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Volume 540 Issue 7632, 8 December 2016

Iceberg and fjord walls, Scoresby Sund , East Greenland. If the Greenland Ice Sheet were to melt completely, global sea levels would rise dramatically, perhaps by several metres. Two studies published in this issue of Nature, by Joerg Schaefer and colleagues and by Paul Bierman and colleagues, examine the past behaviour of the ice sheet to help evaluate its vulnerability in a warming world. Although analysing the same cosmogenic isotopes, the two groups arrive at seemingly conflicting conclusions. In a News & Views Forum, two geochemists and a glaciologist discuss the issues arising from these papers. Cover: Frans Lanting/National Graphic Creative


World View

Research Highlights

Seven Days



News Feature


  • Comment |

    Better surveillance data and analyses are urgently needed to control disease in the developing world, argue Scott F. Dowell, David Blazes and Susan Desmond-Hellmann.

    • Scott F. Dowell
    • David Blazes
    • Susan Desmond-Hellmann
  • Comment |

    The causes of Earth's transition are human and social, write Erle Ellis and colleagues, so scholars from those disciplines must be included in its formalization.

    • Erle Ellis
    • Mark Maslin
    • Andrew Bauer

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    A bedtime story can ignite a lifelong love of science. Nature editors riffle through shelves and memories for favourites old and new.


News & Views Forum

  • News & Views Forum |

    Global sea levels would rise by several metres if the Greenland Ice Sheet melted completely. Two studies have examined its past behaviour in an effort to evaluate its vulnerability in a warming world — and have come to seemingly conflicting conclusions. Two geochemists and a glaciologist discuss the issues. See Letters p.252 & p.256

    • Pierre-Henri Blard
    • Guillaume Leduc
    • Neil Glasser

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Viruses can be attacked by parasitic viruses, which compete with them for cellular resources. It emerges that one such parasitic virus can defend a host-cell population from a viral attack. See Letter p.288

    • Eugene V. Koonin
    • Mart Krupovic
  • News & Views |

    The chemical composition of a massive galaxy in the early Universe reveals an extremely short period of star formation. This result could challenge our ideas about the evolution of galaxies and of the Universe itself. See Letter p.248

    • Chiaki Kobayashi
  • News & Views |

    Electrical oscillations generated by neural circuits are disrupted in Alzheimer's disease. Restoring these oscillations in mouse models activates immune cells to clear disease-associated amyloid-β protein from the brain. See Article p.230

    • Liviu Aron
    • Bruce A. Yankner
  • News & Views |

    In 1976, it was demonstrated that tiny wobbles in Earth's orbit led to the great ice-age cycles of the past few million years. This finding had wide implications for climate science and the details remain hotly debated today.

    • Mark Maslin
  • News & Views |

    Nuclear DNA from human eggs that harbour mutations in the DNA of organelles called mitochondria has been successfully transferred to donor eggs, bringing the prospect of therapy for mitochondrial diseases a step closer. See Letter p.270

    • Eric A. Shoubridge
  • News & Views |

    Human stem cells that can give rise to every cell type in the body are major players in biomedical research. A molecular analysis of human embryos might help to make these cultured cells more authentic imitations of their in vivo counterparts.

    • Ido Sagi
    • Nissim Benvenisty

Review Article

  • Review Article |

    Quantum technology enables new methods for generating of randomness with minimal assumptions, certified by the violation of a Bell inequality, which opens up new theoretical and experimental research directions and leads to new challenges.

    • Antonio Acín
    • Lluis Masanes
  • Review Article |

    Wild and managed pollinators are threatened by pressures such as environmental changes and pesticides, leading to risks for pollinator-dependent crop production, meaning more research and better policies are needed to safeguard pollinators and their services.

    • Simon G. Potts
    • Vera Imperatriz-Fonseca
    • Adam J. Vanbergen


  • Article |

    S-2-hydroxyglutarate produced by CD8+ T cells under hypoxic conditions affects locus-specific histone and DNA methylation patterns, which enhances T-cell proliferation, survival and recall responses.

    • Petros A. Tyrakis
    • Asis Palazon
    • Randall S. Johnson
  • Article |

    One of the most abundant modifications found in messenger RNAs is N6-methyladenosine (m6A); here, this modification is shown to alter gene expression during sex determination and affect neuronal functions and behaviour in Drosophila via the m6A reader protein YT521-B.

    • Tina Lence
    • Junaid Akhtar
    • Jean-Yves Roignant






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