News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Aggregation of the protein tau is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases in humans. It emerges that eliminating a type of damaged cell that no longer divides can prevent tau-mediated neurodegeneration in mice.

    • Jay Penney
    •  & Li-Huei Tsai
  • News & Views |

    Chromosomes can exist outside the nucleus in rupture-prone structures called micronuclei. It emerges that micronuclei are fragile because their outer layer lacks some nuclear-envelope components.

    • Matthias Samwer
    •  & Daniel W. Gerlich
  • News & Views |

    Photoemission, the ejection of an electron from a material on the absorption of a photon, is one of the fastest processes in nature. An experiment demonstrates how the dynamics of this process can be captured in real time.

    • Thomas Fennel
  • News & Views |

    The sleep disorder narcolepsy is linked to immune-system genes and is caused by the loss of neurons that express the protein hypocretin. Hypocretin-targeting immune cells have now been found in people with narcolepsy.

    • Roland S. Liblau
  • News & Views |

    Experiments show that short bunches of protons can produce electric fields that are strong enough to accelerate energetic electrons compactly. This discovery could lead to miniaturized high-energy particle accelerators.

    • Toshiki Tajima
  • News & Views |

    What Nature was saying 50 and 100 years ago.

  • News & Views |

    Spinal-cord injury can render intact neuronal circuits functionally dormant. Targeted reduction of neuronal inhibition in the injured region has now enabled reactivation of these circuits in mice, restoring basic locomotion.

    • Grégoire Courtine
  • News & Views |

    Bird migration is influenced by weather, making it hard to predict when birds will pass through a particular place on their route. A model that forecasts bird migrations has been developed using radar data and weather information.

    • Mary Abraham
  • News & Views |

    Controlled long-distance transport of electron spins is required for a kind of electronics known as spintronics. Such transport has been realized in an antiferromagnet, the most common type of magnetic material.

    • Sergio M. Rezende
  • News & Views |

    Some bacteria make energy in a process that is accompanied by transfer of electrons to a mineral. A previously unknown electron-transfer pathway now reveals an energy-generation system used by bacteria in the human gut.

    • Laty A. Cahoon
    •  & Nancy E. Freitag
  • News & Views |

    Computational simulations suggest that future losses of tidal wetlands attributable to sea-level rise could be greatly offset by the landward advance of these ecosystems into newly sea-inundated areas.

    • Jonathan D. Woodruff
  • News & Views |

    A computational method has been devised that allows a structural motif found in proteins, known as a β-barrel, to be designed to bind specifically to any small molecule, opening the door to biotechnological applications.

    • Roberto A. Chica
  • News & Views |

    How the same type of cell can form different kinds of tumour isn’t always clear. The discovery that cancer subtype in mice is influenced by the type of cell death occurring in the microenvironment provides some insight.

    • Eli Pikarsky
  • News & Views |

    What Nature was saying 50 and 100 years ago.

  • News & Views |

    Sheets of cells called epithelia can curve into tubes in embryos. Modelling and in vivo observations reveal that cells in tubes adopt an asymmetric cell shape dubbed scutoid, contrary to some previous assumptions.

    • Guy Blanchard
  • News & Views |

    The magnetic field of Jupiter has been found to be different from all other known planetary magnetic fields. This result could have major implications for our understanding of the interiors of giant planets.

    • Chris Jones
  • News & Views |

    The protein RANKL is released by bone-forming cells called osteoblasts, and binds to its receptor, RANK, on osteoclast cells to trigger bone removal. It emerges that the pathway can act in reverse to stimulate bone formation.

    • Mone Zaidi
    •  & Christopher P. Cardozo
  • News & Views |

    A key step in the development of quantum computers that use neutral atoms as quantum bits is the assembly of tailored 3D arrays of atoms. Two laser-based approaches have now been reported to do this.

    • Nathan Lundblad
  • News & Views |

    Immunotherapies activate T cells to destroy tumours, but the approach has failed in some brain cancers. A strategy to improve migration of T cells across the blood–brain barrier could overcome this limitation.

    • Michael Platten
  • News & Views |

    Collections of cells in the tails of zebrafish embryos have now been found to transition between behaving as solids and fluids. This transition is responsible for the head-to-tail elongation of the embryo.

    • Pierre-François Lenne
    •  & Vikas Trivedi
  • News & Views |

    Methods for imaging sugars attached to proteins — the protein glycoforms — are of interest because glycoforms affect protein movement and localization in cells. A versatile approach is now reported that uses DNA as molecular identity tags.

    • Tadashi Suzuki
  • News & Views |

    What Nature was saying 50 and 100 years ago.

  • News & Views |

    The gravitational constant, G, which governs the strength of gravitational interactions, is hard to measure accurately. Two independent determinations of G have been made that have the smallest uncertainties so far.

