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Volume 586 Issue 7830, 22 October 2020

Vaccine design

The cover image draws on aspects of Bauhaus artist Paul Klee’s famous notebooks to reimagine the quest for a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The drive to create an effective vaccine to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic has seen researchers move from genetic sequence of the virus to clinical trials at unprecedented speed. This week’s issue features a number of papers that probe design strategies and clinical trial results for vaccine candidates to combat the virus. In addition, a Review presents a round-up of vaccines in development, noting that signs so far suggest that a safe and effective vaccine could be realized on a timescale of months rather than years.

Cover image: Nik Spencer for Nature.

This Week

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News in Focus

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Books & Arts

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  • News & Views

    • Leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates have progressed through laboratory tests at record speed. Two early clinical trials suggest that immunization delivers a favourable immune response and safety profile, but questions remain.

      • Christian Gaebler
      • Michel C. Nussenzweig
      News & Views
    • Sequencing the genomes of individual skin cells called melanocytes has revealed a rich landscape of DNA changes. These insights shed light on the origins of melanoma, an aggressive type of cancer.

      • Inigo Martincorena
      News & Views
    • An analysis of seismic data reveals the location and quantity of melted rock, known as melt, in Earth’s upper mantle. The results show how these factors are correlated with the movement of the planet’s tectonic plates.

      • Laura Cobden
      News & Views
  • Reviews

    • The findings of a World Health Organization expert working group that is developing animal models to test vaccines and therapeutic agents for the treatment of COVID-19, and their relevance for preclinical testing, are reviewed.

      • César Muñoz-Fontela
      • William E. Dowling
      • Dan H. Barouch
      Review Article
    • The development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is reviewed, including an overview of the development process, the different types of vaccine candidate, and data from animal studies as well as phase I and II clinical trials in humans.

      • Florian Krammer
      Review Article
  • Articles

    • The architecture of planetary systems is shown to be strongly affected by stellar clustering in position-velocity phase space; hot Jupiters occur preferentially at high density, suggesting that their extreme orbits originate from environmental perturbations.

      • Andrew J. Winter
      • J. M. Diederik Kruijssen
      • Mélanie Chevance
    • Scalable optics co-fabricated with a cryogenic surface-electrode ion trap are used to drive high-fidelity multi-ion quantum logic gates, demonstrating a route to simultaneously scale and reduce errors in quantum processors.

      • Karan K. Mehta
      • Chi Zhang
      • Jonathan P. Home
    • A surface-electrode ion-trap chip is demonstrated, which delivers all the wavelengths of light required for the preparation and operation of ion qubits.

      • R. J. Niffenegger
      • J. Stuart
      • J. Chiaverini
    • A jigsaw-style configuration of interlocking structures identified in the elytra of the remarkably tough diabolical ironclad beetle, Phloeodes diabolicus, is used to inspire crush-resistant multilayer composites for engineering joints.

      • Jesus Rivera
      • Maryam Sadat Hosseini
      • David Kisailus
    • Analysis of global three-dimensional shear attenuation and velocity models implies that partial melting in the seismic low-velocity zone enables motion of oceanic plates by reducing the viscosity of the asthenosphere.

      • Eric Debayle
      • Thomas Bodin
      • Yanick Ricard
    • A model in mouse using a species-adapted virus recapitulates features of SARS-CoV-2 infection and age-related disease pathogenesis in humans, and provides a model system for rapid evaluation of medical countermeasures against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

      • Kenneth H. Dinnon III
      • Sarah R. Leist
      • Ralph S. Baric
    • mRNA-1273, an mRNA vaccine that encodes a stabilized prefusion-state severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein, elicits robust immune responses and protects mice against replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper and lower airways.

      • Kizzmekia S. Corbett
      • Darin K. Edwards
      • Barney S. Graham
    • The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 induces an immune response in rhesus macaques and leads to reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in respiratory tissues and an absence of pneumonia, but not to a reduction in nasal virus shedding, compared with unvaccinated animals.

      • Neeltje van Doremalen
      • Teresa Lambe
      • Vincent J. Munster
    • A combination of clonal expansion and DNA amplification is used to sequence genetic material from individual melanocytes, shedding light on the mutational landscape of these cells and the development of melanomas.

      • Jessica Tang
      • Eleanor Fewings
      • A. Hunter Shain
    • Metabolically-mature human islet-like organoids generated from induced pluripotent stem cells are able to recapitulate insulin-responsive pancreatic islet function and avoid immunologic cell death in diabetic mouse transplantation models.

      • Eiji Yoshihara
      • Carolyn O’Connor
      • Ronald M. Evans


    • Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis of embryogenesis and X chromosome inactivation in the opossum (Monodelphis domestica) resolves the developmental trajectory of a marsupial, and sheds light on the evolution of embryogenesis in mammals.

      • Shantha K. Mahadevaiah
      • Mahesh N. Sangrithi
      • James M. A. Turner
  • Matters Arising

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Amendments & Corrections

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Nature Outlook

  • As bacteria that cause infection adapt to withstand antibiotics, the potential for antimicrobial resistance to cause a global health crisis looms large. Scientists and policymakers are working together to find ways to fight back against this threat.

    Nature Outlook
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