Reviews & Analysis

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  • Microprocessor communications have received a boost from the integration of electronics and photonics in silicon — a first step towards low power consumption and efficient computing systems. See Letter p.534

    • Laurent Vivien
    News & Views
  • Global assessments of variation in plant functional traits and the way that these traits influence competitive interactions provide a launching pad for future ecological studies. See Article p.167 & Letter p.204

    • Jonathan M. Levine
    News & Views
  • Tree rings can pinpoint the source of wood as well as how old it is. This method has now been used to identify the sources of timber used by the Native Americans who constructed the pre-Columbian 'great houses' of Chaco Canyon.

    • Jared Diamond
    News & Views
  • Analysis of the 3D structure of DNA in tumour cells reveals how mutations in the IDH1 gene, and associated changes in methyl groups attached to DNA, elevate the expression of cancer-promoting genes. See Letter p.110

    • Matthew R. Grimmer
    • Joseph F. Costello
    News & Views
  • Machine learning, applied to complex multidimensional data, is shown to provide personalized dietary recommendations to control blood glucose levels. This is a step towards integrating the gut microbiome into personalized medicine.

    • Erica D. Sonnenburg
    • Justin L. Sonnenburg
    News & Views
  • Nanoscale particles have been uniformly dispersed in a magnesium alloy, yielding composites with record-breaking strengths — and raising the prospect of using magnesium as a lightweight metal for structural applications. See Letter p.539

    • Maria Teresa Pérez Prado
    • Carmen M. Cepeda-Jiménez
    News & Views
  • Extracts from selected News & Views articles published this year.

    News & Views
  • The discovery of microorganisms that can oxidize ammonia all the way to nitrate refutes the century-old paradigm that this nitrification process requires the activity of two types of microbe. See Article p.504 & Letter p.555

    • Marcel M. M. Kuypers
    News & Views
  • Control of quantum particles has been extended to enable different types of ion to be entangled — correlated in a non-classical way. This opens up opportunities for the development of new quantum technologies. See Letters p.380 & p.384

    • Tobias Schaetz
    News & Views
  • Aerial photographs, remote-sensing observations and geological evidence together provide a reconstruction of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since 1900 — a great resource for climate scientists. See Letter p.396

    • Beata M. Csatho
    News & Views
  • The discovery that the gene SRY on the mammalian Y chromosome drives testis development marked a turning point in the decades-long quest to understand the genetic underpinnings and evolution of sex determination.

    • Jennifer A. Marshall Graves
    News & Views
  • Patterns of species association reveal that terrestrial plant and animal communities today are structured differently from communities spanning the 300 million years that preceded large-scale human activity. See Letter p.80

    • Gregory P. Dietl
    News & Views
  • The fossil record provides a nuanced view of ecosystem collapse over intervals of mass extinction, with abundant, biomineralizing and widespread species preferentially preserved; here the authors collate evidence for ‘mass rarity’ during these intervals, and suggest that the increasing rarity of modern species, rather than their outright extinction, may be a better metric for comparing the current biodiversity crisis to the ‘Big Five’ mass extinctions in the Earth’s history.

    • Pincelli M. Hull
    • Simon A. F. Darroch
    • Douglas H. Erwin
    Review Article
  • A study shows that, as Earth warms, global precipitation will increase by less than many models predict, because of increases in the amount of near-infrared sunlight absorbed by water vapour. See Letter p.249

    • Steven Sherwood
    News & Views
  • The cellular process of autophagy has been proposed to help kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis. But although the autophagy gene Atg5 is key to host immunity, other autophagy genes do not affect the outcome of tuberculosis. See Letter p.565

    • Samuel M. Behar
    • Eric H. Baehrecke
    News & Views
  • Light isotopes of hydrogen and helium formed minutes after the Big Bang. The study of one of these primordial isotopes, helium-3, has now been proposed as a useful strategy for constraining the physics of the standard cosmological model.

    • Nikos Prantzos
    News & Views
  • The finding that acute and chronic manipulations of the same neural circuit can produce different behavioural outcomes poses new questions about how best to analyse these circuits. See Article p.358

    • Thomas C. Südhof
    News & Views
  • It emerges that innate immune cells called group 3 innate lymphoid cells signal directly to intestinal stem cells to promote the replacement of damaged epithelial cells lining the gut. See Letter p.560

    • Konrad Gronke
    • Andreas Diefenbach
    News & Views