News & Views

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • News & Views |

    Radio waves produced by cosmic lighthouses called pulsars are distorted by surrounding material. Observations show that this material can act as a lens, focusing the waves and boosting the brightness of the pulsar.

    • Jason Hessels
  • News & Views |

    An innovative computational analysis of factors that might have influenced human brain evolution suggests that ecological, rather than social, factors had a key role in the evolution of large, rapidly developing brains.

    • Richard McElreath
  • News & Views |

    Excitations called plasmons have the potential to miniaturize photonic devices, but are often short-lived. Microscopy reveals that plasmons in the material graphene can overcome this limitation at low temperatures.

    • Justin C. W. Song
  • News & Views |

    A complex that includes the protein HP1 binds to specific regulatory DNA sequences to promote local compaction of genomic regions and inhibit associated genes that drive differentiation of specific cell lineages.

    • Kristoffer N. Jensen
    •  & Matthew C. Lorincz