News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Hippocamp, a previously undetected moon of Neptune, has a peculiar location and a tiny size relative to the planet’s other inner moons, which suggests a violent history for the region within 100,000 kilometres of the planet.

    • Anne J. Verbiscer
  • News & Views |

    Faulty DNA replication can make genomes unstable. It now seems that, in mice, severe disruption of DNA replication triggers inflammation in the placenta, and female embryos are more sensitive to this than are male ones.

    • Sarah Lambert
  • News & Views |

    The structure of a neutron or a proton is modified when the particle is bound in an atomic nucleus. Experimental data suggest an explanation for this phenomenon that could have broad implications for nuclear physics.

    • Gerald Feldman
  • News & Views |

    Studies of multiple sclerosis have long focused on the white matter of the brain. Insights into how immune cells target the brain’s grey matter now illuminate the stage of the disease at which neurodegeneration occurs.

    • Jenna L. Pappalardo
    •  & David A. Hafler
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported the roles of birds in the First World War, and a resurgent kanagaroo population in 1968.

  • News & Views |

    The link between sleep and cardiovascular disease is poorly understood. Findings in mice now show that disrupted sleep causes the brain to signal the bone marrow to boost white blood cell production, damaging blood vessels.

    • Alan R. Tall
    •  & Sanja Jelic
  • News & Views |

    A treatment called eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing alleviates post-traumatic stress disorder through enigmatic mechanisms. A study in mice offers potential clues into the biological basis of this approach.

    • Andrew Holmes
  • News & Views |

    It is well established that solid objects can be cooled by harnessing the properties of laser light. A laser-free technique that attains such cooling by tuning thermal radiation could have many practical applications.

    • Yannick De Wilde
    •  & Riad Haidar
  • News & Views |

    Nitrogen gas dissolved in the ocean must be fixed — converted into more-reactive compounds — before it can be used to support life, but the regions in which this nitrogen fixation occurs have been elusive. Not any more.

    • Nicolas Gruber
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported a key step towards test-tube babies in 1969, and strange damage to a German shell in 1919.

  • News & Views |

    How do meerkat populations respond to extreme climatic variations?

    • Joana Osório
  • News & Views |

    To survive and divide, cancer cells need a constant supply of lipid molecules called monounsaturated fatty acids. Tumours can achieve this by an unsuspected route that harnesses a metabolic pathway also used in hair follicles.

    • Marteinn Thor Snaebjornsson
    •  & Almut Schulze
  • News & Views |

    A system has been devised that computationally screens hundreds of millions of drug candidates — all of which can be made on demand — against biological targets. This could help to make drug discovery more efficient.

    • David E. Gloriam
  • News & Views |

    A technique that harnesses energy loss has been used to produce a phase of matter in which particles of light are locked in place. This opens a path to realizing previously unseen exotic phases of matter.

    • Kaden R. A. Hazzard
  • News & Views |

    When cancer spreads, this metastatic stage of the disease is usually lethal. An analysis of immune cells that cluster with tumour cells in the bloodstream illuminates a partnership that might aid metastasis.

    • Mikala Egeblad
    •  & Karin E. de Visser
  • News & Views |

    DNA sequences called retrotransposons can copy themselves and reintegrate at new sites in the genome, causing damage. It now seems that inhibiting this process can prevent age-related health decline in mice.

    • Bennett Childs
    •  & Jan van Deursen
  • News & Views |

    Mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is accelerating as a result of rising global temperatures. Two studies explore how this mass loss will affect sea level and other aspects of the climate in the future.

    • Hélène Seroussi
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported a strange natural phenomenon in 1969, and an anti-louse campaign in 1919.

  • News & Views |

    Genetic instability is a hallmark of cancer cells, and occurs when genes required for genomic maintenance are inactivated. It emerges that altering just one of the two copies of certain genes can drive genetic instability in yeast.

    • Katherine E. Larrimore
    •  & Giulia Rancati
  • News & Views |

    The gut is an active site of immune defence against disease-causing microbes. A study in mice shows that a type of immune cell in the gut’s wall also helps to regulate sugar and fat metabolism.

