Current Issue

Volume 556 Number 7699 pp5-135

5 April 2018

About the cover

The cover depicts a scanning electron microscope image of quantum-well infrared photodetectors created from a metamaterial array of metallic resonators. Technologies for the detection of infrared radiation in the long-wavelength range (8-12 micrometres) exist, but devices that are both very fast and sensitive require low-temperature operation, which limits their applications. In this issue, Daniele Palaferri and his collaborators show how photonic metamaterial ideas combined with the high speed of quantum-well infrared photodetectors leads to an ultrasensitive coherent detection, similar to that developed for radio waves: heterodyne detection. This enhanced sensitivity for the detection of long-wavelength infrared radiation at room temperature potentially opens up a range of applications, from thermal imaging and environmental remote sensing to coherent free-space communications. Cover image: Daniele Palaferri & Stephane Suffit/University Paris-Diderot

This Week



World View


Research Highlights


News in Focus


Books and Arts








Brief Communications Arising

  • Lens regeneration in children

    • Demetrios G. Vavvas
    • Thaddeus P. Dryja
    • M. Edward Wilson
    • Timothy W. Olsen
    • Ankoor Shah
    • Ula Jurkunas
    • Roberto Pineda
    • Vasiliki Poulaki
    • Sotiria Palioura
    • Peter Veldman
    • Javier Moreno-Montañés
    • Maria D. Pinazo-Duran
    • José Carlos Pastor
    • Miltiadis Tsilimbaris
    • Douglas Rhee
    • Kathryn Colby
    • David G. Hunter
    • Solon Thanos
    • Taiji Sakamoto
    • Louis R. Pasquale
    • Joan W. Miller
    • Deborah VanderVeen
    • Scott R. Lambert
  • Liu et al. reply

    • Yizhi Liu
    • David Granet
    • Haotian Lin
    • Sally Baxter
    • Hong Ouyang
    • Jie Zhu
    • Shan Huang
    • Zhenzhen Liu
    • Xiaokang Wu
    • Fangbing Yan
    • Xialin Liu
    • Lixia Luo
    • Christopher Heichel
    • Meixia Zhang
    • Wenjia Cai
    • Richard L. Maas
    • Kang Zhang

News & Views



  • The logic of single-cell projections from visual cortex

    • Yunyun Han
    • Justus M. Kebschull
    • Robert A. A. Campbell
    • Devon Cowan
    • Fabia Imhof
    • Anthony M. Zador
    • Thomas D. Mrsic-Flogel

    Tracing of projection neuron axons from the primary visual cortex to their targets shows that these neurons often project to multiple cortical areas of the mouse brain.

  • Evolved Cas9 variants with broad PAM compatibility and high DNA specificity

    • Johnny H. Hu
    • Shannon M. Miller
    • Maarten H. Geurts
    • Weixin Tang
    • Liwei Chen
    • Ning Sun
    • Christina M. Zeina
    • Xue Gao
    • Holly A. Rees
    • Zhi Lin
    • David R. Liu

    Phage-assisted continuous evolution of Cas9 variants with broad PAM compatibility and high DNA specificity that can be used for transcriptional activation, gene disruption and base editing.

  • Architecture of the human GATOR1 and GATOR1–Rag GTPases complexes

    • Kuang Shen
    • Rick K. Huang
    • Edward J. Brignole
    • Kendall J. Condon
    • Max L. Valenstein
    • Lynne Chantranupong
    • Aimaiti Bomaliyamu
    • Abigail Choe
    • Chuan Hong
    • Zhiheng Yu
    • David M. Sabatini

    Cryo-electron microscopy and biochemical analyses of the GATOR1 protein complex reveal that two binding modes underpin its ability to regulate Rag GTPases as a GTPase-activating protein for RAGA.


  • Quantized Majorana conductance

    • Hao Zhang
    • Chun-Xiao Liu
    • Sasa Gazibegovic
    • Di Xu
    • John A. Logan
    • Guanzhong Wang
    • Nick van Loo
    • Jouri D. S. Bommer
    • Michiel W. A. de Moor
    • Diana Car
    • Roy L. M. Op het Veld
    • Petrus J. van Veldhoven
    • Sebastian Koelling
    • Marcel A. Verheijen
    • Mihir Pendharkar
    • Daniel J. Pennachio
    • Borzoyeh Shojaei
    • Joon Sue Lee
    • Chris J. Palmstrøm
    • Erik P. A. M. Bakkers
    • S. Das Sarma
    • Leo P. Kouwenhoven

    In a step towards topological quantum computation, a quantized Majorana conductance has been demonstrated for a semiconducting nanowire coupled to a superconductor.

  • Correlated insulator behaviour at half-filling in magic-angle graphene superlattices

    • Yuan Cao
    • Valla Fatemi
    • Ahmet Demir
    • Shiang Fang
    • Spencer L. Tomarken
    • Jason Y. Luo
    • Javier D. Sanchez-Yamagishi
    • Kenji Watanabe
    • Takashi Taniguchi
    • Efthimios Kaxiras
    • Ray C. Ashoori
    • Pablo Jarillo-Herrero

    When the two graphene sheets in a van der Waals heterostructure are twisted relative to each other by a specific amount, Mott-like insulating phases are observed at half-filling.

  • Room-temperature nine-µm-wavelength photodetectors and GHz-frequency heterodyne receivers

    • Daniele Palaferri
    • Yanko Todorov
    • Azzurra Bigioli
    • Alireza Mottaghizadeh
    • Djamal Gacemi
    • Allegra Calabrese
    • Angela Vasanelli
    • Lianhe Li
    • A. Giles Davies
    • Edmund H. Linfield
    • Filippos Kapsalidis
    • Mattias Beck
    • Jérôme Faist
    • Carlo Sirtori

    Quantum-well photodetectors fabricated from photonic metamaterials show enhanced room-temperature sensitivity to long-wavelength infrared radiation and produce gigahertz-frequency heterodyne signals when pumped with quantum cascade lasers.

