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Volume 551 Issue 7682, 30 November 2017

The cover image shows the muscle fibre network of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Planarian muscle is host to the expression of many of the genes that help to direct where regenerating cells are positioned, a crucial aspect for properly controlling the regeneration of missing body parts. Previous work has identified position control genes but how they exert their effects has remained unclear. In this issue, Peter Reddien and his colleagues show that the regeneration of different types of muscle fibres is controlled by different transcription factors: myoD is needed to regenerate longitudinal fibres, whereas nkx1-1 is needed for the formation of circular fibres. They find that loss of longitudinal fibres leads to complete regeneration failure, whereas loss of circular fibres results in two heads regenerating instead of one. As a result, the authors suggest that different muscle types have distinct roles in orchestrating regeneration through controlling wound signalling and patterning. Cover image: M. Lucila Scimone and Kutay Deniz Atabay



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    A study of 64 archaeological sites across four continents shows that the growth of agricultural and political systems provoked economic disparities, more so in Eurasia than in North America. See Letter p.619

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    The energy source that drives vesicle fusion with a target organelle in vivo has been unclear. It emerges that proteins that tether fusing structures together also decrease the energy needed for the final fusion step. See Letter p.634

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    Programmable quantum simulations of many-body systems are demonstrated using a reconfigurable array of 51 individually trapped cold atoms with strong, coherent interactions controlled via excitation to Rydberg states.

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    High salt intake changed the gut microbiome and increased TH17 cell numbers in mice, and reduced intestinal survival of Lactobacillus species, increased the number of TH17 cells and increased blood pressure in humans.

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