluribus has beaten top human professionals at six-player no-limit Texas hold’em poker, the most popular variant of the game. It is the first time that an AI program has won against elite human players at a game with more than two players.

Nature | 4 min read

Reference: Science paper

Construction of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is set to resume in Hawaii next week after a four-year delay. The project has faced legal challenges and protests over its site on Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians that is already home to 13 astronomical observatories.

Nature | 3 min read

A ‘smart’ building facade equipped with movable solar panels could substantially improve buildings’ energy efficiency. A prototype that automatically adjusted the panel orientation to optimize electricity generation, passive heating, shading and daylight penetration generated up to 50% more energy than a static system.

Nature Research Highlights | 1 min read

Reference: Nature Energy paper

Get more of Nature’s Research Highlights: short picks from the latest papers.



After experiencing anxiety during her PhD, occupational therapist Sarah Masefield discovered how helpful a vibrant and supportive postgraduate research community can be. She explains how PhD students’ knowledge can and should be harnessed to help others who are beginning their postgraduate journey.

Nature | 5 min read

On this week’s Nature Podcast, planetary-science reporter Alex Witze explores the latest US plans to land people on the Moon by 2024, the history of the Apollo missions and what’s next for lunar exploration.

Nature Podcast | 13 min listen

Subscribe to the Nature Podcast on iTunes or Google Podcasts.


From delightfully nerdy histories of engineering to surveys of social issues back on Earth, Alexandra Witze savours seven books commemorating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landings.

Nature | 6 min read

Barbara Kiser’s pick of the top five science books to read this week includes America’s first rocket man, the rise of cryptocurrencies, and artificial intelligence reconsidered.

Nature | 3 min read


Indian residents get water from a community well in Chennai after reservoirs for the city ran dry

Residents in the drought-struck city of Chennai in India draw water from a community well. A delayed monsoon in June saw the country’s sixth-largest city struggle through a water crisis, with reservoirs drying up and residents queuing for hours to get water from government tankers.

See more of the most spectacular images of the month, as selected by Nature’s photo team.

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Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing

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