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Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2041-1723
Published by NPG [123 journals]
- Salt marsh vegetation promotes efficient tidal channel networks
Abstract: Tidal channel networks mediate the exchange of water, nutrients, sediment and biota between an estuary and marshes. Here, the authors show that the presence of vegetation on the marsh platform contributes to the formation of an efficient channel network.
- Electron spin control of optically levitated nanodiamonds in vacuum
Abstract: Hybrid systems coupling electron spins and optomechanical responses are of potential use in quantum information systems and sensing technology. Here, the authors demonstrate optical levitation of nanodiamonds and the control of their nitrogen vacancy spins in vacuum.
- Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant–fungus agricultural
Abstract: Attine ants, including the leaf-cutting ants, cultivate fungi as their sole source of food. Here, Nygaard et al . use whole genome and transcriptome sequences from seven ant species and their fungal cultivars to reconstruct the reciprocal genetic changes underlying the evolution of the ant-fungus mutualism.
- The feeder system of the Toba supervolcano from the slab to the shallow
Abstract: The Toba Caldera is the site of the largest Pleistocene eruption at 74,000 years ago, yet the magmatic plumbing system remains poorly understood. Here, Koulakov et al . present a new seismic tomography model highlighting a complex multilevel plumbing magmatic system under Toba.
- Population decline is linked to migration route in the Common Cuckoo
Abstract: Whether conditions experienced on long-distance migrations affect breeding populations is not clear. Here, the authors tracked migrating Common Cuckoos from the UK to Africa and show that route choices affect mortality during migration, and population decline in this nocturnally migrating bird.
- Dynamic anoxic ferruginous conditions during the end-Permian mass
extinction and recovery
Abstract: Oceanic anoxia is invoked for driving the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction, but the timing, distribution and chemical state are poorly understood. Here, the authors show that fluctuations of anoxic, non-sulfidic (ferruginous) conditions were important for the delayed biotic recovery in the Neo-Tethys.
- Direct detection of a single photon by humans
Abstract: The detection limit of human vision has remained unclear. Using a quantum light source capable of generating single-photon states of light, authors here report that humans can perceive a single photon incidence on the eye with a probability above chance.
- Regulation of post-Golgi LH3 trafficking is essential for collagen
Abstract: Lysine hydroxylation of procollagen precursors by LH3 is required for collagen fibril crosslinking and stabilization. Here the authors show that the trafficking protein VIPAR is required for correct sorting of LH3 into post-Golgi collagen carriers and for correct collagen modification and structure.
- SIRT7 is a histone desuccinylase that functionally links to chromatin
compaction and genome stability
Abstract: SIRT7 is a member of sirtuin family proteins that are described as NAD + -dependent class III histone deacetylases. Here, the authors show that SIRT7 is histone desuccinylase catalysing H3K122 desuccinylation, thereby promoting chromatin condensation and repair of DNA double strand breaks.
- Optimal myelin elongation relies on YAP activation by axonal growth and
inhibition by Crb3/Hippo pathway
Abstract: Molecular mechanisms regulating optimal myelin geometry are only partially understood. Here authors show that peripheral myelin growth is orchestrated by the Crb3/Hippo/YAP pathway, and that defects in YAP activation may underlie peripheral neuropathies caused by shorter myelin.
- Optical control of endogenous receptors and cellular excitability using
targeted covalent photoswitches
Abstract: Biological activity can be photoswitched by light-regulated drugs, but so far only diffusible ligands have been shown to work on endogenous receptors. Here the authors develop targeted covalent photoswitches that couple to a protein target by ligand affinity, and demonstrate photocontrol of GluK1-expressing neurons.
- Catalytic transformation of dinitrogen into ammonia and hydrazine by
iron-dinitrogen complexes bearing pincer ligand
Abstract: Converting dinitrogen into other nitrogen compounds such as ammonia is a difficult task, especially under mild conditions. Here, the authors report a molecular iron complex capable of reducing dinitrogen to both ammonia and hydrazine in a catalytic process.
- Crystal structure of mammalian acid sphingomyelinase
Abstract: Mutations in acid sphingomyelinase result in toxic accumulation of sphingomyelin and cause Niemann-Pick disease. Here, the authors report structures of mammalian acid sphingomyelinase, which reveal details of the molecular mechanism of acid sphingomyelinase function and regulation.
- Zero-bias photocurrent in ferromagnetic topological insulator
Abstract: By magnetic-doping, the electronic band structure of a topological insulator can be significantly altered to yield functional behaviour. Here, the authors demonstrate a large photocurrent response, and its control, under zero-bias in an optimally-designed magnetically-doped topological insulator thin film.
