Reviews & Analysis

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  • A combination of Internet-based and field experiments suggests that being given personal information about a stranger leads people to believe that they themselves are known to that person — and to change their behaviour accordingly.

    • Elicia John
    • Shawn D. Bushway
    News & Views
  • Proteins adopt unstable, high-energy states that exist for fractions of a second but can have key biological roles. A new method of determining high-resolution structures of such states using a form of nuclear magnetic resonance reveals how small changes in protein shape are essential to their function.

    Research Briefing
  • A plasma-based device is set to challenge particle accelerators that generate high-quality light pulses, with evidence that the cheaper plasma platform can run at competitive repetition rates.

    • Michael Litos
    News & Views
  • Recent theoretical and experimental progress in identifying and understanding magnetic topological materials is reviewed, highlighting the antiferromagnetic topological insulator MnBi2Te4 and the ferromagnetic Weyl semimetal Co3Sn2S2, and future research directions are discussed.

    • B. Andrei Bernevig
    • Claudia Felser
    • Haim Beidenkopf
    Review Article
  • Nature’s pages feature a look at some books for travellers, and success reported in the effort to preserve a Stone Age monument.

    News & Views
  • A quantum device uses ultracold atoms to sense gravitational changes that can detect a tunnel under a city street. Here, scientists discuss the advance from the viewpoints of quantum sensing and geophysics.

    • Nicola Poli
    • Roman Pašteka
    • Pavol Zahorec
    News & Views Forum
  • Luminous bursts of radio emission are linked to highly magnetized neutron stars known as magnetars. Now, bursts have been detected from a globular star cluster, an environment thought to be devoid of magnetars.

    • Vikram Ravi
    News & Views
  • Archaeologists have various hypotheses for how populations changed in Africa about 50,000 years ago, during the Later Stone Age transition. Now, the earliest available ancient-DNA sequences from sub-Saharan Africa reveal a complex Late Pleistocene population structure, pointing to large shifts in human movement and in patterns of social interaction.

    Research Briefing
  • Messenger RNA from the gene UNC13A is misprocessed in people who have neurodegenerative diseases known as ALS and FTD. The discovery could explain the disease risk associated with variants in this gene.

    • Noa Lipstein
    News & Views
  • Lung bacteria modulate the activity of immune cells in the central nervous system in a rodent model of autoimmunity. This finding might shed light on the neuroinflammation associated with multiple sclerosis.

    • Aubrey M. Schonhoff
    • Sarkis K. Mazmanian
    News & Views
  • Two-dimensional materials have been restricted to systems in which strong chemical bonds hold atoms together in sheets. Now, 2D materials consisting of molecules linked by weak non-covalent bonds have been peeled from crystals.

    • Claudia Backes
    News & Views
  • Nature’s pages feature a look at seal conservation in 1972, and highlight a new edition of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species in 1872.

    News & Views
  • When mouse pups first open their eyes, what they see shapes neuronal connectivity. A study shows that this visual experience has cell-type-specific effects, acting only on a subset of malleable neurons.

    • Sergi Roig Puiggros
    • Denis Jabaudon
    News & Views
  • Climate policies and greenhouse-gas emissions for the twenty-first century are modelled as the result of coupled feedback effects in the social, political and energy systems. Our models suggest that climate policies will increase in ambition and associated emissions reductions will probably accelerate, resulting in warming of 2 °C to 3 °C above 1880–1910 levels by 2100.

    Research Briefing
  • The torus of dust surrounding a quasar — a very luminous supermassive black hole that accretes matter from its surroundings — has now been captured with high-resolution infrared imaging.

    • Robert Antonucci
    News & Views
  • Night-time is usually a crucial period when fires lose energy, limiting their size and severity, and helping people to control their spread. But rapid night-time warming over the past several decades, combined with global increases in fire intensity at night, suggest that the naturally occurring brakes on fires are weakening.

    Research Briefing
  • Tests of relativity once required accurate clocks separated by thousands of kilometres. Optical techniques have now made such tests possible in an atomic cluster measuring no more than one millimetre in size.

    • Ksenia Khabarova
    News & Views
  • The concept of 'Embodied Energy'—in which the components of a robot or device both store energy and provide a mechanical or structural function—is put forward, along with specific robot-design principles.

    • Cameron A. Aubin
    • Benjamin Gorissen
    • Robert F. Shepherd
    Perspective
  • Nature’s pages feature a look at forensic science, and report the hopes for astronomical discoveries at a new observatory in Argentina.

    News & Views