    • Daria Esterházy
    •  & Daniel Mucida
  • News & Views |

    Denisova Cave sheltered hominins at least 200,000 years ago, and excavations there have illuminated our understanding of early hominins in Asia. New dating analyses now refine this knowledge.

    • Robin Dennell
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported anxiety about a Mars probe in 1969, and the lack of scientists in the British government in 1919.

  • News & Views |

    When Mendeleev proposed his periodic table in 1869, element 43 was unknown. In 1937, it became the first element to be discovered by synthesis in a laboratory — paving the way to the atomic age.

    • Kit Chapman
  • News & Views |

    Microorganisms in the human gut can affect immune-system cells. Gut bacterial strains have been discovered that boost immune cells that have cell-killing capacity and that can target cancer and protect against infection.

    • Nathan E. Reticker-Flynn
    •  & Edgar G. Engleman
  • News & Views |

    A method for making a version of a gene more likely to be inherited than normal, generating what is called a gene drive, might be used to control insect populations. It has now been reported to work in mammals, too.

    • Bruce R. Conklin
  • News & Views |

    The perception range of an ordinary camera can be extended by analysing information contained in shadows. This finding could have technological implications for robotic, automotive and medical sensing.

    • Martin Laurenzis
  • News & Views |

    Tectonic plates lost to the deep mantle carry a record of ancient surface tectonic processes. A method for retrieving such records has been developed that could clarify the links between tectonics and mountain building.

    • Dietmar Müller
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported an analysis of animal coloration in 1919, and Darwin’s letters in 1969.

  • News & Views |

    Infection by Ebola virus can be fatal. The discovery of a human protein that mimics one type of Ebola protein and binds to another to suppress viral RNA production might aid the development of clinical treatments for the disease.

    • Seiya Yamayoshi
    •  & Yoshihiro Kawaoka
  • News & Views |

    During the deaths of some massive stars, a narrow beam called a jet is launched through the stellar envelope, leaving an imprint that is difficult to detect. Such an imprint has now been seen in unprecedented detail.

    • Ehud Nakar
  • News & Views |

    Fungal infection can affect crop yield. A plant protein found to counter fungal-induced interference with host metabolism illuminates antifungal defences and mechanisms that inhibit metabolic enzymes.

    • Mary C. Wildermuth
  • News & Views |

    Intron sequences are removed from newly synthesized RNA and usually rapidly degraded. However, it now seems that introns have a surprising role — helping yeast cells survive when nutrients are scarce.

    • Samantha R. Edwards
    •  & Tracy L. Johnson
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported the death of Theodore Roosevelt in 1919, and a collection of inventions in 1969.

  • News & Views |

    A tenet of elementary biology is that mitochondria — the cell’s powerhouses — and their DNA are inherited exclusively from mothers. A provocative study suggests that fathers also occasionally contribute.

    • Thomas G. McWilliams
    •  & Anu Suomalainen
  • News & Views |

    Polymeric gel particles have been used to make windows that highly effectively allow or block heat-generating wavelengths of sunlight in response to temperature. Such windows might increase the energy efficiency of buildings.

    • Michael J. Serpe
  • News & Views |

    A study shows that a multi-chromosomal hub assembles in mouse olfactory neurons to ensure that only one odour-sensing receptor is expressed in each neuron — a feature essential to odour discrimination.

    • François Spitz
  • News & Views |

    In roots, stem cells in the cambium region form vascular tissues needed for the long-distance transport of water and nutrients. How these stem cells are specified and regulated has now been illuminated.

    • Sebastian Wolf
    •  & Jan U. Lohmann
  • News & Views |

    A technique called reverberation mapping has previously been used to probe the structure of matter around supermassive black holes. Observations suggest that this technique can also be applied to much smaller black holes.

    • Daryl Haggard
  • News & Views |

    A technically challenging analysis has revealed the physical properties of a mineral at pressures and temperatures as high as those in Earth’s mantle. The findings have implications for our understanding of Earth’s deep interior.

    • Johannes Buchen
  • News & Views |

    A computational strategy has delivered a redesigned, more stable version of a cytokine protein that mimics the natural protein’s interactions with receptors, opening the way for designer cytokine-based therapeutics.

    • E. Yvonne Jones