- Photocatalytic oxidation of methane over silver decorated zinc oxide
Abstract: The search for active catalysts that oxidize methane under ambient conditions is a challenging task. Here, the authors report a nanoscale zinc oxide catalyst that efficiently oxidizes methane under simulated sunlight, with surface plasmon enhanced photo-activity owing to integrated silver nanoparticles.
- High-speed ultrasound imaging in dense suspensions reveals
impact-activated solidification due to dynamic shear jamming
Abstract: Suspensions of particles at high volume fractions are subject to discontinuous shear thickening or even turn into solid upon impact, yet the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Here, Han et al . follow the propagation of shear bands at jamming fronts in three dimensions and show no sign of densification.
- Iridates from the molecular side
Abstract: Iridates are known to exhibit a range of exotic electronic and magnetic behaviours but it is difficult to prepare isolated [IrO 6 ] 8− species via soft chemical routes. Here, the authors isolate the isoelectronic [IrF 6 ] 2− complex, and assess it as a model and for iridate analogues.
- Multiple capsid-stabilizing interactions revealed in a high-resolution
structure of an emerging picornavirus causing neonatal sepsis
Abstract: Human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3) can cause severe central nervous system infections and is a major cause of neonatal sepsis. Here the authors determine the structure of HPeV3 that provides a high-resolution view of the capsid’s organization and shows multiple interactions of the RNA genome with coat proteins.
- Human NK cell development requires CD56-mediated motility and formation of
the developmental synapse
Abstract: CD56, a splicing variant of NCAM, marks human NK cell differentiation stages. Here the authors show that developing human NK cells form CD56-enriched synapses with stromal cells, and CD56 is critical to promote motility of NK cells that increases with their maturation.
- Terahertz spectroscopy on Faraday and Kerr rotations in a quantum
anomalous Hall state
Abstract: Quantized magnetoelectric coupling, which induces exotic magneto-optical phenomena, awaits to be evidenced in topological insulators. Here, Okada et al . demonstrate Faraday and Kerr rotations of magnetic topological insulator surfaces in quantum anomalous Hall states by terahertz magneto-optics, indicating topological magnetoelectric effect.
- Molecular-scale dynamics of light-induced spin cross-over in a
Abstract: Spin crossover molecules may find applications in ultimately small magnetic devices, given the sensitivity of their spin-states to external stimuli. Here, the authors show a light-induced transition between two ordered dynamic phases in two-dimensional spin crossover layers on a metallic surface.
- Dynamic reconfiguration of the default mode network during narrative
Abstract: Default mode network (DMN) is strongly modulated by idiosyncratic internal processes, but its involvement in processing external stimuli is unclear. Here, Simony and colleagues use an inter-subject functional correlation approach to extract DMN states that track stimulus features and behaviour.
- Shape-shifting colloids via stimulated dewetting
Abstract: Mimicking the intrinsic adaptability of biological systems in synthetic materials has been a challenge. Here, Sacanna and co-workers have used dewetting forces between an oil phase and solid colloidal substrate to facilitate shape shifting particles that can change geometry by chemical and optical signals.
- Reversible switching between pressure-induced amorphization and
thermal-driven recrystallization in VO2(B) nanosheets
Abstract: Pressure can either make materials more disordered, like amorphization, or more thermodynamic stable, yet the switching between the two metastable phases has not been described. Wang et al . study it in vanadium oxide nanosheets and highlight the role played by spin and charge during the transition.
- The methyltransferase Suv39h1 links the SUMO pathway to HP1α marking
at pericentric heterochromatin
Abstract: The Suv39h histone methyltransferases promote trimethylation of histone H3 on lysine 9 (H3K9me3). Here, in the Suv39h1 paralog, the authors identify an enhancer of HP1a sumoylation activity that impacts heterochromatin.
- A transgenic approach for controlling Lygus in cotton
Abstract: Plant-feeding insects of the Lygus genus have emerged as a major pest effecting cotton crops in the USA. Here the authors optimize the insecticidal activity of a Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein and produce transgenic plants that are resistant to feeding damage by Lygus species.
- Erratum: Pathological lymphangiogenesis is modulated by
galectin-8-dependent crosstalk between podoplanin and integrin-associated
- Molecular signatures of neural connectivity in the olfactory cortex
Abstract: The piriform cortex projects to multiple brain regions involved in diverse aspects of olfactory behavior but information about the organization of these outputs is lacking. Here the authors show that piriform neurons exhibit layer specific gene expression patterns that also define distinct projection targets.
