Reviews & Analysis

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  • An analysis reveals that the dragonfly's impressive ability to catch its prey arises from internal calculations about its own movements and those of its target — the first example of such predictions in invertebrates. See Article p.333

    • Stacey A. Combes
    News & Views
  • The extent to which coastal-ocean regions act as a sink for carbon dioxide has been enigmatic. An estimate based on more than 3 million observations suggests a smaller sink than was thought, concentrated at high latitudes.

    • Nicolas Gruber
    News & Views
  • Carbon atoms to which four distinct carbon substituents are attached — quaternary carbon stereocentres — are common features of molecules found in nature; in this Review, the authors discuss catalytic enantioselective reactions that have been developed during the past decade for synthesizing organic molecules containing such carbon atoms.

    • Kyle W. Quasdorf
    • Larry E. Overman
    Review Article
  • An imaging technique has been developed that can record non-repetitive ultrafast phenomena without strobe or flash illumination. The approach could find applications in biomedicine and security technologies. See Letter p.74

    • Brian W. Pogue
    News & Views
  • Bladder-cancer cells have been found to release prostaglandin E2 when they are killed by chemotherapy. Paradoxically, this molecule stimulates the proliferation of surviving cancer stem cells, leading to tumour repopulation. See Letter p.209

    • Ian F. Tannock
    News & Views
  • The African Genome Variation Project presents genotyping and whole-genome data from individuals across sub-Saharan Africa, giving insight into population history and guiding future genomic studies on the continent. See Article p.327

    • Raj Ramesar
    News & Views
  • Concentrations of heavy isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen decrease in rain as storms cross land. A model examines the transport of water vapour that causes this effect, and provides insight into past and present climates.

    • Katherine H. Freeman
    News & Views
  • Galaxies contain fewer stars than predicted. The discovery of a massive galactic outflow of molecular gas in a compact galaxy, which forms stars 100 times faster than the Milky Way, may help to explain why. See Letter p.68

    • Philip F. Hopkins
    News & Views
  • The discovery that the neural navigation system of the mammalian brain acts in three dimensions sheds light on how mammals orient themselves in complex environments. See Article p.159

    • David C. Rowland
    • May-Britt Moser
    News & Views
  • During immune-cell development, potentially self-reactive T cells are eliminated. It emerges that recruitment of a co-receptor bound to the T-cell receptor by the enzyme Lck is the rate-limiting step in this negative selection.

    • Nicholas R. J. Gascoigne
    News & Views
  • The protein FtsZ forms a ring structure that constricts to allow bacterial cells to divide. A second protein, MapZ, has now been found to guide FtsZ to the correct mid-cell position in the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. See Letter p.259

    • Elizabeth J. Harry
    News & Views
  • Intensive longitudinal sampling of malaria mosquitoes in the African semi-desert reveals that three morphologically indistinguishable species have distinctive strategies for surviving the dry season. See Letter p.387

    • Nora J. Besansky
    News & Views
  • A study of the El Niño phenomenon over the past 21,000 years suggests that El Niño responded in complex ways to a changing climate, with several competing factors playing a part in its varying strength. See Letter p.550

    • Josephine R. Brown
    News & Views
  • Five papers extend the list of cancers that respond to therapies that restore antitumour immunity by blocking the PD-1 pathway, and characterize those patients who respond best. See Letters p.558, p.563, p.568, p.572 & p.577

    • Jedd D. Wolchok
    • Timothy A. Chan
    News & Views
  • Photosystem II, a photosynthetic protein complex, is prone to X-ray damage during crystallography. A high-resolution structure of the undamaged complex now offers a detailed view of its catalytic centre. See Letter p.99

    • Ilme Schlichting
    News & Views
  • The atomically thin material called graphene is impermeable to atoms as small as helium. The finding that protons can pass through it might enable new kinds of membrane to be developed and aid research into fuel cells. See Letter p.227

    • Rohit N. Karnik
    News & Views
  • A geometric measurement of the distance to a nearby galaxy implies a larger mass for its central black hole than previously calculated, and a consequent increase for most other masses of such black holes. See Letter p.528

    • Martin Elvis
    News & Views
  • Growing evidence points to belowground biota as a significant contributor to aboveground diversity and functioning as well as impacting eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change; this review explores such evidence and proposes further research directions.

    • Richard D. Bardgett
    • Wim H. van der Putten
    Review Article
  • Evolving agricultural practices dramatically increased crop production in the twentieth century. Two studies now find that this has altered the seasonal flux of atmospheric carbon dioxide. See Letters p.394 & p.398

    • Natasha MacBean
    • Philippe Peylin
    News & Views
  • Domain walls are natural borders in ferromagnetic, ferroelectric or ferroelastic materials. It seems that they can also be reactive areas that produce crystallographic phases never before observed in bulk materials. See Letter p.379

    • Philippe Ghosez
    • Jean-Marc Triscone
    News & Views