Table of Contents

Volume 549 Number 7671 pp131-302

14 September 2017

About the cover

Quantum chemistry is one of the most promising applications for quantum computers. However, to date only the smallest molecular systems have been simulated experimentally by quantum hardware. In this week's issue, Abhinav Kandala, Antonio Mezzacapo and their colleagues present simulations of larger molecular systems using a variational quantum eigenvalue solver implemented on a superconducting quantum processor. Their variational quantum eigensolver is hardware-efficient, which means that it is optimally implemented on the given architecture. With this approach, they have been able to extend quantum chemical calculations to LiH and BeH2, and have also applied their technique to a problem in quantum magnetism. The errors in the implementation are understood by supporting numerical simulations, and the authors believe that the mitigation of incoherent errors would be an important step towards eventually yielding a simulation of interesting molecular systems on a quantum computer. Cover image: Carl De Torres

This Week



World View


Research Highlights


Seven Days


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    Books and Arts

    • Q&A: The AI composer

      Computer scientist Luc Steels uses artificial intelligence to explore the origins and evolution of language. He is best known for his 1999–2001 Talking Heads Experiment, in which robots had to construct a language from scratch to communicate with each other. Now Steels, who works at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), has composed an opera based on the legend of Faust, with a twenty-first-century twist. He talks about Mozart as a nascent computer programmer, how music maps onto language, and the blurred boundaries of a digitized world.

      • Review of Fausto




    Career Briefs


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    Technology Feature


    insight: quantum software

    Insight: Quantum software

    • Programming languages and compiler design for realistic quantum hardware

      • Frederic T. Chong
      • Diana Franklin
      • Margaret Martonosi

      To enable a quantum computer to solve practical problems more efficiently than classical computers, quantum programming languages and compilers are required to translate quantum algorithms into machine code; here the currently available software is reviewed.

    • Post-quantum cryptography

      • Daniel J. Bernstein
      • Tanja Lange

      The era of fully fledged quantum computers threatens to destroy internet security as we know it; the ways in which modern cryptography is developing solutions are reviewed.

    • Quantum machine learning

      • Jacob Biamonte
      • Peter Wittek
      • Nicola Pancotti
      • Patrick Rebentrost
      • Nathan Wiebe
      • Seth Lloyd

      Quantum machine learning software could enable quantum computers to learn complex patterns in data more efficiently than classical computers are able to.

    • Quantum computational supremacy

      • Aram W. Harrow
      • Ashley Montanaro

      Proposals for demonstrating quantum supremacy, when a quantum computer supersedes any possible classical computer at a specific task, are reviewed.



    • Detecting recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer

      • Martyn P. Chipperfield
      • Slimane Bekki
      • Sandip Dhomse
      • Neil R. P. Harris
      • Birgit Hassler
      • Ryan Hossaini
      • Wolfgang Steinbrecht
      • Rémi Thiéblemont
      • Mark Weber

      An overview of the nature and timescales of stratospheric ozone recovery and the extent to which it can currently be detected.


    • The 4D nucleome project

      • Job Dekker
      • Andrew S. Belmont
      • Mitchell Guttman
      • Victor O. Leshyk
      • John T. Lis
      • Stavros Lomvardas
      • Leonid A. Mirny
      • Clodagh C. O’Shea
      • Peter J. Park
      • Bing Ren
      • Joan C. Ritland Politz
      • Jay Shendure
      • Sheng Zhong
      • the 4D Nucleome Network

      The 4D Nucleome Network aims to map the spatial and dynamic organization of the human and mouse genomes to gain insight into the structure and biological functions of the nucleus.


    • Fate mapping of human glioblastoma reveals an invariant stem cell hierarchy

      • Xiaoyang Lan
      • David J. Jörg
      • Florence M. G. Cavalli
      • Laura M. Richards
      • Long V. Nguyen
      • Robert J. Vanner
      • Paul Guilhamon
      • Lilian Lee
      • Michelle M. Kushida
      • Davide Pellacani
      • Nicole I. Park
      • Fiona J. Coutinho
      • Heather Whetstone
      • Hayden J. Selvadurai
      • Clare Che
      • Betty Luu
      • Annaick Carles
      • Michelle Moksa
      • Naghmeh Rastegar
      • Renee Head
      • Sonam Dolma
      • Panagiotis Prinos
      • Michael D. Cusimano
      • Sunit Das
      • Mark Bernstein
      • Cheryl H. Arrowsmith
      • Andrew J. Mungall
      • Richard A. Moore
      • Yussanne Ma
      • Marco Gallo
      • Mathieu Lupien
      • Trevor J. Pugh
      • Michael D. Taylor
      • Martin Hirst
      • Connie J. Eaves
      • Benjamin D. Simons
      • Peter B. Dirks

      Using unique barcodes for tumour cells, the authors explore the dynamics of human glioblastoma subpopulations, and suggest that clonal heterogeneity emerges through stochastic fate decisions of a neutral proliferative hierarchy.

      See also
    • Structural basis of MsbA-mediated lipopolysaccharide transport

      • Wei Mi
      • Yanyan Li
      • Sung Hwan Yoon
      • Robert K. Ernst
      • Thomas Walz
      • Maofu Liao

      Cryo-electron microscopy snapshots of the E. coli flippase MsbA at discrete functional states reveal a ‘trap and flip’ mechanism for lipopolysaccharide flipping and the conformational transitions of MsbA during its substrate transport cycle.


