Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Volume 560 Issue 7718, 16 August 2018

Rolling clones

The cover image shows a number of marbles rolling down a slope. Much like the cell lines they represent, these marbles all look superficially similar, but on closer examination those farther down the slope are showing changes in their internal patterning, which reflect the results found in this week’s issue by Todd Golub and his colleagues. Looking at cancer cell lines, the researchers show that far from being clonal, the cell line ‘strains’ display differences in genomic alterations, gene-expression profiles, proliferation rates and drug response, all of which arise as a result of genetic and transcriptional evolution. Their findings have implications for cancer research using such cell lines and the team has created a publicly available online tool called Cell STRAINER to help assess cell-line divergence.

Cover image: Iris Fung with contributions from Andrew Tubelli, Bang Wong and Uri Ben-David

This Week

News in Focus




  • Futures |

    Time to publish.

    • J. W. Armstrong


    News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Catalysts working in pairs can promote more-effective reactions than can the same catalysts used sequentially. The coupling of an enzyme with a light-activated catalyst offers great potential for organic synthesis.

    • Nicholas J. Turner
  • News & Views |

    Humans perceive colours in categories such as red, even though we can discern red hues including ruby and crimson. It emerges that birds also categorize colours and this affects their colour-discrimination ability.

    • Almut Kelber
  • News & Views |

    RNA sequencing of single cells in the mammalian trachea reveals a previously unknown airway cell that expresses genes involved in fluid and solute balance, and that might play a part in cystic fibrosis.

    • Kyle J. Travaglini
    • Mark A. Krasnow
  • News & Views |

    Neutrinos are tiny, ghost-like particles that habitually change identity. A measurement of the rate of change in high-energy neutrinos racing through Earth provides a record-breaking test of Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

    • Matthew Mewes
  • News & Views |

    Genome-editing approaches have been used to fuse 16 yeast chromosomes to produce yeast strains with only 1 or 2 chromosomes. Surprisingly, this fusion has little effect on cell fitness.

    • Gianni Liti
  • Articles

  • Article |

    Successive fusion of yeast chromosomes is used to produce a single-chromosome strain that is viable, albeit with slightly reduced fitness.

    • Yangyang Shao
    • Ning Lu
    • Zhongjun Qin
  • Letters

  • Letter |

    Two- and three-layer WTe2 exhibits spontaneous out-of-plane electric polarization that can be switched electrically at room temperature and is sufficiently robust for use in applications with other two-dimensional materials.

    • Zaiyao Fei
    • Wenjin Zhao
    • David H. Cobden
  • Letter |

    Satellite observations and Earth system model simulations reveal that marine heatwaves have increased in recent decades and will increase further in terms of frequency, intensity, duration and spatial extent.

    • Thomas L. Frölicher
    • Erich M. Fischer
    • Nicolas Gruber
  • Letter |

    Female zebra finches exhibited categorical perception of colour signals, as they categorized colour stimuli that varied along a continuous scale and showed increased discrimination between colours from opposite sides of the category boundary compared to equally different colours from within a category.

    • Eleanor M. Caves
    • Patrick A. Green
    • Stephen Nowicki
  • Letter |

    A pro-survival multiprotein signalling supercomplex consisting of the B cell receptor, MYD88, TLR9 and mTOR is discovered that coordinates NF-κB activation in diffuse large B cell lymphoma, and provides mechanistic insight into the efficacy of drug combinations.

    • James D. Phelan
    • Ryan M. Young
    • Louis M. Staudt

Amendments & Corrections

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links