Reviews & Analysis

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  • Astronomical objects called quasars have been difficult to study because of the limited spatial resolution of observations. An approach has been developed that allows the structure and dynamics of quasars to be investigated.

    • Erin Kara
    News & Views
  • Viruses can insert a copy of their genetic sequence into a host cell’s genome. If the insertion fails, gene expression of unintegrated viral DNA in the nucleus is silenced. How this process occurs has now been uncovered.

    • Parinaz Fozouni
    • Melanie Ott
    News & Views
  • The signalling molecule nitric oxide protects the kidneys by reprogramming metabolism, and its levels are regulated by a two-component system in mice. These findings identify new targets for drug discovery.

    • Charles J. Lowenstein
    News & Views
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic cues drive dynamic processes that control cell fate during organ development. A study of mouse and human cells reveals how these inputs affect cells that make the essential hormone insulin.

    • Francesca M. Spagnoli
    News & Views
  • What Nature said about an oil spill in 1968, and about the survival of science after the First World War.

    News & Views
  • In the debate about how bacterial mutations arise, an experiment in 1943 showed that they can occur spontaneously and independently of a selection pressure. This study also popularized the use of maths-driven analysis of biological data.

    • Manoshi S. Datta
    • Roy Kishony
    News & Views
  • A preference for mating with similar individuals can have a key role in speciation. Research on Darwin’s finches suggests that individuals might use the likeness of their parents as a guide for choosing mates.

    • Lewis G. Spurgin
    • Tracey Chapman
    News & Views
  • A strategy for using organic free radicals to make light-emitting diodes circumvents the constraints that limit the efficiency with which other organic LEDs convert electric current into light.

    • Tetsuro Kusamoto
    • Hiroshi Nishihara
    News & Views
  • Aeroplanes use propellers and turbines, and are typically powered by fossil-fuel combustion. An alternative method of propelling planes has been demonstrated that does not require moving parts or combustion.

    • Franck Plouraboué
    News & Views
  • The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of hard-to-treat human infections. It now seems that, if the bacterium is infected by a virus, a viral enzyme helps the microbe to evade detection by the immune system.

    • Michael S. Gilmore
    • Ona K. Miller
    News & Views
  • Chloroplast organelles in plant cells are thought to have evolved from bacterial cells. It emerges that the protein-import system in chloroplasts arose from components that export proteins out of bacteria.

    • Danny J. Schnell
    News & Views
  • This Perspective discusses developments in LED-based solid-state lighting for physiological and agricultural applications, and the anticipated benefits in terms of health and productivity.

    • P. M. Pattison
    • J. Y. Tsao
    • B. Bugbee
  • What Nature said about the 1968 flu epidemic and the reinstatement of public weather forecasts in the United Kingdom at the end of the First World War.

    News & Views
  • Low oxygen levels are a hallmark of expanding fat tissue in obesity, and can lead to type 2 diabetes. In addition to a lack of adequate blood supply, increased oxygen demand in fat cells now emerges as being key to this harmful state.

    • Nolwenn Joffin
    • Philipp E. Scherer
    News & Views
  • Measurements of the strength of interactions between the Higgs boson and other particles test the current model of particle physics. A key part of this model has been confirmed by observing the most common decay of the Higgs boson.

    • Boris Tuchming
    News & Views
  • The detection of a low-mass exoplanet on a relatively wide orbit has implications for models of planetary formation and evolution, and could open the door to a new era of exoplanet characterization.

    • Rodrigo F. Díaz
    News & Views
  • A tectonic plate descending into the Mariana Trench carries sea water deep into Earth’s interior. It seems that much more water enters Earth at this location than was thought — with implications for the global water budget.

    • Donna J. Shillington
    News & Views