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Journal Cover Nature
  [SJR: 21.936]   [H-I: 948]   [3985 followers]  Follow
    
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 0028-0836 - ISSN (Online) 1476-4687
   Published by NPG Homepage  [135 journals]
  • Role of stem-cell divisions in cancer risk
    • Authors: Cristian Tomasetti, Rick Durrett, Marek Kimmel, Amaury Lambert, Giovanni Parmigiani, Ann Zauber, Bert Vogelstein
      Abstract: arising from S.Wu, S.Powers, W.Zhu & Y. A.HannunNature529, 43–47 (2016); doi:10.1038/nature16166We recently reported a strong correlation between the incidence of cancers and the number of stem-cell divisions in
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23302
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Wu et al. reply
    • Authors: Song Wu, Wei Zhu, Yusuf A. Hannun
      Abstract: replying to C.Tomasettiet al. Nature548, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature23302 (2017)In the accompanying Comment, Tomasetti et al. consider the tumorigenic effects of both ‘random mutations’ (intrinsic) arising during DNA replication, as well as mutations that occur owing to
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23303
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • SI units need reform to avoid confusion
    • Pages: 135 - 135
      Abstract: A flaw in the system leaves physicists grappling with dimensionless units.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-07
      DOI: 10.1038/548135b
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Drug approval needs a helping hand
    • Pages: 135 - 135
      Abstract: It’s time for researchers to lend their expertise to expediting the arrival of cutting-edge therapies that are waiting in the wings.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-04
      DOI: 10.1038/548135a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Commit to talks on patient data and public health
    • Authors: Vivienne Parry
      Pages: 137 - 137
      Abstract: Gene-edited embryos are exciting, but the truly urgent conversations concern genomic medicine, says Vivienne Parry.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-08
      DOI: 10.1038/548137a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Telescope protest, GM salmon and a giant 'dead zone'
    • Pages: 140 - 141
      Abstract: The week in science: 4–10 August 2017.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548140a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Cosmic map reveals a not-so-lumpy Universe
    • Authors: Davide Castelvecchi
      Pages: 143 - 144
      Abstract: Odd results could still be consistent with the ‘standard model’ of cosmology.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-03
      DOI: 10.1038/nature.2017.22413
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Home-grown scientists step up to save Africa’s primates
    • Authors: Declan Butler
      Pages: 144 - 145
      Abstract: Scientific network aims to train a generation of African leaders in primate research.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-08
      DOI: 10.1038/548144a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Insomnia linked to premature birth in study of 3 million mothers
    • Authors: Amy Maxmen
      Pages: 145 - 145
      Abstract: Women with sleep disorders were about twice as likely to deliver babies more than six weeks early.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-08
      DOI: 10.1038/nature.2017.22419
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Mysteries of Sun's corona on view during upcoming eclipse
    • Authors: Alexandra Witze
      Pages: 146 - 147
      Abstract: From ground, sky and space, researchers are ready to test latest technologies on the Great American Eclipse.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548146a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Citizen scientists chase total solar eclipse
    • Authors: Rachael Lallensack
      Pages: 147 - 147
      Abstract: Non-scientists are being recruited to collect data on everything from the Sun’s outer atmosphere to animal behaviour.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature.2017.22415
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • First genetically engineered salmon sold in Canada
    • Authors: Emily Waltz
      Pages: 148 - 148
      Abstract: US firm AquaBounty Technologies says that its transgenic fish has hit the market after a 25-year wait.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-04
      DOI: 10.1038/nature.2017.22116
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Shake up conferences
    • Authors: Shai D. Silberberg, Devon C. Crawford, Robert Finkelstein, Walter J. Koroshetz, Robert D. Blank, Hudson H. Freeze, Howard H. Garrison, Yvette R. Seger
      Pages: 153 - 154
      Abstract: Emojis, smartphone technologies and revamped guidelines would boost transparency at scientific meetings, say Shai D. Silberberg and colleagues.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548153a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Evolution: Parallel lives
    • Authors: Kevin Padian
      Pages: 156 - 157
      Abstract: Kevin Padian hails a stunning, provocative book probing evolutionary mechanisms.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548156a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Books in brief