- High-resolution imaging and computational analysis of haematopoietic cell
dynamics in vivo
Abstract: It is difficult to image haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) in their niche. Here, the authors present a new high-throughput computational approach to visualise HSCs in vivo at a high spatial and temporal resolution and also use a Msi2-reporter to label endogenous HSCs and progenitors, enabling cell tracking
- Room temperature manipulation of long lifetime spins in metallic-like
Abstract: Electronic decoherence due to spin-orbit and magnetic interactions limits the application of spintronic nanosystems in quantum information processing. Here, the authors report notably long spin-lattice and spin-spin relaxation times of 175 ns at room temperature in carbon nanospheres.
- Deletion of Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein triggers Rac2 activity
and increased cross-presentation by dendritic cells
Abstract: Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a severe X-linked primary immunodeficiency syndrome. Here, the authors show that loss of WAS gene in dendritic cells results in increased activity of Rac2, increase of phagosomal pH, and more efficient cross-presentation.
- Observation of exceptional points in reconfigurable non-Hermitian
vector-field holographic lattices
Abstract: Non-Hermitian Hamiltonians have attracted significant attention because of the unconventional wave-dynamic effects they allow. Here, Hahn et al . report reconfigurable non-Hermitian photonic lattices that permit versatile control of real and imaginary sub-lattices in the optical spectral domain.
- Genome-wide association study identifies novel susceptibility loci for
cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
Abstract: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. In this genome-wide association study, which includes over 7,000 cases, the authors identify 4 new susceptibility loci for this cancer and also provide independent replication of 9 previously reported susceptibility loci.
- Corrigendum: Selectively enhanced photocurrent generation in twisted
bilayer graphene with van Hove singularity
- Accurate spike estimation from noisy calcium signals for ultrafast
three-dimensional imaging of large neuronal populations in vivo
Abstract: Two-photon laser scanning microscopy allows functional calcium imaging of large neuronal populations in vivo , but the recorded signals typically suffer from low signal to noise. Here the authors develop an algorithm, MLspike, which estimates action potentials from noisy calcium signals, and benchmark it against existing methods.
- The anti-sigma factor RsrA responds to oxidative stress by reburying its
Abstract: Counteracting oxidative stress is essential in all organisms. Here, the authors outline a mechanism used by actinomycete bacteria in which oxidation of zinc-binding RsrA blocks its interaction with σ R by sequestering hydrophobic residues used to bind σ R within its own core.
- LRRK2 regulates retrograde synaptic compensation at the Drosophila
Abstract: Mutations in the protein LRRK2 have been associated with Parkinson's disease but little is still known about the basic functions of the protein in the brain. Here the authors show that in fruit flies, LRRK2 regulates retrograde homeostatic synaptic compensation at the larval neuromuscular junction.
- Dome-shaped magnetic order competing with high-temperature
superconductivity at high pressures in FeSe
Abstract: The relationship between electronic ordering and superconductivity, crucial to understand high- T c superconductors, remains elusive. Here, Sun et al . report the pressure-induced dome shape of a magnetic phase superceding the nematic order in FeSe, suggesting competing nature between magnetism and superconductivity.
- Magnetic ground state of FeSe
Abstract: Different ground states of high-temperature superconductors reveal complex nature of magnetism. Here, Wang et al . report stripe and Néel spin fluctuations coexisting with non-magnetic nematic phase in FeSe, providing a viewpoint towards understanding the magnetism of cuprate and iron-based superconductors.
- Collapsed polymer-directed synthesis of multicomponent coaxial-like
Abstract: Multicomponent colloidal nanostructures have topologically dependent chemical and physical properties, but are difficult to synthesise with high order complexity. Here, Nie and co-workers show a general and scalable route to synthesise such structures with unique coaxial-like construction.
- Corrigendum: Endothelin-1 supports clonal derivation and expansion of
cardiovascular progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells
- Glycolytic regulation of cell rearrangement in angiogenesis
Abstract: Glycolytic regulator PFKFB3 is a key player in vessel sprouting. Here the authors develop a computational model predicting that PFKFB3 drives endothelial cell rearrangement during vessel sprouting by promoting filopodia formation and reducing intercellular adhesion, and empirically validate this prediction.
