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  • An experimental platform that uses two different tools for controlling neutral atoms with laser light combines speed with scalability. The approach provides a crucial step towards realizing innovative quantum algorithms and simulations.

    • Giulia Semeghini
    News & Views
  • When plants recognize disease-causing organisms, they activate immune responses through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Resolving the structure of a plant receptor-protein complex in wheat that detects fungus-derived molecules reveals that the corresponding receptor family is structurally conserved during evolution.

    Research Briefing
  • How certain subgroups of a childhood brain tumour called a medulloblastoma arise has been unclear. Evidence now implicates a cell type found only in developing human brains as the originator of these tumours.

    • Timothy N. Phoenix
    News & Views
  • After the Roman Empire collapsed, Europe underwent substantial cultural changes and saw large-scale migrations. A genome-wide ancient-DNA analysis of hundreds of individuals from early medieval England shows that they derived an average of 76% of their ancestry from people from Europe. Burial practices varied slightly between the different heritage groups, especially for women.

    Research Briefing
  • A structure with precisely engineered layers produces a giant strain in an electric field. The interplay between structural distortions and electric dipoles at the interfaces between layers could aid material and device design.

    • David A. Egger
    News & Views
  • A soft sheet has been constructed that can be driven by electromagnetic forces to continuously change its shape, mimicking the behaviour of soft tissues in living organisms. The control system uses imaging data and an optimization algorithm to enhance the material’s morphing ability.

    Research Briefing
  • Analysis of early human embryos reveals that DNA duplication after fertilization is highly inefficient. This causes DNA damage, chromosome breaks and abnormal numbers of chromosomes, impairing embryo development.

    • Tommaso Cavazza
    • Melina Schuh
    News & Views
  • The ozonolysis reaction is a classic of organic synthesis, but involves the formation of potentially explosive reaction intermediates. A modern, safer spin on this process makes use of previously overlooked chemistry.

    • Vignesh Palani
    • Alison Wendlandt
    News & Views
  • When combined, two drugs alter the activity of a protein complex called target of rapamycin complex 1 such that it is inhibited in the brain but not the body, enabling the treatment of brain tumours in mice without systemic toxicity.

    • Matthias P. Wymann
    • Chiara Borsari
    News & Views
  • After around 780 years without volcanic activity, Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula sprang to life in 2021, when magma breached the surface at the Fagradalsfjall volcano. Observed changes in the lava composition have provided an unprecedented record of the supply and mixing mechanics of deep magma at the base of the crust.

    Research Briefing
  • Solid-state systems that are designed to simulate the quantum behaviour of electrons in a solid could rival established techniques that require exhaustive computation or precise control of atoms in dilute gases.

    • Mandar M. Deshmukh
    News & Views
  • Can artificial cells be built from basic components? Systems that have complex architectures and functions evocative of natural cells have been prepared by recycling the contents of bacterial cells in synthetic droplets.

    • N. Amy Yewdall
    News & Views
  • Gaps in the fossil record mean that the origins of ancient animals such as jellyfish and corals have remained a mystery. Now, a long-awaited fossil discovery reveals key features of this group during the early stages of its evolution.

    • Marc Laflamme
    News & Views
  • The hormone auxin regulates plant growth through nuclear co-receptors. A rapid response also occurs at the cell surface after auxin is perceived by the receptor TMK1 and a co-receptor protein. Is ABP1 this co-receptor?

    • Angus S. Murphy
    • Wendy A. Peer
    News & Views
  • A diverse range of marine predators — including tunas, billfishes and sharks — in the North Pacific Ocean cluster together in clockwise-rotating eddies, seemingly to hunt deep-ocean prey, which are unusually abundant there. This suggests that there is a relationship between the foraging opportunities of predators and the energetics of this marine biome.

    Research Briefing
  • Global-warming projections that rely on bioenergy strategies to offset carbon dioxide emissions could be unduly optimistic, according to a study that accounts for how climate change affects crop yields.

    • Gernot Wagner
    • Wolfram Schlenker
    News & Views