    • Authors: Barbara Kiser
      Pages: 157 - 157
      Abstract: Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548157a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Palaeobiology: Ensure equal access to ancient DNA
    • Authors: Cheryl Makarewicz, Nimrod Marom, Guy Bar-Oz
      Pages: 158 - 158
      Abstract: Research on ancient DNA relies on the availability of rare bone specimens from archaeological excavations. We consider that access to and research on these specimens should be more ethical and stringently regulated.DNA is exceptionally well preserved in the petrous bone of the inner ear
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548158a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Blockchains: Crypto-control your own energy supply
    • Authors: Merlinda Andoni, Valentin Robu, David Flynn
      Pages: 158 - 158
      Abstract: Blockchains — open distributed ledgers of transactions — are emerging as an important technology for tackling community energy issues and the integration of renewable energy (see also G.ChapronNature545, 403–405;10.1038/545403a2017).Consumers are increasingly generating their
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548158b
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Medical research: Next decade's goals for rare diseases
    • Authors: Christopher P. Austin, Hugh J. S. Dawkins
      Pages: 158 - 158
      Abstract: The International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) has in the past six years achieved its ambitious goals for 2020 — three years ahead of schedule (see Nature472, 17;10.1038/472017a2011). The consortium has now forged a further set of goals for
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548158c
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Taxonomy: stable taxon boundaries
    • Authors: Norbert Holstein, Federico Luebert
      Pages: 158 - 158
      Abstract: Stephen Garnett and Les Christidis argue for more governance in taxonomy to make species boundaries more stable (Nature546, 25–27;10.1038/546025a2017). There may be a better way to impose stability.Taxonomy seeks natural groups by using different proxies,
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548158d
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Correction
    • Pages: 158 - 158
      Abstract: The Correspondence by E. Kowal et al. (Nature546, 474;10.1038/546474a2017) wrongly located the University of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh instead of Philadelphia.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548158e
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Evolution: Skull secrets of an ancient ape
    • Authors: Brenda R. Benefit
      Pages: 160 - 161
      Abstract: Fossil evidence is scarce for early stages of evolution in the ape family tree at the time before apes and the ancestors of humans diverged. A 13-million-year-old skull now offers insights into ape development at that time. See Article p.169
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548160a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Applied physics: Optical sensing gets exceptional
    • Authors: Mikael C. Rechtsman
      Pages: 161 - 162
      Abstract: Conventional sensors based on devices called optical resonators have fundamentally limited sensitivity. Careful engineering has been used to overcome this constraint, opening the door to ultraprecise sensing. See Letters p.187 & p.192
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548161a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Therapeutics: Click and discover
    • Authors: George S. Vassiliou, Shankar Balasubramanian
      Pages: 162 - 164
      Abstract: Details of the activity of promising anticancer drugs known as BET inhibitors remain elusive. An approach called click chemistry enables in-depth analysis of how these drugs modulate the function of a crucial target protein, BRD4.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548162a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Environmental science: Trends in ecosystem recovery from drought
    • Authors: Sonia I. Seneviratne, Philippe Ciais
      Pages: 164 - 165
      Abstract: An analysis suggests that the time taken for ecosystems to recover from drought increased during the twentieth century. If the frequency of drought events rises, some ecosystems might never have the chance to fully recover. See Letter p.202
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548164a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Stem cells: The cost of perpetual youth
    • Authors: Thomas P. Zwaka
      Pages: 165 - 166
      Abstract: The ability to become nearly any cell type is restricted to eggs, sperm and primitive stem cells in very early embryos. Two studies reveal that maintaining this pluripotent state in vitro comes at a cost. See Letters p.219 & p.224
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-26
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23102
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Ecology: Contests between species aid biodiversity
    • Authors: James P. O'Dwyer
      Pages: 166 - 167
      Abstract: A modelling approach used to investigate competition between different species provides insight into how contests that have multiple players can help to maintain biodiversity. See Letter p.210
