Volume 549 Issue 7671, 14 September 2017

Quantum chemistry is one of the most promising applications for quantum computers. However, to date only the smallest molecular systems have been simulated experimentally by quantum hardware. In this week’s issue, Abhinav Kandala, Antonio Mezzacapo and their colleagues present simulations of larger molecular systems using a variational quantum eigenvalue solver implemented on a superconducting quantum processor. Their variational quantum eigensolver is hardware-efficient, which means that it is optimally implemented on the given architecture. With this approach, they have been able to extend quantum chemical calculations to LiH and BeH2, and have also applied their technique to a problem in quantum magnetism. The errors in the implementation are understood by supporting numerical simulations, and the authors believe that the mitigation of incoherent errors would be an important step towards eventually yielding a simulation of interesting molecular systems on a quantum computer. Cover image: Carl De Torres

Editorial

World View

Seven Days

News

Correction

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Entrepreneurs are finding profits turning human waste into fertiliser, fuel and even food.

    • Chelsea Wald

Comment

  • Comment |

    Early devices must solve real-world problems, urge Will Zeng and colleagues.

    • Will Zeng
    • , Blake Johnson
    • , Robert Smith
    • , Nick Rubin
    • , Matt Reagor
    • , Colm Ryan
    •  & Chad Rigetti
  • Comment |

    A surcharge on energy producers would fund climate adaptation and the low-carbon transition, suggest Anthony J. Webster and Richard H. Clarke.

    • Anthony J. Webster
    •  & Richard H. Clarke

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Computer scientist Luc Steels uses artificial intelligence to explore the origins and evolution of language. He is best known for his 1999–2001 Talking Heads Experiment, in which robots had to construct a language from scratch to communicate with each other. Now Steels, who works at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), has composed an opera based on the legend of Faust, with a twenty-first-century twist. He talks about Mozart as a nascent computer programmer, how music maps onto language, and the blurred boundaries of a digitized world.

    • Laura Spinney

Correspondence

Correction

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Bacteria that can oxidize both ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate seem to be better adapted to ammonia-limited environments than most cultured microbes that oxidize ammonia to nitrite only, contrary to expectations. See Letter p.269

    • Marcel M. M. Kuypers
  • News & Views |

    Experiments reveal that the laws governing the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang also apply to the behaviour of coupled lasers. The findings could be used to solve complex computational problems.

    • Stefan Rotter
  • News & Views |

    Cellular diversity can hamper cancer treatment. Analysis of tumour cell-division patterns now reveals how such heterogeneity can arise by a hierarchical pattern of stem-cell divisions yielding a mosaic of different cells. See Article p.227

    • Joan Seoane
  • News & Views |

    Glaciers in the high mountains of Asia are a crucial water resource, but are at risk from global warming. Modelling suggests that the glaciers will shed mass in direct proportion to the warming to which they are exposed. See Letter p.257

    • J. Graham Cogley
  • News & Views |

    Polypterid fish were considered to be archaic outliers of the bony-fish grouping. Fossil analysis now places them at the heart of early ray-finned fishes, a radical change that transforms the timing of their evolution. See Letter p.265

    • Michael Coates
  • News & Views |

    The direct conversion of heat into electricity — a reversible process known as the thermoelectric effect — can be greatly enhanced in some materials by embedding them with a small number of magnetic nanoparticles. See Letter p.247

    • Stephen R. Boona

Introduction

Review Article

  • Review Article |

    To enable a quantum computer to solve practical problems more efficiently than classical computers, quantum programming languages and compilers are required to translate quantum algorithms into machine code; here the currently available software is reviewed.

    • Frederic T. Chong
    • , Diana Franklin
    •  & Margaret Martonosi

    Insight:

  • Review Article |

    The era of fully fledged quantum computers threatens to destroy internet security as we know it; the ways in which modern cryptography is developing solutions are reviewed.

    • Daniel J. Bernstein
    •  & Tanja Lange

    Insight:

  • Review Article |

    Proposals for demonstrating quantum supremacy, when a quantum computer supersedes any possible classical computer at a specific task, are reviewed.

    • Aram W. Harrow
    •  & Ashley Montanaro

    Insight:

  • Review Article |

    An overview of the nature and timescales of stratospheric ozone recovery and the extent to which it can currently be detected.

