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The Kavli Prize 2018

The Kavli Prize is awarded by a partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and the Kavli Foundation. It recognizes seminal work of scientists in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience, which respectively study the biggest, the smallest and the most complex environments in the universe.

The 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has been awarded to Ewine van Dishoeck for her seminal work on revealing the chemical and physical processes in interstellar clouds, where stars and planets form

The 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer A. Doudna and Virginijus Šikšnys, for the invention of CRISPR-Cas9, the revolutionary nanotool for editing DNA

The 2018 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience has been awarded to A. James Hudspeth, Robert Fettiplace and Christine Petit for their scientific discoveries of the molecular and neural mechanisms of hearing

This Collection, put together by editors from Nature AstronomyNature NanotechnologyNature Neuroscience and Nature Reviews Neuroscience, includes papers by the 2018 Kavli Prize Laureates published across the Nature Research journal portfolio.

Astrophysics

  • Nature Astronomy | Letter

    Chloromethane (CH3Cl) has been observed towards a low-mass protostar and comet 67P, making it the first organohalogen detected in space. The species was previously considered to be a biomarker, but the authors suggest viable alternative abiotic formation routes.

    • Edith C. Fayolle
    • , Karin I. Öberg
    • , Jes K. Jørgensen
    • , Kathrin Altwegg
    • , Hannah Calcutt
    • , Holger S. P. Müller
    • , Martin Rubin
    • , Matthijs H. D. van der Wiel
    • , Per Bjerkeli
    • , Tyler L. Bourke
    • , Audrey Coutens
    • , Ewine F. van Dishoeck
    • , Maria N. Drozdovskaya
    • , Robin T. Garrod
    • , Niels F. W. Ligterink
    • , Magnus V. Persson
    • , Susanne F. Wampfler
    • , H. Balsiger
    • , J. J. Berthelier
    • , J. De Keyser
    • , B. Fiethe
    • , S. A. Fuselier
    • , S. Gasc
    • , T. I. Gombosi
    • , T. Sémon
    •  &  C. -Y. Tzou
  • Nature Astronomy | News & Views

    The first extraterrestrial detections of a member of the organohalogen family of molecules have been made towards comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko and low-mass protostar IRAS 16293-2422. Chloromethane, considered to be a biomarker, can form efficiently abiotically.

    • Marcelino Agúndez
  • Nature Astronomy | Letter

    The efficiency of the chemical desorption caused by the reactions between H2S, HS and H on an icy grain surface analogue has been quantified by means of in situ infrared measurements of the surface, providing valuable information for understanding non-thermal desorption processes.

    • Y. Oba
    • , T. Tomaru
    • , T. Lamberts
    • , A. Kouchi
    •  &  N. Watanabe
  • Nature Astronomy | Letter

    ALMA observations of TW Hydrae in the 13C18O J = 3–2 molecular line probe the mid-plane of the circumstellar disk where giant planets are expected to form. With other lines, the gas mass distribution, temperature and the gas-to-dust ratio are determined.

    • Ke Zhang
    • , Edwin A. Bergin
    • , Geoffrey A. Blake
    • , L. Ilsedore Cleeves
    •  &  Kamber R. Schwarz
  • Nature | News & Views

    Giant planets like Jupiter need a large reservoir of gas to grow to full size. New observations indicate that such planetary nurseries last twice as long as previously thought.

    • Jack J. Lissauer

Nanoscience

  • Nature | Article

    CRISPR is a microbial RNA-based immune system protecting against viral and plasmid invasions. The CRISPR system is thought to rely on cleavage of a precursor RNA transcript by Cas endonucleases, but not all species possessing CRISPR-type immunity encode Cas proteins. This study now describes an alternative pathway in Streptococcus pyogenes that employs trans-encoded small RNA that directs the processing of precursor RNA into crRNAs through endogenous RNase III and the CRISPR-associated Csn1 protein.

    • Elitza Deltcheva
    • , Krzysztof Chylinski
    • , Cynthia M. Sharma
    • , Karine Gonzales
    • , Yanjie Chao
    • , Zaid A. Pirzada
    • , Maria R. Eckert
    • , Jörg Vogel
    •  &  Emmanuelle Charpentier
  • Nature | Letter

    A new engineered version of SpCas9, called HypaCas9, displays enhanced accuracy of editing without significant loss of efficiency at the desired target.

    • Janice S. Chen
    • , Yavuz S. Dagdas
    • , Benjamin P. Kleinstiver
    • , Moira M. Welch
    • , Alexander A. Sousa
    • , Lucas B. Harrington
    • , Samuel H. Sternberg
    • , J. Keith Joung
    • , Ahmet Yildiz
    •  &  Jennifer A. Doudna
  • Nature Structural & Molecular Biology | Article

    Age-dependent epigenetic changes that are influenced by genetic factors contribute to lactase nonpersistence, which is linked to the inability of adult mammals to digest lactose.

    • Viviane Labrie
    • , Orion J Buske
    • , Edward Oh
    • , Richie Jeremian
    • , Carolyn Ptak
    • , Giedrius Gasiūnas
    • , Almantas Maleckas
    • , Rūta Petereit
    • , Aida Žvirbliene
    • , Kęstutis Adamonis
    • , Edita Kriukienė
    • , Karolis Koncevičius
    • , Juozas Gordevičius
    • , Akhil Nair
    • , Aiping Zhang
    • , Sasha Ebrahimi
    • , Gabriel Oh
    • , Virginijus Šikšnys
    • , Limas Kupčinskas
    • , Michael Brudno
    •  &  Arturas Petronis
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    CRISPR RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 recognizes and cleaves the double-stranded DNA complementary to the RNA guide. Here the authors use high-speed atomic force micropcopy (HS-AFM) to visualize the conformational dynamics of Cas9 during its DNA targeting and cleavage processes.

    • Mikihiro Shibata
    • , Hiroshi Nishimasu
    • , Noriyuki Kodera
    • , Seiichi Hirano
    • , Toshio Ando
    • , Takayuki Uchihashi
    •  &  Osamu Nureki
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Physical mapping of DNA can be used to detect structural variants and for whole-genome haplotype assembly. Here, the authors use CRISPR-Cas9 and high-speed atomic force microscopy to ‘nanomap’ single molecules of DNA.

    • Andrey Mikheikin
    • , Anita Olsen
    • , Kevin Leslie
    • , Freddie Russell-Pavier
    • , Andrew Yacoot
    • , Loren Picco
    • , Oliver Payton
    • , Amir Toor
    • , Alden Chesney
    • , James K. Gimzewski
    • , Bud Mishra
    •  &  Jason Reed
  • Nature Biotechnology | Feature

    Nature Biotechnology asks selected members of the international community to comment on the ethical issues raised by the prospect of CRISPR-Cas9 engineering of the human germline.

    • Katrine S Bosley
    • , Michael Botchan
    • , Annelien L Bredenoord
    • , Dana Carroll
    • , R Alta Charo
    • , Emmanuelle Charpentier
    • , Ron Cohen
    • , Jacob Corn
    • , Jennifer Doudna
    • , Guoping Feng
    • , Henry T Greely
    • , Rosario Isasi
    • , Weihzi Ji
    • , Jin-Soo Kim
    • , Bartha Knoppers
    • , Edward Lanphier
    • , Jinsong Li
    • , Robin Lovell-Badge
    • , G Steven Martin
    • , Jonathan Moreno
    • , Luigi Naldini
    • , Martin Pera
    • , Anthony CF Perry
    • , J Craig Venter
    • , Feng Zhang
    •  &  Qi Zhou

Neuroscience