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-26
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23103
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution
    • Authors: Isaiah Nengo, Paul Tafforeau, Christopher C. Gilbert, John G. Fleagle, Ellen R. Miller, Craig Feibel, David L. Fox, Josh Feinberg, Kelsey D. Pugh, Camille Berruyer, Sara Mana, Zachary Engle, Fred Spoor
      Pages: 169 - 174
      Abstract: The evolutionary history of extant hominoids (humans and apes) remains poorly understood. The African fossil record during the crucial time period, the Miocene epoch, largely comprises isolated jaws and teeth, and little is known about ape cranial evolution. Here we report on the, to our
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23456
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • The complete connectome of a learning and memory centre in an insect brain
    • Authors: Katharina Eichler, Feng Li, Ashok Litwin-Kumar, Youngser Park, Ingrid Andrade, Casey M. Schneider-Mizell, Timo Saumweber, Annina Huser, Claire Eschbach, Bertram Gerber, Richard D. Fetter, James W. Truman, Carey E. Priebe, L. F. Abbott, Andreas S. Thum, Marta Zlatic, Albert Cardona
      Pages: 175 - 182
      Abstract: Associating stimuli with positive or negative reinforcement is essential for survival, but a complete wiring diagram of a higher-order circuit supporting associative memory has not been previously available. Here we reconstruct one such circuit at synaptic resolution, the Drosophila larval mushroom body. We find
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23455
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • No large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets
    • Authors: Przemek Mróz, Andrzej Udalski, Jan Skowron, Radosław Poleski, Szymon Kozłowski, Michał K. Szymański, Igor Soszyński, Łukasz Wyrzykowski, Paweł Pietrukowicz, Krzysztof Ulaczyk, Dorota Skowron, Michał Pawlak
      Pages: 183 - 186
      Abstract: Planet formation theories predict that some planets may be ejected from their parent systems as result of dynamical interactions and other processes. Unbound planets can also be formed through gravitational collapse, in a way similar to that in which stars form. A handful of free-floating planetary-mass objects have been discovered by infrared surveys of young stellar clusters and star-forming regions as well as wide-field surveys, but these studies are incomplete for objects below five Jupiter masses. Gravitational microlensing is the only method capable of exploring the entire population of free-floating planets down to Mars-mass objects, because the microlensing signal does not depend on the brightness of the lensing object. A characteristic timescale of microlensing events depends on the mass of the lens: the less massive the lens, the shorter the microlensing event. A previous analysis of 474 microlensing events found an excess of ten very short events (1–2 days)—more than known stellar populations would suggest—indicating the existence of a large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets (reported to be almost twice as common as main-sequence stars). These results, however, do not match predictions of planet-formation theories and surveys of young clusters. Here we analyse a sample of microlensing events six times larger than that of ref. 11 discovered during the years 2010–15. Although our survey has very high sensitivity (detection efficiency) to short-timescale (1–2 days) microlensing events, we found no excess of events with timescales in this range, with a 95 per cent upper limit on the frequency of Jupiter-mass free-floating or wide-orbit planets of 0.25 planets per main-sequence star. We detected a few possible ultrashort-timescale events (with timescales of less than half a day), which may indicate the existence of Earth-mass and super-Earth-mass free-floating planets, as predicted by planet-formation theories.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-24
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23276
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Enhanced sensitivity at higher-order exceptional points
    • Authors: Hossein Hodaei, Absar U. Hassan, Steffen Wittek, Hipolito Garcia-Gracia, Ramy El-Ganainy, Demetrios N. Christodoulides, Mercedeh Khajavikhan
      Pages: 187 - 191
      Abstract: Non-Hermitian degeneracies, also known as exceptional points, have recently emerged as a new way to engineer the response of open physical systems, that is, those that interact with the environment. They correspond to points in parameter space at which the eigenvalues of the underlying system and the corresponding eigenvectors simultaneously coalesce. In optics, the abrupt nature of the phase transitions that are encountered around exceptional points has been shown to lead to many intriguing phenomena, such as loss-induced transparency, unidirectional invisibility, band merging, topological chirality and laser mode selectivity. Recently, it has been shown that the bifurcation properties of second-order non-Hermitian degeneracies can provide a means of enhancing the sensitivity (frequency shifts) of resonant optical structures to external perturbations. Of particular interest is the use of even