Volume 570 Issue 7762, 27 June 2019

Flying solo

Flying an object heavier than air is energetically expensive no matter what the size, but this challenge is exacerbated at very small scales because of the need to integrate lightweight components to provide the necessary electronics and propulsion. This means that most insect-size vehicles fly tethered to an off-board power supply. In this week’s issue, Noah Jafferis, Farrell Helbling and their colleagues introduce RoboBee X-Wing, an aerial vehicle the size of an insect that is capable of untethered flight. Weighing just 90 milligrams, RoboBee X-Wing has four wings driven by two piezoelectric actuators and carries a 60-mg photovoltaic array and a 91-mg signal generator, giving it a thrust efficiency matching that of similarly sized insects.

Cover image: Adam DeTour for Nature

This Week

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    News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Tiny flying vehicles require intricate design trade-offs and have previously relied on an external power supply. The sustained flight of an untethered, insect-sized robot represents a major advance.

    • Kenny Breuer
  • News & Views |

    Some bacteria naturally transfer pieces of their DNA within and between species. Such a piece of DNA has been engineered to act as a molecular ‘Trojan horse’ that unleashes a toxin to selectively kill antibiotic-resistant Vibrio cholerae bacteria.

    • Sanna Koskiniemi
    •  & Petra Virtanen
  • News & Views |

    Atoms of a metal alloy have been tracked as they form crystal nuclei — the first ordered clusters of atoms or molecules produced during crystallization. The findings might help to develop a general nucleation theory.

    • Peter G. Vekilov
  • News & Views |

    A module for implementing robust feedback control in synthetic cellular networks has been reported. Its design is first proved mathematically to be universal for all networks, and then implemented in living cells.

    • Noah Olsman
    •  & Johan Paulsson
  • News & Views |

    Tests of whether a range of gut bacteria can metabolize a diverse group of drugs has revealed that all the microbes metabolized some drugs and that more than half of the drugs were metabolized.

    • Kim Lewis
    •  & Philip Strandwitz
  • Matters Arising

  • Articles

  • Article |

    Analysis of forest-management studies finds that forest removal is more likely to increase streamflow in areas with greater water storage between the surface and bedrock, and that forest planting is more likely to decrease streamflow in drier climates.

    • Jaivime Evaristo
    •  & Jeffrey J. McDonnell
  • Article |

    High-throughput genetic analyses combined with mass spectrometry reveal that the gene products of diverse human gut bacteria affect a wide range of oral drugs, as well as drug metabolism in mice.

    • Michael Zimmermann
    • , Maria Zimmermann-Kogadeeva
    • , Rebekka Wegmann
    •  & Andrew L. Goodman
  • Article |

    The immunogen RC1 facilitates recognition of the V3-glycan patch on the envelope of HIV-1 and elicits specific serological responses in mice and macaques, making it a possible priming immunogen for sequential vaccination strategies in humans.

    • Amelia Escolano
    • , Harry B. Gristick
    • , Morgan E. Abernathy
    • , Julia Merkenschlager
    • , Rajeev Gautam
    • , Thiago Y. Oliveira
    • , Joy Pai
    • , Anthony P. West Jr
    • , Christopher O. Barnes
    • , Alexander A. Cohen
    • , Haoqing Wang
    • , Jovana Golijanin
    • , Daniel Yost
    • , Jennifer R. Keeffe
    • , Zijun Wang
    • , Peng Zhao
    • , Kai-Hui Yao
    • , Jens Bauer
    • , Lilian Nogueira
    • , Han Gao
    • , Alisa V. Voll
    • , David C. Montefiori
    • , Michael S. Seaman
    • , Anna Gazumyan
    • , Murillo Silva
    • , Andrew T. McGuire
    • , Leonidas Stamatatos
    • , Darrell J. Irvine
    • , Lance Wells
    • , Malcolm A. Martin
    • , Pamela J. Bjorkman
    •  & Michel C. Nussenzweig
  • Article |

    Analysis of growth dynamics in a dataset from 107 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) reveals both exponential and logistic patterns of growth, which are associated with differences in genetic attributes and clinical outcomes.

    • Michaela Gruber
    • , Ivana Bozic
    • , Ignaty Leshchiner
    • , Dimitri Livitz
    • , Kristen Stevenson
    • , Laura Rassenti
    • , Daniel Rosebrock
    • , Amaro Taylor-Weiner
    • , Oriol Olive
    • , Reaha Goyetche
    • , Stacey M. Fernandes
    • , Jing Sun
    • , Chip Stewart
    • , Alicia Wong
    • , Carrie Cibulskis
    • , Wandi Zhang
    • , Johannes G. Reiter
    • , Jeffrey M. Gerold
    • , John G. Gribben
    • , Kanti R. Rai
    • , Michael J. Keating
    • , Jennifer R. Brown
    • , Donna Neuberg
    • , Thomas J. Kipps
    • , Martin A. Nowak
    • , Gad Getz
    •  & Catherine J. Wu
  • Letters

  • Letter |

    A parametrically driven 30-micrometre-long silicon nanostring oscillator emits stationary path-entangled microwave radiation, squeezing the joint field operators of two thermal modes by 3.4 decibels below the vacuum level.

