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  • Modelling reveals that the carbon emissions associated with plastics could be negative by 2100 under a strict set of technological and socio-economic conditions — including increased recycling and plant-derived production.

    • Sangwon Suh
    • André  Bardow
    News & Views
  • Organisms use various strategies for sex determination. The non-genetic mechanism in the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum, involving a male-specific factor, has now been revealed.

    • Elisabet Tintó-Font
    • Alfred Cortés
    News & Views
  • Long bursts of γ-rays usually signal the death of massive stars, but an emission detected last year suggests that a long burst with peculiar properties originated from the merger of stars in a compact binary system.

    • Luigi Piro
    News & Views
  • An exercise in benchmarking a quantum computer reveals that the processor can go beyond the ‘integrability’ limit, at which dynamical systems no longer have explicit solutions, and standard mathematical techniques struggle.

    • Tomaž Prosen
    News & Views
  • In mature tropical forests, trees that can capture nitrogen experience high levels of herbivory. This could explain the low abundance of such trees, and demonstrates that herbivores can limit nitrogen availability on land.

    • Joy B. Winbourne
    • Lindsay A. McCulloch
    News & Views
  • Parental-care behaviours include mammalian lactation to provide milk for offspring. The discovery that adult ants harvest nutritious fluid from pupae and give larvae this fluid reveals social feeding that aids colony success.

    • Patrizia d’Ettorre
    • Kazuki Tsuji
    News & Views
  • Seasonal variation in tropical sea surface temperatures doubled during an abrupt warming event 11,700 years ago. This shows that seasonal changes must be considered when inferring past climatic events, and predicting those to come.

    • Alyssa R. Atwood
    News & Views
  • A 67-million-year-old fossil bird found in Europe provides evidence suggesting that scientists should reconsider centuries-old ideas about the nature of the ancestral avian beak.

    • Christopher R. Torres
    News & Views
  • The neurotransmitter dopamine has been shown to serve as a signal for learning in the fly’s navigation centre. The rate at which the fly learns depends on turning, so only useful visual information is used to update the fly’s mental map.

    • István Taisz
    • Gregory S. X. E. Jefferis
    News & Views
  • A system of nine quantum bits has been used to simulate a state known as a holographic wormhole, a concept that features in attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics with the general theory of relativity.

    • Adam R. Brown
    • Leonard Susskind
    News & Views
  • Abnormalities in gut bacteria can contribute to hard-to-treat illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Efforts to harness bacterium-targeting viruses reveal a promising way to tackle these conditions.

    • Alice Bertocchi
    • Fiona Powrie
    News & Views
  • Structural insights into a long-studied folate-transport protein provide evidence that might lead to entirely new targeted anticancer treatments, or boost the success of immunotherapy approaches to tackling tumours.

    • Larry H. Matherly
    • Zhanjun Hou
    News & Views
  • Radiation from a jet of ultrafast particles powered by a supermassive black hole suggests that the particles are accelerated by shock waves propagating along the jet, making them shine with the brightness of 100 billion Suns.

    • Lea Marcotulli
    News & Views
  • Mounting evidence suggests that developing neurons and metastatic cancer cells migrate through similar mechanisms. Characterization of a previously unknown complex involved in cell migration confirms this idea.

    • Alain Chédotal
    News & Views
  • A theory shows that active agents can cooperate in the presence of disorder — a result that could inform the design of robots that organize on rough surfaces, or show how cells migrate en masse.

    • Sam Cameron
    • Tannie Liverpool
    News & Views
  • People who carry a particular variant of the APOE gene are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It emerges that this might be due to decreased production of a fatty substance called myelin by oligodendrocyte cells.

    • Karl Carlström
    • Gonçalo Castelo-Branco
    News & Views