Reviews & Analysis

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  • The interior of the cell is organized with the help of dynamic structures that condense like droplets. A timing strategy ensures that cells maintain healthy function by avoiding uncontrolled growth of these condensates.

    • Guillaume Charras
    • Martin Lenz
    News & Views
  • An analysis of the distribution of the elementary particles that make up the proton provides evidence that it contains a type of quark known as an intrinsic charm quark — verifying a proposal made four decades ago.

    • Ramona Vogt
    News & Views
  • Variations in ocean oxygen levels during Earth’s history have been linked to evolution and mass extinctions. Simulations now suggest that the configuration of the continents has a substantial impact on ocean oxygenation.

    • Katrin J. Meissner
    • Andreas Oschlies
    News & Views
  • Activation of the RAF protein is key to the RAS–MAPK signalling pathway, and involves the SMP protein complex. Structures for SMP shed light on the process, and suggest fresh targets for anticancer drug discovery.

    • Hugo Lavoie
    • Marc Therrien
    News & Views
  • In 1987, two independent groups cloned a gene that encoded the potassium-ion-channel protein Shaker, enabling functional and structural studies that have transformed ion-channel research.

    • Crina M. Nimigean
    News & Views
  • Immune cells called monocytes have long been implicated in the killing of invading bacteria. However, a closer look reveals a surprising role for them: monocytes partner with a hormone to improve skin healing after bacterial infection.

    • Vishwa Deep Dixit
    News & Views
  • Soft magnetic materials can be magnetized and demagnetized by weak magnetic fields, but lack the strength, toughness and malleability needed for many applications. An alloy that solves this problem has now been developed.

    • Easo P. George
    News & Views
  • Understanding the processes that affect carbon storage in tropical forests is crucial for assessing the effects of climate change. An experiment reveals that a nutrient shortfall is hampering such carbon capture.

    • S. Joseph Wright
    News & Views
  • The engineering of cells to express synthetic adhesion molecules creates a simple logic for patterning cell populations with visible boundaries. The approach paves the way for smart living materials and programmable biosensors.

    • Luis Ángel Fernández
    News & Views
  • Analysis of when and how fast temperate deciduous trees in North America grow suggests that the earlier onset of the growing season induced by climate change does not result in extra carbon sequestration from wood production.

    • Cyrille B. K. Rathgeber
    • Patrick Fonti
    News & Views
  • The global tsunami and atmospheric waves that followed the eruption of the Tongan volcano Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai were observed around the world. Analysing the data could reshape our understanding of such events.

    • Emily M. Lane
    News & Views
  • Electrons in a pure-carbon material display properties that are reminiscent of those in heavy-element compounds. A model inspired by this link hints at how a single-element material can exhibit complex electronic behaviour.

    • Aline Ramires
    News & Views
  • The identity of the enzyme that enables vitamin K to combat the adverse side effects of a drug called warfarin has been long sought. Analysis of a type of cell death called ferroptosis has now unexpectedly solved the mystery.

    • Nathan P. Ward
    • Gina M. DeNicola
    News & Views
  • A process called A-to-I RNA editing helps to prevent unwanted immune responses. Associations between genetic variants and this type of RNA editing now provide mechanistic insights into the genetic basis of autoimmune diseases.

    • Kaur Alasoo
    News & Views
  • A modified method for delivering oxygen to the whole body can restore function in pig organs one hour after the animals have died. The achievement points to ways to improve transplants and the treatment of strokes and heart attacks.

    • Robert J. Porte
    News & Views
  • An analysis of chromosomes during mitotic cell division reveals that DNA and associated histone proteins condense through a process called phase transition, which helps them to resist the pushing forces involved in mitosis.

    • Kazuhiro Maeshima
    News & Views