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  • Unlike other North Pacific killer whales, Southern Resident killer whales have failed to thrive despite decades of conservation. Genomics combined with long-term observational records reveal inbreeding depression as a compelling explanation.

    • Jacqueline A. Robinson
    News & Views
  • A mathematical model of eco-evolutionary dynamics estimates different birth rates of cells at the periphery of a tumour versus its centre, giving insight into locally stable evolutionary mechanisms that arise as a result of boundary-driven growth.

    • Subhayan Chattopadhyay
    • David Gisselsson
    News & Views
  • A large-scale field study finds that different bee species experience different levels of risk from pesticides, depending on how much land is farmed within their foraging range. For bumblebees and solitary bees, more seminatural habitat means less risk from pesticides, but this is not true for honeybees.

    • Edward A. Straw
    News & Views
  • A study of plant–pollinator networks in a fragmented island landscape in China finds that habitat edges might not be bad for biodiversity.

    • Pavel Dodonov
    • Eliana Cazetta
    News & Views
  • Laboratory-quantified spatial memory and subsequent free-ranging movements show how learning about space and establishing familiar areas increase fitness in pheasants.

    • Francesca Cagnacci
    News & Views
  • Analysis of regional-scale pollen data from southeast Australia that span the entire Holocene epoch reveals that plant functional diversity has been highly variable in time and space. A functional perspective on palaeoecological data helps us to better understand the current climate–biodiversity crisis and to predict future changes.

    • Triin Reitalu
    • Sandra Nogué
    News & Views
  • Comparative analysis of human and macaque brain transcripts together with experiments in mice and in a cortical organoid model show the de novo emergence of a hominoid-specific protein-coding gene implicated in brain development. The evolution of RNA nuclear export signals enabled a new protein to become translated from an ancestral long-noncoding RNA locus.

    • April Rich
    • Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis
    News & Views
  • Zero-deforestation policies are reducing the loss of tropical rainforest to oil palm expansion, but spatial analyses indicate that this may cause unintended large-scale loss of biodiverse grasslands and dry forests unless protections are extended under certification agreements.

    • James J. Gilroy
    News & Views
  • An analysis of 16 ecosystem services measured across sites in Europe shows that the supply of some services is predicted by plot-scale diversity, whereas others rely on intact habitats at the landscape scale, highlighting the importance of cross-scale management efforts to maintain ecosystem services.

    • Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer
    News & Views
  • Measurements of individual birds of 105 species across North America over almost twenty years reveal intraspecific trends of smaller body sizes towards the equator and of decreasing body size as average temperatures increase.

    • Emma C. Hughes
    • Alex Slavenko
    News & Views
  • Plasmids are well known for transferring antibiotic resistance genes between bacteria. A study in the clinic shows that evolutionary dynamics within the gut microbiomes of hospitalized patients lead to rapid adaptive changes, balancing the level of resistance that plasmids provide against the fitness costs that they impose on bacteria.

    • Rosanna C. T. Wright
    • Michael A. Brockhurst
    News & Views
  • Two Palaeolithic genomes from Britain provide the oldest currently available genetic data from the region and appear to map on to wider European patterns of genetic ancestry and associated archaeology. However, with sparse samples and wide temporal gaps between them, it might be premature to draw wider conclusions about the consistency of these patterns.

    • Chantal Conneller
    News & Views
  • A global comparison of plant trait patterns calculated using citizen science observations versus those calculated using traditional scientific data reveals remarkable congruence between the two approaches.

    • Angela T. Moles
    • Zoe A. Xirocostas
    News & Views
  • The effects of the redistribution of flora and fauna by European empires are still visible in global biodiversity today and can be traced through the distribution of introduced species. Attempts to solve today’s biodiversity crisis necessitates grappling these colonial legacies head on.

    • Nussaïbah B. Raja
    News & Views
  • An innovative isotopic labelling strategy shows that malaria mosquitoes in the West-African Sahel region survive in dormancy over the prolonged dry season. These results have implications for efforts to suppress malaria transmission in Africa.

    • Peter A. Armbruster
    News & Views
  • Fitness landscapes were described almost a century ago as smooth surfaces with peaks and valleys that are difficult to navigate. Now, more realistic high-dimensional genotype–phenotype maps show that fitness maxima can be reached from almost any other phenotype while avoiding fitness valleys, which are very rare.

    • Jacobo Aguirre
    News & Views
  • Harnessing big data and machine learning provides an assessment of the extinction risks of palm species worldwide, and illustrates an integrative conservation planning approach that incorporates evolutionary and ecological distinctiveness as well as human use.

    • Danilo M. Neves
    News & Views
  • Coevolutionary warfare between bacteria and phage results in the diversification of anti-phage CRISPR arrays among the most successful bacterial competitors

    • Saheli Saha
    • Samay Pande
    News & Views
  • Cnidarians and ctenophores have morphologically simpler nervous systems than those of bilaterians. Discovery and characterization of neuropeptides in a comb jelly and a sea anemone support a common origin of animal peptidergic neurons from digestive cells that could sense their environment.

    • Maria Y. Sachkova
    News & Views
  • A large dataset of aquatic biodiversity across multiple trophic levels from several wetlands in Brazil reveals that biodiversity–multifunctionality relationships break down with human pressures.

    • Rajeev Pillay
    News & Views