    • Stephan Schlamminger
  • News & Views |

    Understanding how earthquakes interact is key to reliable earthquake forecasting. A machine-learning study reveals how the stress change induced by earthquakes at geological faults affects these interactions.

    • Gregory C. Beroza
  • News & Views |

    An investigation finds that most protein complexes in yeast cells assemble before the subunits have fully formed. This mechanism might prevent the formation of toxic protein aggregates.

    • Christine Mayr
  • News & Views |

    What Nature was saying 50 and 100 years ago.

  • News & Views |

    The multiprotein complex PTEX enables malaria-causing parasites to survive inside red blood cells. Studies reveal how PTEX assembles, and identify a function for one of the complex’s proteins, EXP2.

    • Tania F. de Koning-Ward
  • News & Views |

    Whole-genome sequencing reveals the duplication of a regulatory region, called an enhancer, of the AR gene in treatment-resistant human prostate cancers. The finding shows the importance of analysing non-protein-coding regions of DNA.

    • Kellie A. Cotter
    •  & Mark A. Rubin
  • News & Views |

    Certain materials contain both electric dipoles and magnetic moments. An experiment demonstrates that these properties can be coupled in previously unrecognized ways, leading to advanced functionality.

    • John T. Heron
    •  & Julia A. Mundy
  • News & Views |

    Monkeys genetically engineered to lack the gene SIRT6 die a few hours after birth, displaying severe growth defects. This finding reveals a previously unknown role for the SIRT6 protein in primate development.

    • Shoshana Naiman
    •  & Haim Y. Cohen
  • News & Views |

    PINK1 and parkin proteins help to degrade damaged mitochondrial organelles, and abnormalities in these proteins are linked to Parkinson’s disease. Mouse studies reveal that the proteins act to prevent inflammation.

    • Alexandra Stolz
    •  & Ivan Dikic
  • News & Views |

    The enzyme RNA polymerase II, which transcribes DNA, pauses early in transcription and awaits signals to continue. High-resolution structures reveal how it is stopped and efficiently restarted.

    • Karen Adelman
    •  & Telmo Henriques
  • News & Views |

    What Nature was saying 50 and 100 years ago.

  • News & Views |

    A previously unknown pathway that enables mammalian cells to recognize infection and trigger an immune response requires a kinase enzyme in the host cell to bind a sugar molecule produced by infecting bacteria.

    • John-Demian Sauer
  • News & Views |

    Manipulation of the transcription factor OsGRF4 can improve the efficiency with which some high-yielding cereal crops use nitrogen. This discovery has implications for sustainable agriculture.

    • Fanmiao Wang
    •  & Makoto Matsuoka
  • News & Views |

    Catalysts working in pairs can promote more-effective reactions than can the same catalysts used sequentially. The coupling of an enzyme with a light-activated catalyst offers great potential for organic synthesis.

    • Nicholas J. Turner
  • News & Views |

    Exposure to a sulfoximine-based pesticide has substantial adverse effects on bumblebee colonies. This finding suggests that concerns over the risks of exposing bees to insecticides should not be limited to neonicotinoids.

    • Nigel E. Raine
  • News & Views |

    Neutrinos are tiny, ghost-like particles that habitually change identity. A measurement of the rate of change in high-energy neutrinos racing through Earth provides a record-breaking test of Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

    • Matthew Mewes
  • News & Views |

    The route to the establishment of a beneficial microbial community in the gut after birth is not fully understood. It now emerges that a gut-cell protein in newborn mice shapes the long-term composition of this community.

    • Andrew J. Macpherson
    •  & Stephanie C. Ganal-Vonarburg
  • News & Views |

    An approach has been developed for incorporating optoelectronic devices into polymer fibres, which can be woven into fabrics. Such materials could have applications in both telecommunication and health monitoring.

    • Walter Margulis
  • News & Views |

    In materials known as graphene nanoribbons, topological states can be precisely engineered and probed, providing an experimental platform for studying electronic topology.

    • Katharina J. Franke
    •  & Felix von Oppen
  • News & Views |

    A drug that slows cancer growth has been found to elevate the level of the hormone insulin. This insulin rise lessens the drug’s effectiveness, but a diet that lowers insulin can increase the benefits of the therapy in mice.

    • Michael Pollak
  • News & Views |

    The rate at which carbon dioxide is lost from soil has risen faster than the rate at which it is used by land plants, because soil microbes have become more active — possibly weakening the land surface’s ability to act as a carbon sink.

    • Kiona Ogle
  • News & Views |

    Humans perceive colours in categories such as red, even though we can discern red hues including ruby and crimson. It emerges that birds also categorize colours and this affects their colour-discrimination ability.

    • Almut Kelber