- SREBP1c-CRY1 signalling represses hepatic glucose production by promoting
FOXO1 degradation during refeeding
Abstract: The clock protein Cry regulates hepatic glucose metabolism. Here the authors show that SREBP1c, activated by insulin signalling after feeding, directly regulates Cry transcription at specific circadian time points, and that Cry represses hepatic glucose production by promoting proteasomal degradation of Foxo1.
- Probing the electrical switching of a memristive optical antenna by STEM
Abstract: Scaling of photonic devices requires materials with sufficiently strong elecro-optic effects. Here, Schoen et al. demonstrate and analyze single electrically induced switching events that can operate in the visible with a small active volume using electron energy loss in a scanning transmission electron microscope.
- Opposite monosynaptic scaling of BLP–vCA1 inputs governs
hopefulness- and helplessness-modulated spatial learning and memory
Abstract: How emotions affect memory is an open question. Here the authors establish learnt hopeful and learnt helpless mouse models, and find that posterior basolateral amygdala to ventral hippocampal CA1 monosynaptic glutamatergic inputs link emotions to spatial memory performance.
- Edge phonons in black phosphorus
Abstract: Black phosphorus is an allotrope of phosphorous that, like graphite, can be exfoliated to create two-dimensional materials. Here, the authors use Raman spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations to investigate the anomalous behaviour of phonons near different black phosphorus edges.
- Direct TEM observations of growth mechanisms of two-dimensional MoS2
Abstract: MoS 2 nanostructures are potentially useful in electronic applications. Here, Fei et al. show using in situ electron microscopy that MoS 2 grows in a vertical manner at low temperature, then rotates to horizontal structures, and finally develops in size by merging adjacent flakes at high temperature.
- Structural basis of transcobalamin recognition by human CD320 receptor
Abstract: Cellular uptake of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) requires the binding of holo-transcobalamin (TC) from plasma by CD320. Here, the authors report the structure of a complex between CD320 and TC loaded with cyanocobalamin, alongside additional functional analysis.
- TRPC5 channels participate in pressure-sensing in aortic baroreceptors
Abstract: The identity of mechanosensors within aortic baroreceptors that sense fluctuations in blood pressure is unclear. Here, Lau et al. show that a cation channel TRPC5 acts as a transducer of mechanical stimuli in aortic baroreceptor neurons in rodents.
- Photo-induced enhanced Raman spectroscopy for universal ultra-trace
detection of explosives, pollutants and biomolecules
Abstract: Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy is a sensitive technique capable of detecting single molecules via their vibrational fingerprints. Here, the authors demonstrate improved sensitivity with photo-induced enhanced Raman spectroscopy applied to trace-level detection of explosives and other analytes.
- Critical role of RanBP2-mediated SUMOylation of Small Heterodimer Partner
in maintaining bile acid homeostasis
Abstract: As signalling molecules, bile acids (BAs) can affect metabolism, but due to detergent-like properties, BA levels must be tightly regulated. Here, Kim et al. show that RanBP2, a nucleoporin, maintains BA homoeostasis through SUMOylation of Small Heterodimer Partner (SHP), an orphan nuclear receptor.
- Structure of the initiation-competent RNA polymerase I and its implication
Abstract: Eukaryotic RNA polymerase I (Pol I) is responsible for the transcription of rRNA genes. Here the authors determine the cryo-EM structure of the Pol I-Rrn3 complex, providing insight into how Rrn3 stabilizes the monomeric initiation competent Pol I to drive pre-initiation complex formation.
- Septin 9 induces lipid droplets growth by a
phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate and microtubule-dependent mechanism
hijacked by HCV
Abstract: The accumulation of lipid droplets is often observed in hepatitis C virus infection, but the mechanism of their formation is not known. Here the authors show that septin 9 expression is increased in infected livers, and a septin 9/phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate signalling pathway regulates the growth of lipid droplets.
- Structural and functional insights into IZUMO1 recognition by JUNO in
Abstract: Sperm-egg fusion requires the interaction between IZUMO1 on the sperm and JUNO on the egg. Here, the authors report the crystal structure of mouse JUNO, and use it to explain its lack of binding to folate, along with in vivo functional analyses.
- Challenges in identifying cancer genes by analysis of exome sequencing
Abstract: Next generation sequencing has been pivotal in identifying somatic mutations in cancer samples. In this study, the authors analyse whole exome sequencing data using a variety of bioinformatic methods to identify mutations in known cancer genes and find that many cancer genes are not detected by these methods.