    • Martyn P. Chipperfield
    • , Slimane Bekki
    • , Sandip Dhomse
    • , Neil R. P. Harris
    • , Birgit Hassler
    • , Ryan Hossaini
    • , Wolfgang Steinbrecht
    • , Rémi Thiéblemont
    •  & Mark Weber

Perspective

  • Perspective |

    The 4D Nucleome Network aims to map the spatial and dynamic organization of the human and mouse genomes to gain insight into the structure and biological functions of the nucleus.

    • Job Dekker
    • , Andrew S. Belmont
    • , Mitchell Guttman
    • , Victor O. Leshyk
    • , John T. Lis
    • , Stavros Lomvardas
    • , Leonid A. Mirny
    • , Clodagh C. O’Shea
    • , Peter J. Park
    • , Bing Ren
    • , Joan C. Ritland Politz
    • , Jay Shendure
    •  & Sheng Zhong

    Collection:

Article

  • Article |

    Using unique barcodes for tumour cells, the authors explore the dynamics of human glioblastoma subpopulations, and suggest that clonal heterogeneity emerges through stochastic fate decisions of a neutral proliferative hierarchy.

    • Xiaoyang Lan
    • , David J. Jörg
    • , Florence M. G. Cavalli
    • , Laura M. Richards
    • , Long V. Nguyen
    • , Robert J. Vanner
    • , Paul Guilhamon
    • , Lilian Lee
    • , Michelle M. Kushida
    • , Davide Pellacani
    • , Nicole I. Park
    • , Fiona J. Coutinho
    • , Heather Whetstone
    • , Hayden J. Selvadurai
    • , Clare Che
    • , Betty Luu
    • , Annaick Carles
    • , Michelle Moksa
    • , Naghmeh Rastegar
    • , Renee Head
    • , Sonam Dolma
    • , Panagiotis Prinos
    • , Michael D. Cusimano
    • , Sunit Das
    • , Mark Bernstein
    • , Cheryl H. Arrowsmith
    • , Andrew J. Mungall
    • , Richard A. Moore
    • , Yussanne Ma
    • , Marco Gallo
    • , Mathieu Lupien
    • , Trevor J. Pugh
    • , Michael D. Taylor
    • , Martin Hirst
    • , Connie J. Eaves
    • , Benjamin D. Simons
    •  & Peter B. Dirks
  • Article |

    Cryo-electron microscopy snapshots of the E. coli flippase MsbA at discrete functional states reveal a ‘trap and flip’ mechanism for lipopolysaccharide flipping and the conformational transitions of MsbA during its substrate transport cycle.

    • Wei Mi
    • , Yanyan Li
    • , Sung Hwan Yoon
    • , Robert K. Ernst
    • , Thomas Walz
    •  & Maofu Liao

Letter

  • Letter |

    Titanium oxide, water, sodium and a strongly scattering haze have been detected in the atmosphere of the hot Jupiter exoplanet WASP-19b.

    • Elyar Sedaghati
    • , Henri M. J. Boffin
    • , Ryan J. MacDonald
    • , Siddharth Gandhi
    • , Nikku Madhusudhan
    • , Neale P. Gibson
    • , Mahmoudreza Oshagh
    • , Antonio Claret
    •  & Heike Rauer
  • Letter |

    By embedding superparamagnetic nanoparticles in a thermoelectric matrix, phonon and electron transport within the material can be controlled simultaneously at nanometre and mesoscopic length scales, thereby improving the thermoelectric performance of the material.

    • Wenyu Zhao
    • , Zhiyuan Liu
    • , Zhigang Sun
    • , Qingjie Zhang
    • , Ping Wei
    • , Xin Mu
    • , Hongyu Zhou
    • , Cuncheng Li
    • , Shifang Ma
    • , Danqi He
    • , Pengxia Ji
    • , Wanting Zhu
    • , Xiaolei Nie
    • , Xianli Su
    • , Xinfeng Tang
    • , Baogen Shen
    • , Xiaoli Dong
    • , Jihui Yang
    • , Yong Liu
    •  & Jing Shi
  • Letter |

    A non-invasive scanning magnetometer, based on a single nitrogen–vacancy defect in diamond, visualizes antiferromagnetic order at the nanometre scale in thin films of bismuth ferrite at room temperature.