higher-order exceptional points (greater than second order), which in principle could further amplify the effect of perturbations, leading to even greater sensitivity. Although a growing number of theoretical studies have been devoted to such higher-order degeneracies, their experimental demonstration in the optical domain has so far remained elusive. Here we report the observation of higher-order exceptional points in a coupled cavity arrangement—specifically, a ternary, parity–time-symmetric photonic laser molecule—with a carefully tailored gain–loss distribution. We study the system in the spectral domain and find that the frequency response associated with this system follows a cube-root dependence on induced perturbations in the refractive index. Our work paves the way for utilizing non-Hermitian degeneracies in fields including photonics, optomechanics, microwaves and atomic physics.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23280
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Exceptional points enhance sensing in an optical microcavity
    • Authors: Weijian Chen, Şahin Kaya Özdemir, Guangming Zhao, Jan Wiersig, Lan Yang
      Pages: 192 - 196
      Abstract: Sensors play an important part in many aspects of daily life such as infrared sensors in home security systems, particle sensors for environmental monitoring and motion sensors in mobile phones. High-quality optical microcavities are prime candidates for sensing applications because of their ability to enhance light–matter interactions in a very confined volume. Examples of such devices include mechanical transducers, magnetometers, single-particle absorption spectrometers, and microcavity sensors for sizing single particles and detecting nanometre-scale objects such as single nanoparticles and atomic ions. Traditionally, a very small perturbation near an optical microcavity introduces either a change in the linewidth or a frequency shift or splitting of a resonance that is proportional to the strength of the perturbation. Here we demonstrate an alternative sensing scheme, by which the sensitivity of microcavities can be enhanced when operated at non-Hermitian spectral degeneracies known as exceptional points. In our experiments, we use two nanoscale scatterers to tune a whispering-gallery-mode micro-toroid cavity, in which light propagates along a concave surface by continuous total internal reflection, in a precise and controlled manner to exceptional points. A target nanoscale object that subsequently enters the evanescent field of the cavity perturbs the system from its exceptional point, leading to frequency splitting. Owing to the complex-square-root topology near an exceptional point, this frequency splitting scales as the square root of the perturbation strength and is therefore larger (for sufficiently small perturbations) than the splitting observed in traditional non-exceptional-point sensing schemes. Our demonstration of exceptional-point-enhanced sensitivity paves the way for sensors with unprecedented sensitivity.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23281
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • High-temperature crystallization of nanocrystals into three-dimensional
           superlattices
    • Authors: Liheng Wu, Joshua J. Willis, Ian Salmon McKay, Benjamin T. Diroll, Jian Qin, Matteo Cargnello, Christopher J. Tassone
      Pages: 197 - 201
      Abstract: Crystallization of colloidal nanocrystals into superlattices represents a practical bottom-up process with which to create ordered metamaterials with emergent functionalities. With precise control over the size, shape and composition of individual nanocrystals, various single- and multi-component nanocrystal superlattices have been produced, the lattice structures and chemical compositions of which can be accurately engineered. Nanocrystal superlattices are typically prepared by carefully controlling the assembly process through solvent evaporation or destabilization or through DNA-guided crystallization. Slow solvent evaporation or cooling of nanocrystal solutions (over hours or days) is the key element for successful crystallization processes. Here we report the rapid growth (seconds) of micrometre-sized, face-centred-cubic, three-dimensional nanocrystal superlattices during colloidal synthesis at high temperatures (more than 230 degrees Celsius). Using in situ small-angle X-ray scattering, we observe continuous growth of individual nanocrystals within the lattices, which results in simultaneous lattice expansion and fine nanocrystal size control due to the superlattice templates. Thermodynamic models demonstrate that balanced attractive and repulsive interparticle interactions dictated by the ligand coverage on nanocrystal surfaces and nanocrystal core size are responsible for the crystallization process. The interparticle interactions can also be controlled to form different superlattice structures, such as hexagonal close-packed lattices. The rational assembly of various nanocrystal systems into novel materials is thus facilitated for both fundamental research and for practical applications in the fields of magnetics, electronics and catalysis.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-31
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23308
