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Volume 549 Issue 7670, 7 September 2017

The cover shows the Martin Vaz Islands, part of the archipelago of Trindade and Martin Vaz that lies some 1,170 kilometres east of Brazil. These volcanic islands were at the heart of a study by Hudson Pinheiro and his colleagues that examined the evolutionary history of reef fish living in the inshore waters of the archipelago. Island biogeographers tend to concentrate on the terrestrial residents of islands, and how sea-level change, invasion and endemism influence diversity. Less attention has been paid to the marine organisms that make the waters around islands their home. The study of reef fish by Pinheiro and his team helps shed light on the processes that shape the aquatic environments of islands. The researchers found that sea-level changes have helped to drive marine speciation, but because fish are better at dispersing than land-based organisms, the influx of immigrants helps to drive an increase in diversity. As a result, the authors conclude that island geography, geological history and sea-level fluctuations influence the dispersal of marine organisms in different ways from the effect on land-based organisms. Cover image: Joã£o Luiz Gasparini


World View

Seven Days


News Feature


  • Comment |

    Predatory journals have shoddy reporting and include papers from wealthy nations, find David Moher, Larissa Shamseer, Kelly Cobey and colleagues.

    • David Moher
    • Larissa Shamseer
    • Hedyeh Ziai

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.

    • Barbara Kiser



News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Identifying and imaging catalytically active sites on solid surfaces is a grand challenge for science. A microscopy technique has been developed that images 'noise' to detect active sites with nanometre-scale resolution. See Letter p.74

    • Christian Dette
    • Shannon W. Boettcher
  • News & Views |

    An analysis reveals that both sexual reproduction and early-embryo development in the moss Physcomitrella patens are controlled by cellular calcium influxes through ion-channel proteins. See Letter p.91

    • Leonie Steinhorst
    • Jörg Kudla
  • News & Views |

    High-energy battery electrodes can break apart during operation. Conventional rope-and-pulley systems have inspired the development of a polymer that holds electrodes together at the molecular scale, enabling durable batteries to be made.

    • Matthew T. McDowell
  • News & Views |

    Flies use master lists of DNA sequences from transposons to identify and silence these virus-like, genomic parasites. How the lists themselves escape the fate of their transposon targets has now been solved. See Letter p.54

    • Phillip D. Zamore
  • News & Views |

    A patient's tumour cells can be transplanted into a mouse to provide a model for analysis and drug testing. A panel of paediatric solid tumour models has been extensively characterized and made freely available. See Letter p.96

    • Mark A. Murakami
    • David M. Weinstock
  • News & Views |

    Quantum communication offers many advantages over classical methods, but it has been limited to sending signals across a few hundred kilometres. Two studies overcome this limitation. See Article p.43 & Letter p.70

    • Eleni Diamanti


  • Article |

    Decoy-state quantum key distribution from a satellite to a ground station is achieved with much greater efficiency than is possible over the same distance using optical fibres.

    • Sheng-Kai Liao
    • Wen-Qi Cai
    • Jian-Wei Pan
  • Article |

    Transcription of Drosophila PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) clusters is enforced through RNA polymerase II pre-initiation complex formation within repressive heterochromatin, accomplished through the transcription factor IIA subunit paralogue Moonshiner.

    • Peter Refsing Andersen
    • Laszlo Tirian
    • Julius Brennecke



  • Toolbox |

    Inspired by Google Maps, a suite of tools is allowing researchers to chart the complex conformations of chromosomes.

    • Jeffrey M. Perkel



  • Feature |

    Government's push for excellence is creating a golden age of opportunity for scientists flocking to the country.

    • Quirin Schiermeier

Career Brief



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