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Volume 601 Issue 7893, 20 January 2022

High fidelity

The cover image shows an artist’s impression of spin qubits, the building blocks of a silicon quantum computer. The two red spheres are atomic nuclei surrounded by the wavefunction of an associated electron (the ellipse). The four ‘lobes’ represent entanglement between the qubits. In this week’s issue, three papers independently present silicon-based quantum-computing platforms that used multiqubit entanglement: one, from Andrea Morello and colleagues, relies on atoms implanted in silicon (shown), the other two, from Lieven Vandersypen and Seigo Tarucha and their respective co-workers, work with electrons in quantum dots. Crucially, all three systems have achieved fidelity in excess of 99%, which means that errors occur less than once every 100 operations. This is a key threshold for error correction that could make quantum computers based on silicon qubits a viable proposition — one that could make ready use of long-established chip manufacturing technologies.

Cover image: Tony Melov

This Week

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News in Focus

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  • News & Views

    • Cell-free RNA transcripts in maternal blood can be analysed to monitor the progression of pregnancy and to predict a potentially harmful pregnancy-specific condition called pre‑eclampsia.

      • Lydia L. Shook
      • Andrea G. Edlow
      News & Views
    • A silicon-based quantum-computing platform has met key standards for reducing error — setting the stage for quantum devices that could benefit from established semiconductor microchip technologies.

      • Ada Warren
      • Sophia E. Economou
      News & Views
    • The chirality, or handedness, of nanoparticles is shown to be a key factor in determining how well such particles engage with the immune system — a finding that might help to inform the design of vaccines and anticancer therapeutics.

      • Alexander Hooftman
      • Luke A. J. O’Neill
      News & Views
    • Archival images of glacial ice on a Norwegian archipelago, together with the islands’ climatic diversity, enable application of an innovative method for making long-term projections of ice loss using short-term observations.

      • Twila A. Moon
      News & Views
    • Advances in the precision of radiocarbon dating can offer year-specific data. Analyses of archaeological sites in Denmark and Canada provide insights into the chronology of the global networks of the Viking Age.

      • James H. Barrett
      News & Views
  • Articles

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Amendments & Corrections

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  • In this United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing, we unravel some mysteries of human longevity.

    Nature Outlook
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