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Volume 584 Issue 7821, 20 August 2020

COVID questions

The cover shows an artist’s impression of SARS-CoV-2 in the bloodstream based on the latest cryo-EM images of the virus, with neutralizing antibodies (yellow) attaching to the spike protein on the surface of the virus. This week’s issue features a number of papers at the cutting edge of research into the virus that causes COVID-19 — from transmission dynamics that could help control future outbreaks to antibody responses that may inform treatment strategies.

Cover image: David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank and the Scripps Research Institute.

This Week

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News in Focus

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Books & Arts

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  • News & Views

    • It is unclear why people’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus varies so widely. Tracking patient responses over time sheds light on this issue, and has implications for efforts to predict disease severity.

      • Stanley Perlman
      News & Views
    • Does the conversion of natural habitats to human use favour animals that harbour agents causing human disease? A global analysis of vertebrates provides an answer to this pressing question.

      • Richard S. Ostfeld
      • Felicia Keesing
      News & Views
    • Diodes are devices that conduct electric current mainly in one direction. An electrically polar film that acts as a diode for superconducting current could lead to electronic devices that have ultralow power consumption.

      • Toshiya Ideue
      • Yoshihiro Iwasa
      News & Views
    • The genome sequence of an unusual reptile called the tuatara sheds light on the species’ evolution and on conservation strategies. The work is a model of current best practice for collaborating with Indigenous communities.

      • Rebecca N. Johnson
      News & Views
  • Perspective

  • Articles

    • Observations of a cold molecular gas associated with the atomic hydrogen outflow from the centre of our Galaxy indicate that this gas has a surprisingly high mass but unclear origin.

      • Enrico M. Di Teodoro
      • N. M. McClure-Griffiths
      • Lucia Armillotta
    • A superconducting diode that has zero resistance in only one direction is realized in an artificially engineered superlattice without inversion symmetry, enabling directional charge transport without energy loss.

      • Fuyuki Ando
      • Yuta Miyasaka
      • Teruo Ono
    • Under high pressure, elemental sulfur shows a sharp density discontinuity that evolves with pressure and temperature and terminates at a critical point, indicating a first-order liquid–liquid phase transition.

      • Laura Henry
      • Mohamed Mezouar
      • Frédéric Datchi
    • A direct ink writing protocol for silica aerogels enables 3D printing of lightweight, miniaturized objects with complex shapes, with the possibility to easily add functionality by incorporating nanoparticles.

      • Shanyu Zhao
      • Gilberto Siqueira
      • Wim J. Malfait
    • Observed global-mean sea-level rise since 1900 is reconciled with estimates based on the contributing processes, revealing budget closure within uncertainties and showing ice-mass loss from glaciers as a dominant contributor.

      • Thomas Frederikse
      • Felix Landerer
      • Yun-Hao Wu
    • Wildlife communities in human-managed ecosystems contain proportionally more species that share human pathogens, and at a higher abundance, than undisturbed habitats, suggesting that landscape transformation creates increasing opportunities for contact between humans and potential hosts of human disease.

      • Rory Gibb
      • David W. Redding
      • Kate E. Jones
    • The approximately 5-Gb tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) genome assembly provides a resource for analysing amniote evolution, and highlights the imperative for meaningful cultural engagement with Indigenous communities in genome-sequencing endeavours.

      • Neil J. Gemmell
      • Kim Rutherford
      • Haydn Edmonds
      Article Open Access
    • A systematic analysis of the proteostasis network of secreted proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans identifies numerous regulators of protein homeostasis outside the cell, and highlights the contribution of extracellular proteostasis to host defence.

      • Ivan Gallotta
      • Aneet Sandhu
      • Della C. David
    • High levels of the sexually dimorphic hormone ecdysone, produced by active ovaries in Drosophila, promote the proliferation of stem cells in the female gut and maximize reproductive fitness, but also increase female susceptibility to age-dependent dysplasia and tumorigenesis.

      • Sara Mahmoud H. Ahmed
      • Julieta A. Maldera
      • Bruce A. Edgar
    • Analysis of the full-spectrum transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in Wuhan reveals that multipronged non-pharmaceutical interventions were effective in controlling the outbreak, and highlights that covert infections may pose risks of resurgence when reopening without intervention measures.

      • Xingjie Hao
      • Shanshan Cheng
      • Chaolong Wang
    • OpenSAFELY, a new health analytics platform that includes data from over 17 million adult NHS patients in England, is used to examine factors associated with COVID-19-related death.

      • Elizabeth J. Williamson
      • Alex J. Walker
      • Ben Goldacre
    • Although rare, antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 that showed potent antiviral activity were obtained from all tested convalescent individuals, suggesting that a vaccine designed to elicit such antibodies could be broadly effective.

      • Davide F. Robbiani
      • Christian Gaebler
      • Michel C. Nussenzweig
    • An analysis identifies human monoclonal antibodies that potently neutralize wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and protect animals from disease, including two that synergize in a cocktail, suggesting that these could be candidates for use as therapeutic agents for the treatment of COVID-19 in humans.

      • Seth J. Zost
      • Pavlo Gilchuk
      • James E. Crowe Jr
  • Matters Arising

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Amendments & Corrections

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