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Global patterns of drought recovery
    • Authors: Christopher R. Schwalm, William R. L. Anderegg, Anna M. Michalak, Joshua B. Fisher, Franco Biondi, George Koch, Marcy Litvak, Kiona Ogle, John D. Shaw, Adam Wolf, Deborah N. Huntzinger, Kevin Schaefer, Robert Cook, Yaxing Wei, Yuanyuan Fang, Daniel Hayes, Maoyi Huang, Atul Jain, Hanqin Tian
      Pages: 202 - 205
      Abstract: Drought, a recurring phenomenon with major impacts on both human and natural systems, is the most widespread climatic extreme that negatively affects the land carbon sink. Although twentieth-century trends in drought regimes are ambiguous, across many regions more frequent and severe droughts are expected in the twenty-first century. Recovery time—how long an ecosystem requires to revert to its pre-drought functional state—is a critical metric of drought impact. Yet the factors influencing drought recovery and its spatiotemporal patterns at the global scale are largely unknown. Here we analyse three independent datasets of gross primary productivity and show that, across diverse ecosystems, drought recovery times are strongly associated with climate and carbon cycle dynamics, with biodiversity and CO2 fertilization as secondary factors. Our analysis also provides two key insights into the spatiotemporal patterns of drought recovery time: first, that recovery is longest in the tropics and high northern latitudes (both vulnerable areas of Earth’s climate system) and second, that drought impacts (assessed using the area of ecosystems actively recovering and time to recovery) have increased over the twentieth century. If droughts become more frequent, as expected, the time between droughts may become shorter than drought recovery time, leading to permanently damaged ecosystems and widespread degradation of the land carbon sink.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23021
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Artificial light at night as a new threat to pollination
    • Authors: Eva Knop, Leana Zoller, Remo Ryser, Christopher Gerpe, Maurin Hörler, Colin Fontaine
      Pages: 206 - 209
      Abstract: Pollinators are declining worldwide and this has raised concerns for a parallel decline in the essential pollination service they provide to both crops and wild plants. Anthropogenic drivers linked to this decline include habitat changes, intensive agriculture, pesticides, invasive alien species, spread of pathogens and climate change. Recently, the rapid global increase in artificial light at night has been proposed to be a new threat to terrestrial ecosystems; the consequences of this increase for ecosystem function are mostly unknown. Here we show that artificial light at night disrupts nocturnal pollination networks and has negative consequences for plant reproductive success. In artificially illuminated plant–pollinator communities, nocturnal visits to plants were reduced by 62% compared to dark areas. Notably, this resulted in an overall 13% reduction in fruit set of a focal plant even though the plant also received numerous visits by diurnal pollinators. Furthermore, by merging diurnal and nocturnal pollination sub-networks, we show that the structure of these combined networks tends to facilitate the spread of the negative consequences of disrupted nocturnal pollination to daytime pollinator communities. Our findings demonstrate that artificial light at night is a threat to pollination and that the negative effects of artificial light at night on nocturnal pollination are predicted to propagate to the diurnal community, thereby aggravating the decline of the diurnal community. We provide perspectives on the functioning of plant–pollinator communities, showing that nocturnal pollinators are not redundant to diurnal communities and increasing our understanding of the human-induced decline in pollinators and their ecosystem service.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-02
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23288
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Higher-order interactions stabilize dynamics in competitive network models
    • Authors: Jacopo Grilli, György Barabás, Matthew J. Michalska-Smith, Stefano Allesina
      Pages: 210 - 213
      Abstract: Ecologists have long sought a way to explain how the remarkable biodiversity observed in nature is maintained. On the one hand, simple models of interacting competitors cannot produce the stable persistence of very large ecological communities. On the other hand, neutral models, in which species do not interact and diversity is maintained by immigration and speciation, yield unrealistically small fluctuations in population abundance, and a strong positive correlation between a species’ abundance and its age, contrary to empirical evidence. Models allowing for the robust persistence of large communities of interacting competitors are lacking. Here we show that very diverse communities could persist thanks to the stabilizing role of higher-order interactions, in which the presence of a species influences the interaction between other species. Although higher-order interactions have been studied for decades, their role in shaping ecological communities is still unclear. The inclusion of higher-order interactions in competitive network models stabilizes dynamics, making species coexistence robust to the perturbation of both population abundance and parameter values. We show that higher-order interactions have strong effects in models of closed ecological communities, as well as of open communities in which new species are constantly introduced. In our framework, higher-order interactions are completely defined by pairwise interactions, facilitating empirical parameterization and validation of our models.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-26
