Reviews & Analysis

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  • Laser experiments and computer simulations have been used to analyse the jiggling of atoms in compressed solids. The results take us closer to designing materials that can withstand extreme conditions. See Letters p.492 & p.496

    • Neil K. Bourne
    News & Views
  • An ultrasensitive balance has been developed to weigh single or multiple cells, at high time and mass resolution — revealing fast and subtle mass fluctuations during the cell cycle and viral infection. See Letter p.500

    • David Alsteens
    • Yves F. Dufrêne
    News & Views
  • When a particle-laden droplet evaporates on a solid surface, the particles form a ring-like deposit. The explanation for this phenomenon, provided in 1997, has led to advances in many areas of science and engineering.

    • Ronald G. Larson
    News & Views
  • The presence of N1 methyl groups on adenine bases was thought to be widespread in messenger RNAs. It now seems that these modifications are much less prevalent, and occur on mRNAs that structurally mimic transfer RNA. See Letter p.251

    • Anya V. Grozhik
    • Samie R. Jaffrey
    News & Views
  • Statistical analysis of data on threatened species provides a model that can predict how rates of investment in conservation affect biodiversity under changing human population levels and agricultural and economic conditions. See Letter p.364

    • Hugh P. Possingham
    • Leah R. Gerber
    News & Views
  • Infection with Shigella flexneri bacteria is a major cause of infant death. It emerges that S. flexneri evades intracellular defences by releasing a protein that triggers the destruction of members of a key family of host enzymes. See Letter p.378

    • John D. MacMicking
    News & Views
  • A technique that combines machine learning and quantum computing has been used to identify the particles known as Higgs bosons. The method could find applications in many areas of science. See Letter p.375

    • Steven Schramm
    News & Views
  • An artificial-intelligence program called AlphaGo Zero has mastered the game of Go without any human data or guidance. A computer scientist and two members of the American Go Association discuss the implications. See Article p.354

    • Satinder Singh
    • Andy Okun
    • Andrew Jackson
    News & Views
  • Tumour cells can develop intrinsic adaptations that make them less susceptible to chemotherapy. It emerges that extrinsic bacterial action can also enable tumour cells to escape the effects of drug treatment.

    • Christian Jobin
    News & Views
  • Ecological interactions emerge spontaneously in an experimental study of bacterial populations cultured for 60,000 generations, and sustain rapid evolution by natural selection. See Letter p.45

    • Joshua B. Plotkin
    News & Views
  • Epithelial stem cells maintain the skin's epidermis and promote wound healing in response to injury. Scientists from two fields discuss implications of the discovery that these stem cells harbour a memory of previous injuries, which enables skin to respond rapidly to subsequent assaults. See Article p.475

    • Xing Dai
    • Ruslan Medzhitov
    News & Views
  • The petals of a range of flowers harbour repeated patterns of nanostructures that show similar levels of disorder across species. This degree of disorder produces a blue halo of scattered light that helps bees to find flowers. See Article p.469

    • Dimitri D. Deheyn
    News & Views
  • The discovery of gravitational waves from a neutron-star merger and the detection of the event across the electromagnetic spectrum give insight into many aspects of gravity and astrophysics. See Letter p.64, p.67, p.71, p.75 & p.80

    • M. Coleman Miller
    News & Views
  • Although liquid metals are effective fluids for heat transfer, pumping them at high temperatures is limited by their corrosiveness to solid metals. A clever pump design addresses this challenge using only ceramics. See Article p.199

    • Konstantina Lambrinou
    News & Views
  • Observations of the distant dwarf planet Haumea constrain its size, shape and density, and reveal an encircling planetary ring. The discovery suggests that rings are not as rare in the Solar System as previously thought. See Letter p.219

    • Amanda A. Sickafoose
    News & Views
  • A collection of papers catalogues the associations between genetic variation and gene expression in healthy tissues – the largest analysis of this kind so far. See Article p.204 & Letters p.239, p.244 & p.249

    • Michelle C. Ward
    • Yoav Gilad
    News & Views
  • The cellular origins of a precancerous condition called Barrett's oesophagus have been unclear. Tracking and analysis of epithelial cells at the affected site could shed light on the problem. See Letter p.529

    • Lizhe Zhuang
    • Rebecca C. Fitzgerald
    News & Views
  • Rett syndrome is a brain disorder caused by disrupted forms of the protein MECP2, but how MECP2 loss affects the brain is unknown. A mouse study now implicates key domains of the protein and offers therapeutic insights. See Letter p.398

    • Anne E. West
    News & Views