    • S. Barzanjeh
    • , E. S. Redchenko
    • , M. Peruzzo
    • , M. Wulf
    • , D. P. Lewis
    • , G. Arnold
    •  & J. M. Fink
  • Letter |

    A machine-learning approach is used to train artificial neural networks to analyse experimental scanning tunnelling microscopy image arrays of quantum materials.

    • Yi Zhang
    • , A. Mesaros
    • , K. Fujita
    • , S. D. Edkins
    • , M. H. Hamidian
    • , K. Ch’ng
    • , H. Eisaki
    • , S. Uchida
    • , J. C. Séamus Davis
    • , Ehsan Khatami
    •  & Eun-Ah Kim
  • Letter |

    A copper oxide high-temperature superconductor magnet generates a direct-current magnetic field of 45.5 tesla—the highest value reported so far—using a design that enables operation at high current densities.

    • Seungyong Hahn
    • , Kwanglok Kim
    • , Kwangmin Kim
    • , Xinbo Hu
    • , Thomas Painter
    • , Iain Dixon
    • , Seokho Kim
    • , Kabindra R. Bhattarai
    • , So Noguchi
    • , Jan Jaroszynski
    •  & David C. Larbalestier
  • Letter |

    Atomic electron tomography captures crystal nucleation in four dimensions in FePt nanoparticles, with the observed early-stage nucleation not consistent with classical nucleation theory.

    • Jihan Zhou
    • , Yongsoo Yang
    • , Yao Yang
    • , Dennis S. Kim
    • , Andrew Yuan
    • , Xuezeng Tian
    • , Colin Ophus
    • , Fan Sun
    • , Andreas K. Schmid
    • , Michael Nathanson
    • , Hendrik Heinz
    • , Qi An
    • , Hao Zeng
    • , Peter Ercius
    •  & Jianwei Miao
  • Letter |

    A protocol for the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia enables isotope-sensitive quantification of the ammonia produced and the identification and removal of contaminants.

    • Suzanne Z. Andersen
    • , Viktor Čolić
    • , Sungeun Yang
    • , Jay A. Schwalbe
    • , Adam C. Nielander
    • , Joshua M. McEnaney
    • , Kasper Enemark-Rasmussen
    • , Jon G. Baker
    • , Aayush R. Singh
    • , Brian A. Rohr
    • , Michael J. Statt
    • , Sarah J. Blair
    • , Stefano Mezzavilla
    • , Jakob Kibsgaard
    • , Peter C. K. Vesborg
    • , Matteo Cargnello
    • , Stacey F. Bent
    • , Thomas F. Jaramillo
    • , Ifan E. L. Stephens
    • , Jens K. Nørskov
    •  & Ib Chorkendorff
  • Letter |

    Two-photon calcium imaging of a large population of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area of mice performing a virtual-reality navigation task reveals the organization principles of the dopamine system.

    • Ben Engelhard
    • , Joel Finkelstein
    • , Julia Cox
    • , Weston Fleming
    • , Hee Jae Jang
    • , Sharon Ornelas
    • , Sue Ann Koay
    • , Stephan Y. Thiberge
    • , Nathaniel D. Daw
    • , David W. Tank
    •  & Ilana B. Witten
  • Letter |

    Genetic analyses of ancestrally diverse populations show evidence of heterogeneity across ancestries and provide insights into clinical implications, highlighting the importance of including ancestrally diverse populations to maximize genetic discovery and reduce health disparities.

