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  • Analysis of high-resolution annual data shows that global human settlements have expanded continuously and rapidly into flood zones, with those in the most hazardous zones increasing by 122% from 1985 to 2015.

    • Jun Rentschler
    • Paolo Avner
    • Stéphane Hallegatte
  • Assembly theory conceptualizes objects as entities defined by their possible formation histories, allowing a unified language for describing selection, evolution and the generation of novelty.

    • Abhishek Sharma
    • Dániel Czégel
    • Leroy Cronin
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Comparisons of phenotypic and genetic association with protein levels from Icelandic and UK Biobank cohorts show that using multiple analysis platforms and stratifying populations by ancestry improves the detection of associations and allows the refinement of their location within the genome.

    • Grimur Hjorleifsson Eldjarn
    • Egil Ferkingstad
    • Kari Stefansson
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Although the catalogue of human protein-coding genes is nearing completion, the number of non-coding RNA genes remains highly uncertain, and for all genes much work remains to be done to understand their functions.

    • Paulo Amaral
    • Silvia Carbonell-Sala
    • Steven L. Salzberg
  • Binding of a sialoglycan-based primary receptor by the spike protein of the common cold human coronavirus HKU1 triggers conformational changes to a state that would allow binding to a second receptor required for cell entry.

    • Matti F. Pronker
    • Robert Creutznacher
    • Daniel L. Hurdiss
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Asynchronous flight in all major groups of insects likely arose from a single common ancestor with reversions to a synchronous flight mode enabled by shifts back and forth between different regimes in the same set of dynamic parameters.

    • Jeff Gau
    • James Lynch
    • Simon Sponberg
    ArticleOpen Access
  • A high-precision, high-field test of quantum electrodynamics measuring the bound-electron g factor in hydrogen-like tin is described, which—together with state-of-the-art theory calculations—yields a stringent test in the strong-field regime.

    • J. Morgner
    • B. Tu
    • K. Blaum
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Many different homogeneous metrics on Lie groups, which may have markedly different short-distance properties, are shown to exhibit nearly identical distance functions at long distances, suggesting a large universality class of definitions of quantum complexity.

    • Adam R. Brown
    • Michael H. Freedman
    • Leonard Susskind
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The Pharma Proteomics Project generates the largest open-access plasma proteomics dataset to date, offering insights into trans protein quantitative trait loci across multiple biological domains, and highlighting genetic influences on ligand–receptor interactions and pathway perturbations across a diverse collection of cytokines and complement networks.

    • Benjamin B. Sun
    • Joshua Chiou
    • Christopher D. Whelan
    ArticleOpen Access
  • It’s only rock ’n’ roll.

    • Steven Berger
  • Amphibians are the most vulnerable vertebrates worldwide, with 41% of species threatened with extinction. Habitat loss is the most common threat, and climate change is the main driver of increased extinction risk. Investment in amphibian conservation must be scaled up drastically and urgently to prevent further extinctions and reverse declines.

    Research Briefing
  • The analysis of fossils in sediment cores from Lake Victoria, Africa, reveals that a group of cichlid fish rapidly diversified as the lake got larger and provided new ecological niches, whereas the other fish there did not diversify.

    • Martin J. Genner
    News & Views
  • Evolution by natural selection peerlessly describes how life’s complexity develops — but can it be explained in terms of physics? A new approach suggests it can.

    • George F. R. Ellis
    News & Views