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Volume 622 Issue 7982, 12 October 2023

Closer to the edge

The cover shows a black microhylid frog (Melanobatrachus indicus), a rare species from the Western Ghats of India. In this week’s issue, Jennifer Luedtke and her colleagues present the results of a comprehensive re-evaluation of the conservation status of amphibians since 2004. Covering 8,011 species, the paper reveals that amphibians continue to be the most threatened class of vertebrates and that their status is deteriorating globally. The researchers drew their data from the second Global Amphibian Assessment, which was completed in June 2022. They find that around 41% of amphibian species are categorized as threatened, and note that the primary driver for the deteriorations in status has shifted from disease to climate change and habitat loss.

Cover image: Sandeep Das

This Week

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News in Focus

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  • News & Views

    • The analysis of fossils in sediment cores from Lake Victoria, Africa, reveals that a group of cichlid fish rapidly diversified as the lake got larger and provided new ecological niches, whereas the other fish there did not diversify.

      • Martin J. Genner
      News & Views
    • Pinpointing the state of a complex system is tricky, especially when the underlying mathematical equations aren’t known. But a data-driven technique makes light work of it — and could even change the way that models are formulated.

      • Brendan Keith
      News & Views
    • Evolution by natural selection peerlessly describes how life’s complexity develops — but can it be explained in terms of physics? A new approach suggests it can.

      • George F. R. Ellis
      News & Views
    • When two worlds collide, they leave more than the shambles of dusty ejecta. Astronomers have detected light from a post-collision remnant, providing the best evidence so far for planetary-scale collisions in exoplanetary systems.

      • Carl Melis
      News & Views
  • Articles

    • Infrared brightening and luminosity observations from a young, solar-like star suggest a collision between two exoplanets producing a hot, highly extended post-impact remnant and transit of the debris causing the visible light eclipse of the host star.

      • Matthew Kenworthy
      • Simon Lock
      • Michael Rizzo Smith
    • Observations of the super-massive Neptune-sized transiting planet TOI-1853 b show a mass almost twice that of any other Neptune-sized planet known so far and a bulk density implying that heavy elements dominate its mass.

      • Luca Naponiello
      • Luigi Mancini
      • Tiziano Zingales
    • A parametrization strategy for stochastic variational inference with Markov Gaussian processes is presented for state estimation of a physical system whose underlying dynamical equations are partially or completely unknown.

      • Kevin Course
      • Prasanth B. Nair
      Article Open Access
    • The realization of two-qubit entangling gates with 99.5% fidelity on up to 60 rubidium atoms in parallel is reported, surpassing the surface-code threshold for error correction and laying the groundwork for neutral-atom quantum computers.

      • Simon J. Evered
      • Dolev Bluvstein
      • Mikhail D. Lukin
      Article Open Access
    • Deep learning using a convolutional neural network trained with daily precipitation fields and annual global mean surface air temperature data demonstrates that anthropogenically induced climate change has a detectable effect on daily hydrological fluctuations.

      • Yoo-Geun Ham
      • Jeong-Hwan Kim
      • Malte F. Stuecker
      Article Open Access
    • Assembly theory conceptualizes objects as entities defined by their possible formation histories, allowing a unified language for describing selection, evolution and the generation of novelty.

      • Abhishek Sharma
      • Dániel Czégel
      • Leroy Cronin
      Article Open Access
    • The Pharma Proteomics Project generates the largest open-access plasma proteomics dataset to date, offering insights into trans protein quantitative trait loci across multiple biological domains, and highlighting genetic influences on ligand–receptor interactions and pathway perturbations across a diverse collection of cytokines and complement networks.

      • Benjamin B. Sun
      • Joshua Chiou
      • Christopher D. Whelan
      Article Open Access
    • Comparisons of phenotypic and genetic association with protein levels from Icelandic and UK Biobank cohorts show that using multiple analysis platforms and stratifying populations by ancestry improves the detection of associations and allows the refinement of their location within the genome.

      • Grimur Hjorleifsson Eldjarn
      • Egil Ferkingstad
      • Kari Stefansson
      Article Open Access
    • Assembloids are integrated with CRISPR screening to investigate the involvement of 425 neurodevelopmental disorder genes in human interneuron development, showing endoplasmic reticulum displacement before nuclear translocation and interference from LNPK deletion, resulting in abnormal migration.

      • Xiangling Meng
      • David Yao
      • Sergiu P. Pașca


      Article Open Access
    • An in vivo single-cell CRISPR screening method identifies transcriptional phenotypes of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome associated with a broad dysregulation of a class of disease susceptibility genes that are important for RNA processing and synaptic function.

      • Antonio J. Santinha
      • Esther Klingler
      • Randall J. Platt


      Article Open Access
    • A biochemical and structural analysis demonstrates that alterations at the substrate-binding pocket of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 can allow the virus to develop resistance to nirmatrelvir in two distinct ways.

      • Yinkai Duan
      • Hao Zhou
      • Haitao Yang
    • The endoribonuclease PUCH, a trimer of Schlafen-like-domain proteins, initiates piRNA processing in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans through 5′-end piRNA precursor cleavage.

      • Nadezda Podvalnaya
      • Alfred W. Bronkhorst
      • René F. Ketting
      Article Open Access
    • The exploration of voltage-gated potassium channels using cryo-electron microscopy and electrophysiology identifies a mechanism of inactivation involved in regulating neuron firing.

      • Ana I. Fernández-Mariño
      • Xiao-Feng Tan
      • Kenton J. Swartz
      Article Open Access
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Amendments & Corrections

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Nature Index

  • Climate and conservation scientists are bringing real progress to the fight against global warming, despite political and funding obstacles.

    Nature Index
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