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23273
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans
    • Authors: Iosif Lazaridis, Alissa Mittnik, Nick Patterson, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Saskia Pfrengle, Anja Furtwängler, Alexander Peltzer, Cosimo Posth, Andonis Vasilakis, P. J. P. McGeorge, Eleni Konsolaki-Yannopoulou, George Korres, Holley Martlew, Manolis Michalodimitrakis, Mehmet Özsait, Nesrin Özsait, Anastasia Papathanasiou, Michael Richards, Songül Alpaslan Roodenberg, Yannis Tzedakis, Robert Arnott, Daniel M. Fernandes, Jeffery R. Hughey, Dimitra M. Lotakis, Patrick A. Navas, Yannis Maniatis, John A. Stamatoyannopoulos, Kristin Stewardson, Philipp Stockhammer, Ron Pinhasi, David Reich, Johannes Krause, George Stamatoyannopoulos
      Pages: 214 - 218
      Abstract: The origins of the Bronze Age Minoan and Mycenaean cultures have puzzled archaeologists for more than a century. We have assembled genome-wide data from 19 ancient individuals, including Minoans from Crete, Mycenaeans from mainland Greece, and their eastern neighbours from southwestern Anatolia. Here we show that Minoans and Mycenaeans were genetically similar, having at least three-quarters of their ancestry from the first Neolithic farmers of western Anatolia and the Aegean, and most of the remainder from ancient populations related to those of the Caucasus and Iran. However, the Mycenaeans differed from Minoans in deriving additional ancestry from an ultimate source related to the hunter–gatherers of eastern Europe and Siberia, introduced via a proximal source related to the inhabitants of either the Eurasian steppe or Armenia. Modern Greeks resemble the Mycenaeans, but with some additional dilution of the Early Neolithic ancestry. Our results support the idea of continuity but not isolation in the history of populations of the Aegean, before and after the time of its earliest civilizations.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-02
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23310
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Prolonged Mek1/2 suppression impairs the developmental potential of
           embryonic stem cells
    • Authors: Jiho Choi, Aaron J. Huebner, Kendell Clement, Ryan M. Walsh, Andrej Savol, Kaixuan Lin, Hongcang Gu, Bruno Di Stefano, Justin Brumbaugh, Sang-Yong Kim, Jafar Sharif, Christopher M. Rose, Arman Mohammad, Junko Odajima, Jean Charron, Toshi Shioda, Andreas Gnirke, Steven Gygi, Haruhiko Koseki, Ruslan I. Sadreyev, Andrew Xiao, Alexander Meissner, Konrad Hochedlinger
      Pages: 219 - 223
      Abstract: Concomitant activation of the Wnt pathway and suppression of Mapk signalling by two small molecule inhibitors (2i) in the presence of leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) (hereafter termed 2i/L) induces a naive state in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells that resembles the inner cell mass (ICM) of the pre-implantation embryo. Since the ICM exists only transiently in vivo, it remains unclear how sustained propagation of naive ES cells in vitro affects their stability and functionality. Here we show that prolonged culture of male mouse ES cells in 2i/L results in irreversible epigenetic and genomic changes that impair their developmental potential. Furthermore, we find that female ES cells cultured in conventional serum plus LIF medium phenocopy male ES cells cultured in 2i/L. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the inhibition of Mek1/2 is predominantly responsible for these effects, in part through the downregulation of DNA methyltransferases and their cofactors. Finally, we show that replacement of the Mek1/2 inhibitor with a Src inhibitor preserves the epigenetic and genomic integrity as well as the developmental potential of ES cells. Taken together, our data suggest that, although short-term suppression of Mek1/2 in ES cells helps to maintain an ICM-like epigenetic state, prolonged suppression results in irreversible changes that compromise their developmental potential.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-26
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23274
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Derivation of ground-state female ES cells maintaining gamete-derived DNA
           methylation
    • Authors: Masaki Yagi, Satoshi Kishigami, Akito Tanaka, Katsunori Semi, Eiji Mizutani, Sayaka Wakayama, Teruhiko Wakayama, Takuya Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Yamada
      Pages: 224 - 227