    • Detection of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of a hot Jupiter

      • Elyar Sedaghati
      • Henri M. J. Boffin
      • Ryan J. MacDonald
      • Siddharth Gandhi
      • Nikku Madhusudhan
      • Neale P. Gibson
      • Mahmoudreza Oshagh
      • Antonio Claret
      • Heike Rauer

      Titanium oxide, water, sodium and a strongly scattering haze have been detected in the atmosphere of the hot Jupiter exoplanet WASP-19b.

    • Superparamagnetic enhancement of thermoelectric performance

      • Wenyu Zhao
      • Zhiyuan Liu
      • Zhigang Sun
      • Qingjie Zhang
      • Ping Wei
      • Xin Mu
      • Hongyu Zhou
      • Cuncheng Li
      • Shifang Ma
      • Danqi He
      • Pengxia Ji
      • Wanting Zhu
      • Xiaolei Nie
      • Xianli Su
      • Xinfeng Tang
      • Baogen Shen
      • Xiaoli Dong
      • Jihui Yang
      • Yong Liu
      • Jing Shi

      By embedding superparamagnetic nanoparticles in a thermoelectric matrix, phonon and electron transport within the material can be controlled simultaneously at nanometre and mesoscopic length scales, thereby improving the thermoelectric performance of the material.

      See also
    • Real-space imaging of non-collinear antiferromagnetic order with a single-spin magnetometer

      • I. Gross
      • W. Akhtar
      • V. Garcia
      • L. J. Martínez
      • S. Chouaieb
      • K. Garcia
      • C. Carrétéro
      • A. Barthélémy
      • P. Appel
      • P. Maletinsky
      • J.-V. Kim
      • J. Y. Chauleau
      • N. Jaouen
      • M. Viret
      • M. Bibes
      • S. Fusil
      • V. Jacques

      A non-invasive scanning magnetometer, based on a single nitrogen–vacancy defect in diamond, visualizes antiferromagnetic order at the nanometre scale in thin films of bismuth ferrite at room temperature.

    • Kinetic analysis of a complete nitrifier reveals an oligotrophic lifestyle

      • K. Dimitri Kits
      • Christopher J. Sedlacek
      • Elena V. Lebedeva
      • Ping Han
      • Alexandr Bulaev
      • Petra Pjevac
      • Anne Daebeler
      • Stefano Romano
      • Mads Albertsen
      • Lisa Y. Stein
      • Holger Daims
      • Michael Wagner

      A pure culture of the complete nitrifier Nitrospira inopinata shows a high affinity for ammonia, low maximum rate of ammonia oxidation, high growth yield compared to canonical nitrifiers and genomic potential for alternative metabolisms, probably reflecting an important role in nitrification in oligotrophic environments.

      See also
    • m6A modulates haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell specification

      • Chunxia Zhang
      • Yusheng Chen
      • Baofa Sun
      • Lu Wang
      • Ying Yang
      • Dongyuan Ma
      • Junhua Lv
      • Jian Heng
      • Yanyan Ding
      • Yuanyuan Xue
      • Xinyan Lu
      • Wen Xiao
      • Yun-Gui Yang
      • Feng Liu

      N6-methyladenosine modification of mRNA determines cell fate decisions during the specification of the first haematopoietic stem cells in zebrafish.

    • Neuronal regulation of type 2 innate lymphoid cells via neuromedin U

      • Vânia Cardoso
      • Julie Chesné
      • Hélder Ribeiro
      • Bethania García-Cassani
      • Tânia Carvalho
      • Tiffany Bouchery
      • Kathleen Shah
      • Nuno L. Barbosa-Morais
      • Nicola Harris
      • Henrique Veiga-Fernandes

      Group 2 innate lymphoid cells express the neuromedin U receptor 1 (NMUR1) and respond to neuromedin U (NMU) released by adjacent enteric neurons, and this interaction results in an enhanced immediate early response to the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.

      See also
    • The neuropeptide neuromedin U stimulates innate lymphoid cells and type 2 inflammation

      • Christoph S. N. Klose
      • Tanel Mahlakõiv
      • Jesper B. Moeller
      • Lucille C. Rankin
      • Anne-Laure Flamar
      • Hiroki Kabata
      • Laurel A. Monticelli
      • Saya Moriyama
      • Gregory Garbès Putzel
      • Nikolai Rakhilin
      • Xiling Shen
      • Evi Kostenis
      • Gabriele M. König
      • Takashi Senda
      • Dustin Carpenter
      • Donna L. Farber
      • David Artis

      Intestinal type 2 innate lymphoid cells express the neuropeptide receptor NMUR1, which makes them responsive to neuronal neuromedin U, thereby promoting a type 2 cytokine response and accelerated expulsion of the gastro-intestinal nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.

      See also
    • Polycomb-like proteins link the PRC2 complex to CpG islands

      • Haojie Li
      • Robert Liefke
      • Junyi Jiang
      • Jesse Vigoda Kurland
      • Wei Tian
      • Pujuan Deng
      • Weidi Zhang
      • Qian He
      • Dinshaw J. Patel
      • Martha L. Bulyk
      • Yang Shi
      • Zhanxin Wang

      Crystal structures of the Polycomb-like proteins PHF1 and MTF2 with bound DNA and histone peptides show that extended homologous regions of the two proteins form a winged-helix structure that has an unexpected mechanism of binding to unmethylated CpG-containing DNA motifs.