  • Molecular nucleation mechanisms and control strategies for crystal polymorph selection

    • Alexander E. S. Van Driessche
    • Nani Van Gerven
    • Paul H. H. Bomans
    • Rick R. M. Joosten
    • Heiner Friedrich
    • David Gil-Carton
    • Nico A. J. M. Sommerdijk
    • Mike Sleutel

    Cryo-transmission electron microscopy reveals the initiation of glucose isomerase crystals and their growth into different crystalline or gel polymorphs, and shows that mutating specific amino acids controls which polymorph grows.

  • Climatic control of Mississippi River flood hazard amplified by river engineering

    • Samuel E. Munoz
    • Liviu Giosan
    • Matthew D. Therrell
    • Jonathan W. F. Remo
    • Zhixiong Shen
    • Richard M. Sullivan
    • Charlotte Wiman
    • Michelle O’Donnell
    • Jeffrey P. Donnelly

    A suite of river discharge, tree-ring, sedimentary and climate data shows that the Mississippi’s flood magnitude has risen by about twenty per cent over the past half-century, largely owing to engineering works.

  • A new class of synthetic retinoid antibiotics effective against bacterial persisters

    • Wooseong Kim
    • Wenpeng Zhu
    • Gabriel Lambert Hendricks
    • Daria Van Tyne
    • Andrew D. Steele
    • Colleen E. Keohane
    • Nico Fricke
    • Annie L. Conery
    • Steven Shen
    • Wen Pan
    • Kiho Lee
    • Rajmohan Rajamuthiah
    • Beth Burgwyn Fuchs
    • Petia M. Vlahovska
    • William M. Wuest
    • Michael S. Gilmore
    • Huajian Gao
    • Frederick M. Ausubel
    • Eleftherios Mylonakis

    Synthetic retinoid compounds can kill both growing and persister MRSA cells by disrupting the membrane lipid bilayer, and are effective in a mouse model of chronic MRSA infection.

  • Whole-organism clone tracing using single-cell sequencing

    • Anna Alemany
    • Maria Florescu
    • Chloé S. Baron
    • Josi Peterson-Maduro
    • Alexander van Oudenaarden

    A single-cell sequencing method is developed that uses transcriptomics and CRISPR–Cas9 technology to investigate clonal relationships in cells present in different zebrafish tissues.

  • Itaconate is an anti-inflammatory metabolite that activates Nrf2 via alkylation of KEAP1

    • Evanna L. Mills
    • Dylan G. Ryan
    • Hiran A. Prag
    • Dina Dikovskaya
    • Deepthi Menon
    • Zbigniew Zaslona
    • Mark P. Jedrychowski
    • Ana S. H. Costa
    • Maureen Higgins
    • Emily Hams
    • John Szpyt
    • Marah C. Runtsch
    • Martin S. King
    • Joanna F. McGouran
    • Roman Fischer
    • Benedikt M. Kessler
    • Anne F. McGettrick
    • Mark M. Hughes
    • Richard G. Carroll
    • Lee M. Booty
    • Elena V. Knatko
    • Paul J. Meakin
    • Michael L. J. Ashford
    • Louise K. Modis
    • Gino Brunori
    • Daniel C. Sévin
    • Padraic G. Fallon
    • Stuart T. Caldwell
    • Edmund R. S. Kunji
    • Edward T. Chouchani
    • Christian Frezza
    • Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova
    • Richard C. Hartley
    • Michael P. Murphy
    • Luke A. O’Neill

    WebTreatment of lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages with the cell-permeable itaconate derivative 4-octyl itaconate activates the anti-inflammatory transcription factor Nrf2 by alkylating key cysteine residues on the KEAP1 protein.

  • Structure of the peptidoglycan polymerase RodA resolved by evolutionary coupling analysis

    • Megan Sjodt
    • Kelly Brock
    • Genevieve Dobihal
    • Patricia D. A. Rohs
    • Anna G. Green
    • Thomas A. Hopf
    • Alexander J. Meeske
    • Veerasak Srisuknimit
    • Daniel Kahne
    • Suzanne Walker
    • Debora S. Marks
    • Thomas G. Bernhardt
    • David Z. Rudner
    • Andrew C. Kruse

    Evolutionary coupling-enabled molecular replacement determination of the structure of Thermus thermophilus RodA reveals a highly conserved cavity in its transmembrane domain, and mutagenesis experiments in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli show that perturbation of this cavity abolishes RodA function.

  • Structure of the insulin receptor–insulin complex by single-particle cryo-EM analysis

    • Giovanna Scapin
    • Venkata P. Dandey
    • Zhening Zhang
    • Winifred Prosise
    • Alan Hruza
    • Theresa Kelly
    • Todd Mayhood
    • Corey Strickland
    • Clinton S. Potter
    • Bridget Carragher

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of insulin in a complex with the insulin receptor define the S2 binding site on the receptor and suggest a mechanism for downstream propagation of insulin signalling.

  • Modular assembly of the nucleolar pre-60S ribosomal subunit

    • Zahra Assur Sanghai
    • Linamarie Miller
    • Kelly R. Molloy
    • Jonas Barandun
    • Mirjam Hunziker
    • Malik Chaker-Margot
    • Junjie Wang
    • Brian T. Chait
    • Sebastian Klinge

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of multiple states along the assembly pathway of the nucleolar pre-60S ribosomal subunit suggest that folding of the pre-ribosomal RNA and sequential binding of transient assembly factors are regulated by steric hindrance among these factors.