      Abstract: Inhibitors of Mek1/2 and Gsk3β, known as 2i, enhance the derivation of embryonic stem (ES) cells and promote ground-state pluripotency in rodents. Here we show that the derivation of female mouse ES cells in the presence of 2i and leukaemia inhibitory factor (2i/L ES cells) results in a widespread loss of DNA methylation, including a massive erasure of genomic imprints. Despite this global loss of DNA methylation, early-passage 2i/L ES cells efficiently differentiate into somatic cells, and this process requires genome-wide de novo DNA methylation. However, the majority of imprinting control regions (ICRs) remain unmethylated in 2i/L-ES-cell-derived differentiated cells. Consistently, 2i/L ES cells exhibit impaired autonomous embryonic and placental development by tetraploid embryo complementation or nuclear transplantation. We identified the derivation conditions of female ES cells that display 2i/L-ES-cell-like transcriptional signatures while preserving gamete-derived DNA methylation and autonomous developmental potential. Upon prolonged culture, however, female ES cells exhibited ICR demethylation regardless of culture conditions. Our results provide insights into the derivation of female ES cells reminiscent of the inner cell mass of preimplantation embryos.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-07-26
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23286
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Metabolic control of TH17 and induced Treg cell balance by an epigenetic
           mechanism
    • Authors: Tao Xu, Kelly M. Stewart, Xiaohu Wang, Kai Liu, Min Xie, Jae Kyu Ryu, Ke Li, Tianhua Ma, Haixia Wang, Lu Ni, Saiyong Zhu, Nan Cao, Dongwei Zhu, Yu Zhang, Katerina Akassoglou, Chen Dong, Edward M. Driggers, Sheng Ding
      Pages: 228 - 233
      Abstract: Metabolism has been shown to integrate with epigenetics and transcription to modulate cell fate and function. Beyond meeting the bioenergetic and biosynthetic demands of T-cell differentiation, whether metabolism might control T-cell fate by an epigenetic mechanism is unclear. Here, through the discovery and mechanistic characterization of a small molecule, (aminooxy)acetic acid, that reprograms the differentiation of T helper 17 (TH17) cells towards induced regulatory T (iTreg) cells, we show that increased transamination, mainly catalysed by GOT1, leads to increased levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate in differentiating TH17 cells. The accumulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate resulted in hypermethylation of the Foxp3 gene locus and inhibited Foxp3 transcription, which is essential for fate determination towards TH17 cells. Inhibition of the conversion of glutamate to α-ketoglutaric acid prevented the production of 2-hydroxyglutarate, reduced methylation of the Foxp3 gene locus, and increased Foxp3 expression. This consequently blocked the differentiation of TH17 cells by antagonizing the function of transcription factor RORγt and promoted polarization into iTreg cells. Selective inhibition of GOT1 with (aminooxy)acetic acid ameliorated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in a therapeutic mouse model by regulating the balance between TH17 and iTreg cells. Targeting a glutamate-dependent metabolic pathway thus represents a new strategy for developing therapeutic agents against TH17-mediated autoimmune diseases.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-02
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23475
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Tumours with class 3 BRAF mutants are sensitive to the inhibition of
           activated RAS
    • Authors: Zhan Yao, Rona Yaeger, Vanessa S. Rodrik-Outmezguine, Anthony Tao, Neilawattie M. Torres, Matthew T. Chang, Matthias Drosten, Huiyong Zhao, Fabiola Cecchi, Todd Hembrough, Judith Michels, Hervé Baumert, Linde Miles, Naomi M. Campbell, Elisa de Stanchina, David B. Solit, Mariano Barbacid, Barry S. Taylor, Neal Rosen
      Pages: 234 - 238
      Abstract: Approximately 200 BRAF mutant alleles have been identified in human tumours. Activating BRAF mutants cause feedback inhibition of GTP-bound RAS, are RAS-independent and signal either as active monomers (class 1) or constitutively active dimers (class 2). Here we characterize a third class of BRAF mutants—those that have impaired kinase activity or are kinase-dead. These mutants are sensitive to ERK-mediated feedback and their activation of signalling is RAS-dependent. The mutants bind more tightly than wild-type BRAF to RAS–GTP, and their binding to and activation of wild-type CRAF is enhanced, leading to increased ERK signalling. The model suggests that dysregulation of signalling by these mutants in tumours requires coexistent mechanisms for maintaining RAS activation despite ERK-dependent feedback. Consistent with this hypothesis, melanomas with these class 3 BRAF mutations also harbour RAS mutations or NF1 deletions. By contrast, in lung and colorectal cancers with class 3 BRAF mutants, RAS is typically activated by receptor tyrosine kinase signalling. These tumours are sensitive to the inhibition of RAS activation by inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases. We have thus defined three distinct functional classes of BRAF mutants in human tumours. The mutants activate ERK signalling by different mechanisms that dictate their sensitivity to therapeutic inhibitors of the pathway.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-02
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23291
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • A Braf kinase-inactive mutant induces lung adenocarcinoma
