Review, News & Views, Perspectives, Hypotheses and Analyses

  • News & Views |

    The idea that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else by just six degrees of separation was explained by the ‘small-world’ network model 20 years ago. What seemed to be a niche finding turned out to have huge consequences.

    • Alessandro Vespignani
  • News & Views |

    Extended social isolation causes debilitating effects in social mammals such as humans. A study in mice shows that the gene Tac2 is upregulated throughout the brains of socially isolated animals, driving massive behavioural changes.

    • Noga Zilkha
    •  & Tali Kimchi
  • Perspective |

    The future of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean by 2070 is described under two scenarios, one in which action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and one in which no action is taken.

    • S. R. Rintoul
    • , S. L. Chown
    • , R. M. DeConto
    • , M. H. England
    • , H. A. Fricker
    • , V. Masson-Delmotte
    • , T. R. Naish
    • , M. J. Siegert
    •  & J. C. Xavier
  • News & Views |

    An assessment of the capacity of coral reefs to grow fast enough to keep up with projected rises in sea level finds that most reefs will fall behind if nothing is done to restore them.

    • Ilsa B. Kuffner
  • News & Views |

    Adult stem cells reside in niches that maintain, regulate and protect them. Fresh light has now been shed on how the need for protection has driven changes in the locations of these niches during evolution.

    • Isabel Beerman
  • News & Views |

    Activating immune cells to destroy tumours is an effective strategy for treating an advanced lung cancer — but only for some people. Evidence that this approach has potential in early disease and as a combination therapy has now emerged.

    • Lizza Hendriks
    •  & Benjamin Besse
  • News & Views |

    The Paris climate agreement aims to limit global warming to no more than 2 °C. An analysis suggests that this will greatly reduce the risks of sea-level rise for coastal communities, but that it will take time to see the benefit.

    • Aimée Slangen
  • News & Views |

    The speed at which tropical cyclones travel has slowed globally in the past seven decades, especially over some coastlines. This effect can compound flooding by increasing regional total rainfall from storms.

    • Christina M. Patricola
  • News & Views |

    Emerging nanoelectronic devices could revolutionize artificial neural networks, but their hardware implementations lag behind those of their software counterparts. An approach has been developed that tips the scales in their favour.

    • Gina C. Adam
  • Perspective |

    The results of efforts to limit global mean warming to below 1.5 °C may include many possible future world climates.

    • Sonia I. Seneviratne
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    • , Roland Séférian
    • , Richard Wartenburger
    • , Myles R. Allen
    • , Michelle Cain
    • , Richard J. Millar
    • , Kristie L. Ebi
    • , Neville Ellis
    • , Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
    • , Antony J. Payne
    • , Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
    • , Petra Tschakert
    •  & Rachel F. Warren
  • News & Views |

    An avalanche of data is about to revolutionize astronomy, but the options for validating those data have been limited. High-precision measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope enable a much-needed alternative option.

    • Rachael Beaton
  • News & Views |

    A subunit of the enzymatic complex P-TEFb can induce compartmentalization of proteins into liquid-like droplets in cells. This phase separation might help P-TEFb to promote gene transcription.

    • James Goodrich
    •  & Dylan Taatjes
  • News & Views |

    The T cells of the immune system can be engineered to target a tumour, but why some people respond better than others to such therapy is unclear. One patient’s striking response to treatment now offers some clues.

    • Marcela V. Maus
  • News & Views |

    The microscopic behaviour of molecules can be difficult to model using ordinary computers because it is governed by quantum physics. A photonic chip provides a versatile platform for simulating such behaviour.

    • Fabien Gatti
  • News & Views |

    Long-sought evidence has been found of magnetism at the edges of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. The findings might enable the development of the logic gates needed for quantum computers.

    • Fernando Luis
    •  & Eugenio Coronado
  • News & Views |

    Structural analysis reveals how a bacterial enzyme catalyses attachment of the protein tag ubiquitin to host proteins, illuminating a process that allows pathogenic bacteria to subvert host-cell function.

    • Kathy Wong
    •  & Kalle Gehring
  • News & Views |

    In 1968, a defect in DNA repair was found to underlie a disorder that makes people extremely sensitive to sunlight. This finding continues to influence research into the origins, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

    • Richard D. Wood
  • News & Views |

    Recordings of individual neurons in the mouse brain reveal a main mechanism for motion processing in the primary visual cortex. These findings are likely to have implications for other species.

    • Jose Manuel Alonso