    • Genevieve L. Wojcik
    • , Mariaelisa Graff
    • , Katherine K. Nishimura
    • , Ran Tao
    • , Jeffrey Haessler
    • , Christopher R. Gignoux
    • , Heather M. Highland
    • , Yesha M. Patel
    • , Elena P. Sorokin
    • , Christy L. Avery
    • , Gillian M. Belbin
    • , Stephanie A. Bien
    • , Iona Cheng
    • , Sinead Cullina
    • , Chani J. Hodonsky
    • , Yao Hu
    • , Laura M. Huckins
    • , Janina Jeff
    • , Anne E. Justice
    • , Jonathan M. Kocarnik
    • , Unhee Lim
    • , Bridget M. Lin
    • , Yingchang Lu
    • , Sarah C. Nelson
    • , Sung-Shim L. Park
    • , Hannah Poisner
    • , Michael H. Preuss
    • , Melissa A. Richard
    • , Claudia Schurmann
    • , Veronica W. Setiawan
    • , Alexandra Sockell
    • , Karan Vahi
    • , Marie Verbanck
    • , Abhishek Vishnu
    • , Ryan W. Walker
    • , Kristin L. Young
    • , Niha Zubair
    • , Victor Acuña-Alonso
    • , Jose Luis Ambite
    • , Kathleen C. Barnes
    • , Eric Boerwinkle
    • , Erwin P. Bottinger
    • , Carlos D. Bustamante
    • , Christian Caberto
    • , Samuel Canizales-Quinteros
    • , Matthew P. Conomos
    • , Ewa Deelman
    • , Ron Do
    • , Kimberly Doheny
    • , Lindsay Fernández-Rhodes
    • , Myriam Fornage
    • , Benyam Hailu
    • , Gerardo Heiss
    • , Brenna M. Henn
    • , Lucia A. Hindorff
    • , Rebecca D. Jackson
    • , Cecelia A. Laurie
    • , Cathy C. Laurie
    • , Yuqing Li
    • , Dan-Yu Lin
    • , Andres Moreno-Estrada
    • , Girish Nadkarni
    • , Paul J. Norman
    • , Loreall C. Pooler
    • , Alexander P. Reiner
    • , Jane Romm
    • , Chiara Sabatti
    • , Karla Sandoval
    • , Xin Sheng
    • , Eli A. Stahl
    • , Daniel O. Stram
    • , Timothy A. Thornton
    • , Christina L. Wassel
    • , Lynne R. Wilkens
    • , Cheryl A. Winkler
    • , Sachi Yoneyama
    • , Steven Buyske
    • , Christopher A. Haiman
    • , Charles Kooperberg
    • , Loic Le Marchand
    • , Ruth J. F. Loos
    • , Tara C. Matise
    • , Kari E. North
    • , Ulrike Peters
    • , Eimear E. Kenny
    •  & Christopher S. Carlson
  • Letter |

    Comparison of transcriptomes, cell fates and behaviour of three primary cell types from the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica with choanoflagellates and other unicellular holozoans suggests that the first animal cells transitioned between multiple states.

    • Shunsuke Sogabe
    • , William L. Hatleberg
    • , Kevin M. Kocot
    • , Tahsha E. Say
    • , Daniel Stoupin
    • , Kathrein E. Roper
    • , Selene L. Fernandez-Valverde
    • , Sandie M. Degnan
    •  & Bernard M. Degnan
  • Letter |

    Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis demonstrates that individual human brain organoids generate the cellular diversity of the cerebral cortex with organoid-to-organoid variability that is comparable to that of individual endogenous brains.

    • Silvia Velasco
    • , Amanda J. Kedaigle
    • , Sean K. Simmons
    • , Allison Nash
    • , Marina Rocha
    • , Giorgia Quadrato
    • , Bruna Paulsen
    • , Lan Nguyen
    • , Xian Adiconis
    • , Aviv Regev
    • , Joshua Z. Levin
    •  & Paola Arlotta
  • Letter |

    Group 3 innate lymphoid cells are recruited to the lung and involved in the immune response to infection with tuberculosis in humans and mice, as a reduction in group 3 innate lymphoid cells in the lung impaired early immune control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice.

    • Amanda Ardain
    • , Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez
    • , Shibali Das
    • , Samuel W. Kazer
    • , Nicole C. Howard
    • , Alveera Singh
    • , Mushtaq Ahmed
    • , Shepherd Nhamoyebonde
    • , Javier Rangel-Moreno
    • , Paul Ogongo
    • , Lan Lu
    • , Duran Ramsuran
    • , Maria de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez
    • , Tyler K. Ulland
    • , Matthew Darby
    • , Eugene Park
    • , Farina Karim
    • , Laura Melocchi
    • , Rajhmun Madansein
    • , Kaylesh Jay Dullabh
    • , Micah Dunlap
    • , Nancy Marin-Agudelo
    • , Takashi Ebihara
    • , Thumbi Ndung’u
    • , Deepak Kaushal
    • , Alexander S. Pym
    • , Jay K. Kolls
    • , Adrie Steyn
    • , Joaquín Zúñiga
    • , William Horsnell
    • , Wayne M. Yokoyama
    • , Alex K. Shalek
    • , Henrik N. Kløverpris
    • , Marco Colonna
    • , Alasdair Leslie
    •  & Shabaana A. Khader
  • Letter |

    A synthetic gene circuit implementing an integral feedback topology is shown to achieve robust perfect adaptation in living cells--mathematical analysis proves this topology is necessary for adaptation in networks with noisy dynamics.

    • Stephanie K. Aoki
    • , Gabriele Lillacci
    • , Ankit Gupta
    • , Armin Baumschlager
    • , David Schweingruber
    •  & Mustafa Khammash
  • Letter |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the yeast 60S ribosomal subunit in complex with Vms1 provides insights into the roles of proteins in the ribosome-associated quality control pathway.

    • Ting Su
    • , Toshiaki Izawa
    • , Matthias Thoms
    • , Yui Yamashita
    • , Jingdong Cheng
    • , Otto Berninghausen
    • , F. Ulrich Hartl
    • , Toshifumi Inada
    • , Walter Neupert
    •  & Roland Beckmann

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