    • Authors: Patricia Nieto, Chiara Ambrogio, Laura Esteban-Burgos, Gonzalo Gómez-López, María Teresa Blasco, Zhan Yao, Richard Marais, Neal Rosen, Roberto Chiarle, David G. Pisano, Mariano Barbacid, David Santamaría
      Pages: 239 - 243
      Abstract: The initiating oncogenic event in almost half of human lung adenocarcinomas is still unknown, a fact that complicates the development of selective targeted therapies. Yet these tumours harbour a number of alterations without obvious oncogenic function including BRAF-inactivating mutations. Inactivating BRAF mutants in lung predominate over the activating V600E mutant that is frequently observed in other tumour types. Here we demonstrate that the expression of an endogenous Braf(D631A) kinase-inactive isoform in mice (corresponding to the human BRAF(D594A) mutation) triggers lung adenocarcinoma in vivo, indicating that BRAF-inactivating mutations are initiating events in lung oncogenesis. Moreover, inactivating BRAF mutations have also been identified in a subset of KRAS-driven human lung tumours. Co-expression of Kras(G12V) and Braf(D631A) in mouse lung cells markedly enhances tumour initiation, a phenomenon mediated by Craf kinase activity, and effectively accelerates tumour progression when activated in advanced lung adenocarcinomas. We also report a key role for the wild-type Braf kinase in sustaining Kras(G12V)/Braf(D631A)-driven tumours. Ablation of the wild-type Braf allele prevents the development of lung adenocarcinoma by inducing a further increase in MAPK signalling that results in oncogenic toxicity; this effect can be abolished by pharmacological inhibition of Mek to restore tumour growth. However, the loss of wild-type Braf also induces transdifferentiation of club cells, which leads to the rapid development of lethal intrabronchiolar lesions. These observations indicate that the signal intensity of the MAPK pathway is a critical determinant not only in tumour development, but also in dictating the nature of the cancer-initiating cell and ultimately the resulting tumour phenotype.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-02
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23297
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Proteins evolve on the edge of supramolecular self-assembly
    • Authors: Hector Garcia-Seisdedos, Charly Empereur-Mot, Nadav Elad, Emmanuel D. Levy
      Pages: 244 - 247
      Abstract: The self-association of proteins into symmetric complexes is ubiquitous in all kingdoms of life. Symmetric complexes possess unique geometric and functional properties, but their internal symmetry can pose a risk. In sickle-cell disease, the symmetry of haemoglobin exacerbates the effect of a mutation, triggering assembly into harmful fibrils. Here we examine the universality of this mechanism and its relation to protein structure geometry. We introduced point mutations solely designed to increase surface hydrophobicity among 12 distinct symmetric complexes from Escherichia coli. Notably, all responded by forming supramolecular assemblies in vitro, as well as in vivo upon heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Remarkably, in four cases, micrometre-long fibrils formed in vivo in response to a single point mutation. Biophysical measurements and electron microscopy revealed that mutants self-assembled in their folded states and so were not amyloid-like. Structural examination of 73 mutants identified supramolecular assembly hot spots predictable by geometry. A subsequent structural analysis of 7,471 symmetric complexes showed that geometric hot spots were buffered chemically by hydrophilic residues, suggesting a mechanism preventing mis-assembly of these regions. Thus, point mutations can frequently trigger folded proteins to self-assemble into higher-order structures. This potential is counterbalanced by negative selection and can be exploited to design nanomaterials in living cells.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-02
      DOI: 10.1038/nature23320
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Funding: Austerity bites deeply
    • Authors: Anna Petherick
      Pages: 249 - 251
      Abstract: Institutions in Argentina and Brazil are struggling to maintain their funding and talent.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nj7666-249a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Turning point: Galactic groundbreaker
    • Authors: Virginia Gewin
      Pages: 251 - 251
      Abstract: Brazilian astrophysicist bridges fields to gain cosmological insights.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/nj7666-251a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • Legale
    • Authors: Vernor Vinge
      Pages: 254 - 254
      Abstract: Seconds to disaster.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      DOI: 10.1038/548254a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666 (2017)
       
  • How to map the circuits that define us
    • Authors: Kerri Smith
      Pages: 150 - 152
      Abstract: Neuroscientists want to understand how tangles of neurons produce complex behaviours, but even the simplest networks defy understanding.
      Citation: Nature 548, 7666 (2017)
      DOI: 10.1038/548150a
      Issue No: Vol. 548, No. 7666
       
 
 
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