- Atomically resolved three-dimensional structures of electrolyte aqueous
solutions near a solid surface
Abstract: Liquids near a solid surface form an interfacial layer where the molecular structure is different from the bulk. Here the authors report atomic resolution three-dimensional images of electrolyte solutions that demonstrate the existence of three types of interfacial structures as a function of concentration.
- Photo-thermionic effect in vertical graphene heterostructures
Abstract: The detection of low-energy photons may be enabled by devices that make use of the excess thermal energy from photoexcited carriers as a result of light absorption. Here the authors demonstrate a vertical graphene-WSe 2 -graphene heterostructure that takes advantage of the photo-thermionic effect.
- The ER membrane-anchored ubiquitin ligase Hrd1 is a positive regulator of
Abstract: Hrd1 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in ER-associated degradation and MHC I turnover. Here the authors use T-cell-specific ko mice and a mouse model of multiple sclerosis to show that Hrd1 also drives pro-inflammatory T helper cell responses and contributes to pathogenesis of autoimmune disease.
- Identification of an ATP-controlled allosteric switch that controls actin
filament nucleation by Arp2/3 complex
Abstract: Arp2/3 complex nucleates branched actin filaments, and is inactive in the absense of activators. Here the authors present a model of Arp2/3 autoinhibition, whereby the Arp3 C-terminal tail acts as a structural switch that blocks movement of Arp2 and Arp3 into an activated filament-like conformation.
- The crucial effect of early-stage gelation on the mechanical properties of
Abstract: The origins of the unique properties of cement are poorly understood. Using simulations the authors show that the early formation of a soft nano-particle gel, followed by slow densification, plays a crucial role in giving cement its unique mechanical properties.
- Sphingosine-1-phosphate promotes erythrocyte glycolysis and oxygen release
for adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia
Abstract: The presence of the signalling lipid Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) in erythrocytes has unclear physiological implications. Here the authors show that the S1P-generating enzyme Sphingosine kinase type 1 and its product S1P play an important role in the red blood cell adaptation to hypoxic environments in mice and humans.
- The F-BAR protein pacsin2 inhibits asymmetric VE-cadherin internalization
from tensile adherens junctions
Abstract: Cell-cell adhesion of endothelial tissue, mediated by the adhesion molecule VE-cadherin, is tightly regulated. Here the authors show that the F-BAR domain protein pacsin2 is recruited to the trailing end of mechanically unbalanced Focal Adherens Junctions, where it inhibits internalization of VE-cadherin and protects cell-cell adhesion.
- Regulation of PERK–eIF2α signalling by tuberous sclerosis
complex-1 controls homoeostasis and survival of myelinating
Abstract: The molecular mechanisms regulating myelination are only partially understood. Here authors show that Tsc1 ablation in oligodendrocyte lineage activates ER stress and apoptotic programs in mice, and that enhancing PERK-eIF2α signalling partially rescues the myelination defects in Tsc1 mutants.
- RNA polymerase I–Rrn3 complex at 4.8 Å resolution
Abstract: RNA polymerase I is the central enzyme that synthesizes ribosomal RNA in eukaryotic cells, and its regulation underlies cell growth. Here the authors present a high-resolution cryo-EM structure of the Pol I-Rrn3 complex that explains how Rrn3 specifically recognizes Pol I to form an initiation competent complex.
- Mass spectrometry locates local and allosteric conformational changes that
occur on cofactor binding
Abstract: The decarboxylate enzyme Fdc1 requires a prenylated flavin mononucleotide co-factor for activity. Here, the authors use a variety of mass spectrometric techniques to observe the structural changes in this protein in response to co-factor binding.
- RNA editing generates cellular subsets with diverse sequence within
Abstract: RNA editing rate detected from bulk RNA-seq data can vary widely. Here, by constructing a hierarchical Bayesian model, the authors report substantial variance in editing signatures detected by RNA-seq data from both single cells and a cognate bulk sample.
- Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals
active site elements that control stereoselectivity
Abstract: The stereochemistry of the plant heteroyohimbine alkaloids is a key factor determining their diverse biological activities. Here, the authors carry out structural, localization and genetic experiments to understand the mechanism of stereoselectivity for three heteroyohimbine synthases and to identify their function in vivo .
- Determining solar effects in Neptune’s atmosphere
Abstract: The causes behind fluctuations in Neptune's brightness as observed from Earth have proved enigmatic. Here, Aplin and Harrison use photometric observations to show that solar ultraviolet radiation and galactic cosmic rays combined are responsible for the fluctuations originating in Neptune’s atmosphere.