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Volume 545 Issue 7652, 4 May 2017

The cover shows the microstructure of an exceptionally strong thin-film magnesium alloy captured using transmission electron microscopy. Produced by dual-phase nanostructuring, this alloy has a strength that approaches the ideal theoretical limit. Nanostructuring of crystalline metal alloys can yield high-strength materials, but these tend to soften as the strain is increased. In this latest work, Jian Lu and his team combine the benefits of nanocrystallinity with those of single-phase amorphous metallic glasses to yield a dual-phase material — MgCu2 nanocrystalline grains (6 nm) enclosed in an amorphous glassy shell (2 nm) — that resulted in the strongest thin-film magnesium alloy to be made so far. Cover image: Susanna Siu & Ge Wu/City University of Hong Kong


World View

Seven Days




News Feature


  • Comment |

    A failure to use words clearly undermines the global response to antimicrobials' waning usefulness. Standardize terminology, urge Marc Mendelson and colleagues.

    • Marc Mendelson
    • Manica Balasegaram
    • Mike Sharland


Books & Arts


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A revised timeline for the arrival of settlers on Mangaia island in Polynesia reveals the resilience of this population, which overcame an environmental crisis through bold measures to support a sustainable society.

    • Jared Diamond
  • News & Views |

    Mutant proteins that contain stretches called polyQ repeats can misfold or form aggregates linked to neurodegeneration. It emerges that some polyQ-containing proteins regulate a process that degrades misfolded proteins. See Letter p.108

    • Dale D. O. Martin
    • Michael R. Hayden
  • News & Views |

    Hydrocarbons called alkenes are isolated from petroleum as mixtures of isomers, often making it hard to use them as reagents for synthesis. A reaction involving a migrating nickel atom offers a possible solution. See Letter p.84

    • Matthew Gaunt
    • Patrick Williamson
  • News & Views |

    Two studies of the molecular chaperone protein HSP90 reveal how complex traits can be shaped by genetic and environmental context. This work highlights the challenges of personalized medicine.

    • Mark L. Siegal
  • News & Views |

    Short-term climate trends are sensitive to definitions, data and testing. This sensitivity underlies an alleged pause in global warming, and highlights the need for meaningful definitions to sustain claims that it was real. See Analysis p.41

    • James S. Risbey
    • Stephan Lewandowsky
  • News & Views |

    Two studies integrate cutting-edge techniques to grow and analyse 3D cultured tissues that resemble human brain structures, enabling examination of how brain regions interact and neurons mature. See Articles p.48 & p.54

    • J. Gray Camp
    • Barbara Treutlein



  • Analysis |

    Apparently contradictory conclusions regarding the ‘global warming hiatus’ are reconciled, strengthening the current scientific understanding that long-term global warming is extremely likely to be of anthropogenic origin.

    • Iselin Medhaug
    • Martin B. Stolpe
    • Reto Knutti





  • Toolbox |

    Getting data off an ancient floppy disk or computer tape isn't easy, but it can be done with the help of clever software and hardware.

    • Monya Baker


Technology Feature

  • Technology Feature |

    Mobile phones are helping to take conventional laboratory-based science into the field, the classroom and the clinic.

    • Jeffrey M. Perkel




Advertisement Feature

  • Advertisement Feature |

    PhIRDA: From imitator to innovator

    Determined to become a leader in science and technology innovation, China, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market, has put drug innovation high on its development agenda. Its launch of a national-level multi-billion dollar project has seen significant improvement in capabilities of basic drug research and clinical research, along with rising new drug discoveries. With a healthy environment for biomedical innovation, the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is transforming from an imitator to an innovator.

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