    • I. Gross
    • , W. Akhtar
    • , V. Garcia
    • , L. J. Martínez
    • , S. Chouaieb
    • , K. Garcia
    • , C. Carrétéro
    • , A. Barthélémy
    • , P. Appel
    • , P. Maletinsky
    • , J.-V. Kim
    • , J. Y. Chauleau
    • , N. Jaouen
    • , M. Viret
    • , M. Bibes
    • , S. Fusil
    •  & V. Jacques
  • Letter |

    Models show that even if global temperature rise can be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, only about 65 per cent of glacier mass will remain in the high mountains of Asia by the end of this century, and if temperatures rise by more than this the effects will be much more extreme.

    • P. D. A. Kraaijenbrink
    • , M. F. P. Bierkens
    • , A. F. Lutz
    •  & W. W. Immerzeel

    Collection:

  • Letter |

    A pure culture of the complete nitrifier Nitrospira inopinata shows a high affinity for ammonia, low maximum rate of ammonia oxidation, high growth yield compared to canonical nitrifiers and genomic potential for alternative metabolisms, probably reflecting an important role in nitrification in oligotrophic environments.

    • K. Dimitri Kits
    • , Christopher J. Sedlacek
    • , Elena V. Lebedeva
    • , Ping Han
    • , Alexandr Bulaev
    • , Petra Pjevac
    • , Anne Daebeler
    • , Stefano Romano
    • , Mads Albertsen
    • , Lisa Y. Stein
    • , Holger Daims
    •  & Michael Wagner
  • Letter |

    N6-methyladenosine modification of mRNA determines cell fate decisions during the specification of the first haematopoietic stem cells in zebrafish.

    • Chunxia Zhang
    • , Yusheng Chen
    • , Baofa Sun
    • , Lu Wang
    • , Ying Yang
    • , Dongyuan Ma
    • , Junhua Lv
    • , Jian Heng
    • , Yanyan Ding
    • , Yuanyuan Xue
    • , Xinyan Lu
    • , Wen Xiao
    • , Yun-Gui Yang
    •  & Feng Liu
  • Letter |

    Group 2 innate lymphoid cells express the neuromedin U receptor 1 (NMUR1) and respond to neuromedin U (NMU) released by adjacent enteric neurons, and this interaction results in an enhanced immediate early response to the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.

    • Vânia Cardoso
    • , Julie Chesné
    • , Hélder Ribeiro
    • , Bethania García-Cassani
    • , Tânia Carvalho
    • , Tiffany Bouchery
    • , Kathleen Shah
    • , Nuno L. Barbosa-Morais
    • , Nicola Harris
    •  & Henrique Veiga-Fernandes
  • Letter |

    Intestinal type 2 innate lymphoid cells express the neuropeptide receptor NMUR1, which makes them responsive to neuronal neuromedin U, thereby promoting a type 2 cytokine response and accelerated expulsion of the gastro-intestinal nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.

    • Christoph S. N. Klose
    • , Tanel Mahlakõiv
    • , Jesper B. Moeller
    • , Lucille C. Rankin
    • , Anne-Laure Flamar
    • , Hiroki Kabata
    • , Laurel A. Monticelli
    • , Saya Moriyama
    • , Gregory Garbès Putzel
    • , Nikolai Rakhilin
    • , Xiling Shen
    • , Evi Kostenis
    • , Gabriele M. König
    • , Takashi Senda
    • , Dustin Carpenter
    • , Donna L. Farber
    •  & David Artis
  • Letter |

    Crystal structures of the Polycomb-like proteins PHF1 and MTF2 with bound DNA and histone peptides show that extended homologous regions of the two proteins form a winged-helix structure that has an unexpected mechanism of binding to unmethylated CpG-containing DNA motifs.

    • Haojie Li
    • , Robert Liefke
    • , Junyi Jiang
    • , Jesse Vigoda Kurland
    • , Wei Tian
    • , Pujuan Deng
    • , Weidi Zhang
    • , Qian He
    • , Dinshaw J. Patel
    • , Martha L. Bulyk
    • , Yang Shi
    •  & Zhanxin Wang

Corrigendum

Erratum

Technology Feature

Feature

  • Feature |

    Paid work beyond the bench can offer a welcome source of income to cash-strapped junior researchers and provide opportunities for career development.

    • Elie Dolgin

Career Brief

Futures

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