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Volume 576 Issue 7786, 12 December 2019

Staring at the Sun

The cover shows an artist’s impression of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in front of the Sun. The probe is on a seven-year mission to investigate the Sun’s corona and solar wind. In this week’s issue, the Parker Solar Probe team presents the first results from the mission in four papers, revealing fresh insight into the origins and dynamics of the young solar wind and the physics of high-energy particles. Stuart Bale and his colleagues find that there are rapid, large-scale reversals in the direction of the Sun’s magnetic field on a variety of timescales. Justin Kasper and his co-workers suggest that localized increases in the radial plasma velocity directed away from Sun’s centre are often associated with these reversals, and also find evidence that the plasma partially co-rotates with the Sun to distances farther from Sun’s centre than predicted. David McComas and his colleagues analyse the energetic ions and electrons from explosive phenomena measured near the Sun, providing insights into particle energization and acceleration near stellar bodies. Russell Howard and his co-workers report on the intensity of dust-scattered light, including some preliminary evidence that a hypothesized dust-free zone near the Sun may actually exist.

Cover image: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ben Smith/Miloslav Druckmüller

This Week

News in Focus

Books & Arts




    News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The finding that a thin sheet of fibrous tissue under the skin contains a prefabricated, movable cellular sealant that can heal deep wounds might have implications for the treatment of scars and ulcers.

    • Mark C. Coles
    •  & Christopher D. Buckley
  • News & Views |

    Experiments show that quantum fluctuations can allow heat to be transported between two objects separated by a vacuum gap. This effect could be harnessed to exploit and control heat transfer in nanoscale devices.

    • Karthik Sasihithlu
  • News & Views |

    Drug resistance in malaria parasites is mediated by mutations in a transporter protein. The transporter’s structure reveals the molecular basis of how key mutations bring about resistance to different drugs.

    • Leann Tilley
    •  & Philip J. Rosenthal
  • News & Views |

    NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is currently making a series of close encounters with the Sun. Initial observations from the spacecraft have improved our understanding of both the Sun and its environment.

    • Daniel Verscharen
  • News & Views |

    Graphene coated with nanoparticles has been used to make wearable light sensors that measure the human pulse and blood oxygen levels from ambient light passing through tissue, offering a potential platform for health-care monitoring.

    • Deji Akinwande
    •  & Dmitry Kireev
  • Articles

  • Article |

    The Parker Solar Probe mission has reached the inner heliosphere of the Sun and made measurements of energetic particle events in the near-Sun radiation environment.

    • D. J. McComas
    • , E. R. Christian
    •  & A. P. Rouillard
  • Article |

    Conventionally, heat transfer occurs by conduction, convection or radiation, but has also been theoretically predicted to occur through quantum fluctuations across a vacuum; this prediction has now been confirmed experimentally.

    • King Yan Fong
    • , Hao-Kun Li
    •  & Xiang Zhang
  • Article |

    Satellite-derived analysis of daily vertical migrations of ocean animals shows that the relative abundance and total biomass of these animals differ between different regions globally, depending on the availability of food and necessity to avoid predators.

    • Michael J. Behrenfeld
    • , Peter Gaube
    •  & Scott C. Doney
  • Article |

    Analyses of primary and relapse samples of embryonal tumours with multilayered rosettes provide insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and opportunities for the treatment of this deadly disease.

    • Sander Lambo
    • , Susanne N. Gröbner
    •  & Marcel Kool
  • Article |

    Cells that populate scar tissue in mammalian skin migrate to wounds as prefabricated matrix from the subcutaneous fascia, including embedded blood vessels, macrophages and peripheral nerves.

    • Donovan Correa-Gallegos
    • , Dongsheng Jiang
    •  & Yuval Rinkevich
  • Article |

    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells engineered to overexpress the canonical AP-1 transcription factor c-Jun are resistant to T cell exhaustion, and provide enhanced therapeutic benefit in mouse tumour models.

    • Rachel C. Lynn
    • , Evan W. Weber
    •  & Crystal L. Mackall
  • Article |

    A subpopulation of Caenorhabditis elegans, in which there is a naturally occurring transient increase in reactive oxygen species during early development, exhibits increased stress resistance, improved redox homeostasis and prolonged lifespan, which are linked to a global decrease in level of the histone mark H3K4me3.

    • Daphne Bazopoulou
    • , Daniela Knoefler
    •  & Ursula Jakob
  • Article |

    Anoxygenic photosynthetic microorganisms can biomineralize manganese oxides without molecular oxygen being present and without high-potential photosynthetic reaction centres, which sheds doubt on proposed dates for the origins of oxygenic photosynthetic metabolism.

    • Mirna Daye
    • , Vanja Klepac-Ceraj
    •  & Tanja Bosak
  • Article |

    Structural, functional and in silico analyses of the chloroquine-resistance transporter PfCRT of Plasmodium falciparum suggest that distinct mechanistic features mediate the resistance to chloroquine and piperaquine in drug-resistant parasites.

    • Jonathan Kim
    • , Yong Zi Tan
    •  & Filippo Mancia
  • Article |

    A cryo-EM structure of a membrane-embedded core complex of the ESX-3/type VII secretion system from Mycobacterium smegmatis is reported, providing insights into the mechanisms by which virulence factors are secreted by these bacteria.

    • Nikolaos Famelis
    • , Angel Rivera-Calzada
    •  & Sebastian Geibel

Amendments & Corrections

Nature Index

  • Nature Index |

    Materials science

    The materials that will give rise to the industries of the future are taking shape in laboratories around the world, but how many of them will get to market?

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