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Volume 576 Issue 7787, 19 December 2019

One year, ten stories

As 2019 draws to a close, we once again select Nature’s 10 — ten people who mattered in science this year. The cover image depicts radiation from an astronomical mystery known as a fast radio burst against a background of stars and galaxies. A number of instruments — especially those in the Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder — have detected hundreds of these bursts and are helping to solve the puzzle of their origin.

Cover image: davidope (David Szakaly)

2019: the year in science

This Week

News in Focus



  • Comment |

    A pioneer in sustainable innovation explains why she has spent the past decade fighting the first lawsuit to force a government to act on global heating.

    • Marjan Minnesma



    News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Immune cells called cytotoxic T cells can recognize and destroy cancer cells. The finding that stem-cell-like T cells exist in tumours, at niche sites that support these cells, could aid efforts to boost anticancer immune responses.

    • Suman Kumar Vodnala
    • Nicholas P. Restifo
  • News & Views |

    In 1994, an unconventional form of superconductivity was detected in strontium ruthenate. The discovery has shed light on the mechanism of unconventional superconductivity at high temperatures.

    • N. Peter Armitage
  • News & Views |

    A double membrane protects certain bacteria from antibiotics, but compounds have now been generated that can overcome this obstacle, seemingly by targeting a crucial protein in the outer membrane.

    • Marcelo C. Sousa
  • News & Views |

    Enhancing antitumour immune responses has revolutionized cancer treatment, yet some hurdles impede this approach. The discovery of a way to boost the lifespan and function of antitumour immune cells removes a key obstacle.

    • Miguel Reina-Campos
    • Ananda W. Goldrath
  • Reviews

  • Articles

  • Article |

    In theory, the anomalous quantum Hall effect is observed in edge channels of topological insulators when there is a magnetic energy gap at the Dirac point; this gap has now been observed by low-temperature photoelectron spectroscopy in Mn-doped Bi2Te3.

    • E. D. L. Rienks
    • S. Wimmer
    • G. Springholz
  • Article |

    A rock art panel from Sulawesi—dated to at least 43.9 thousand years ago—represents the oldest currently known figurative art in the world, and provides evidence of early storytelling through narrative hunting scenes.

    • Maxime Aubert
    • Rustan Lebe
    • Adam Brumm


  • Article |

    Frontal cortex neurons can be grouped into categorical response types corresponding to particular decision variables, such as reward size, decision confidence, or value, and individual variables may be encoded in distinct projection populations; this suggests that, like  neurons in sensory cortex, frontal neurons form a sparse and overcomplete representation of important variables in the environment.

    • Junya Hirokawa
    • Alexander Vaughan
    • Adam Kepecs
  • Article |

    A class of chimeric synthetic antibiotics that bind to lipopolysaccharide and BamA shows potent activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, with the potential to address life-threatening infections.

    • Anatol Luther
    • Matthias Urfer
    • Daniel Obrecht
  • Article |

    Bacterial symbionts of animals may contain antibiotics that are particularly suitable for development into therapeutics; one such compound, darobactin, is active against important Gram-negative pathogens both in vitro and in animal models of infection.

    • Yu Imai
    • Kirsten J. Meyer
    • Kim Lewis
  • Article |

    The authors examine the immune cell infiltrates of human tumours and provide evidence for a population of CD8 T cells with stem-cell characteristics and proliferative capacity that reside in an antigen-presenting niche within tumours.

    • Caroline S. Jansen
    • Nataliya Prokhnevska
    • Haydn Kissick
  • Article |

    KRAS4A interacts directly with hexokinase 1 in a GTP-dependent manner at the outer mitochondrial membrane, leading to kinase activation and an increase in glucose uptake and glycolysis in tumour cells.

    • Caroline R. Amendola
    • James P. Mahaffey
    • Mark R. Philips
  • Article |

    Single-cell mapping of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation and RNA expression during gastrulation in mouse embryos shows characteristic epigenetic changes that accompany formation of the primary germ layers.

    • Ricard Argelaguet
    • Stephen J. Clark
    • Wolf Reik
  • Article |

    Partial structures are reported for Cav3.1 both on its own and in complex with a phase II drug candidate for seizure and neuropathic pain; this presents the overall architecture of T-type Ca2+ channels, insights into their gating and permeation mechanisms, and how they are modulated by small-molecule blockers.

    • Yanyu Zhao
    • Gaoxingyu Huang
    • Nieng Yan


  • Career Guide |

    Events Guide

    Conferences remain an essential part of any scientist's life.

  • Spotlight |


    Nature speaks to scientists in Peru about the issues that science in the country has had in funding and education, and the promise of what it has yet to offer researchers – both those from Latin America and further afield.

  • Innovations In |

    AI and digital health

    Over the next decade artificial intelligence is likely to transform the biomedical world.

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