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Volume 627 Issue 8004, 21 March 2024

Planet eaters

The cover shows an artist’s impression of a planet being captured and ingested by one of the stars in co-moving pairs of stars. In this week’s issue, Fan Liu and colleagues present evidence suggesting about 1 in 12 stars might have ingested a planet. The chemical composition of a star can change when it engulfs a planet, so the researchers looked at binary star systems in which the two stars were born at the same time. By comparing the spectral signatures of the stellar twins, they were able to identify instances in which one of the stars had ingested a planet. They identified 91 pairs of close ‘co-natal’ stars and found evidence of planetary ingestion in about 8% of them.

Cover image: intouchable, © 2024 OPENVERSE

This Week

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News in Focus

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Books & Arts

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  • News & Views

    • The 1964 discovery of Epstein–Barr virus shed light on factors that contribute to human cancer. Subsequent studies set the stage for finding ways to diagnose and treat cancer, and revealed how immune defences control viral infection.

      • Lawrence S. Young
      News & Views
    • Complex magnetic structures called skyrmions have been generated on a nanometre scale and controlled electrically — a promising step for fast, energy-efficient computer hardware systems that can store large amounts of data.

      • Qiming Shao
      News & Views
    • An array of robots has been set up so that pushes between them produce movements that do not conform to the usual laws of motion. Fascinating behaviour emerges from these interactions: wave phenomena known as solitons.

      • Sebastian D. Huber
      • Kukka-Emilia Huhtinen
      News & Views
  • Articles

    • Dimorphos ejecta plume properties were revealed by the observations from the LICIACube cube satellite, which was deployed 15  days in advance of the impact of DART.

      • E. Dotto
      • J. D. P. Deshapriya
      • M. Zannoni
      Article Open Access
    • A micro-fabricated Penning trap that operates at a 3 T magnetic field demonstrates full quantum control of an ion and the ability to transport the ion arbitrarily in the trapping plane above the chip.

      • Shreyans Jain
      • Tobias Sägesser
      • Jonathan Home
      Article Open Access
    • Turbulent energy cascades can be arrested by non-dissipative viscosities, resulting in pattern formation at intermediate length scales.

      • Xander M. de Wit
      • Michel Fruchart
      • Vincenzo Vitelli
      Article Open Access
    • Wafer-scale realization of a nanoscale magnetic tunnel junction hosting a single, ambient skyrmion enables its large readout, efficient switching, and compatibility with lateral manipulation, and thereby provides the backbone for all-electrical skyrmionic device architectures.

      • Shaohai Chen
      • James Lourembam
      • Anjan Soumyanarayanan
    • A local driving mechanism for solitons that accelerates both solitons and antisolitons in the same direction, called non-reciprocal driving, is introduced, showing a subtle interplay between non-reciprocity and topological solitons and providing waveguiding and wave-processing possibilities for other fields.

      • Jonas Veenstra
      • Oleksandr Gamayun
      • Corentin Coulais
    • We leverage advances in integrated photonics to generate low-noise microwaves with an optical frequency division architecture that can be low power and chip integrated.

      • Igor Kudelin
      • William Groman
      • Scott A. Diddams
      Article Open Access
    • A miniaturized optical frequency division system that could transfer the generation of microwaves, with superior spectral purity, to a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor-compatible integrated photonic platform is demonstrated showing potential for large-volume, low-cost manufacturing for many applications.

      • Shuman Sun
      • Beichen Wang
      • Xu Yi
      Article Open Access
    • We demonstrate an all-optical, mode-locking, Kerr-comb frequency division method that provides a chip-scale microwave source that is extremely versatile, accurate, stable and has ultralow noise, using only a single continuous-wave laser.

      • Yun Zhao
      • Jae K. Jang
      • Alexander L. Gaeta
    • Artificial intelligence-based forecasting improves the reliability of predicting extreme flood events in ungauged watersheds, with predictions at five days lead time that are as good as current systems are for same-day predictions.

      • Grey Nearing
      • Deborah Cohen
      • Yossi Matias
      Article Open Access
    • An analysis of tree survival data from forest sites worldwide shows that in the tropics, rare tree species experience stronger stabilizing density dependence than common species, wheras no correlation of stabilizing density dependence and abundance exists in the temperate zone.

      • Lisa Hülsmann
      • Ryan A. Chisholm
      • Florian Hartig
      Article Open Access
    • Bumblebees can learn how to open a two-step puzzle box by observing another trained bee, indicating that these insects can use social learning to acquire a behaviour too complex to otherwise be learnt through individual trial and error.

      • Alice D. Bridges
      • Amanda Royka
      • Lars Chittka
      Article Open Access
    • A comparative analysis tests competing evolutionary hypotheses in toothed whales in which menopause has evolved many times as females extended their overall lifespan but not their reproductive lifespan, increasing their opportunity for intergenerational help without increasing intergenerational reproductive competition.

      • Samuel Ellis
      • Daniel W. Franks
      • Darren P. Croft
      Article Open Access
    • The Chinese Liver Cancer Atlas project depicts a panoramic genomic landscape of hepatocellular carcinoma, covering candidate coding and non-coding drivers, mutational signatures, extrachromosomal circular DNA, subclonal catastrophic events and detailed evolutionary history.

      • Lei Chen
      • Chong Zhang
      • Hongyang Wang
    • The demethylase KDM5C, mutations in which often lead to intellectual disability, is identified as a crucial player in regulating the precise timing of neurodevelopment together with the WNT signalling pathway.

      • Violetta Karwacki-Neisius
      • Ahram Jang
      • Yang Shi
      Article Open Access
    • A cluster randomized controlled trial in Sierra Leone shows that targeting access to vaccines in remote areas increases uptake, an approach that can be used to improve vaccine equity in developing countries.

      • Niccolò F. Meriggi
      • Maarten Voors
      • Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
      Article Open Access
    • IL-10 exerts its anti-inflammatory activity in macrophages by increasing the expression of enzymes that promote fatty acid desaturation and downstream regulation of the transcription factor REL.

      • Autumn G. York
      • Mathias H. Skadow
      • Richard A. Flavell
      Article Open Access
    • Transcriptomic and chromatin accessibility analyses of naive and transplanted colon cancer organoids in a mouse model reveal a key role for the transcription factor SOX17 in establishing a permissive immune environment for tumour cells.

      • Norihiro Goto
      • Peter M. K. Westcott
      • Ömer H. Yilmaz
    • A high baseline of intratumoural macrophages and regulatory T cells is associated with better outcomes in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with atezolizumab plus tiragolumab, but not with atezolizumab alone.

      • Xiangnan Guan
      • Ruozhen Hu
      • Namrata S. Patil
      Article Open Access
    • Analyses of single epithelial cells from early-stage lung adenocarcinoma and normal lung identifies a population of intermediate cells that may have an increased likelihood of transforming to tumour cells after injury such as tobacco exposure.

      • Guangchun Han
      • Ansam Sinjab
      • Humam Kadara
      Article Open Access
    • A multidimensional proteomics analysis of the interactions between around 2,000 nuclear proteins and over 80 modified dinucleosomes representing promoter, enhancer and heterochromatin states provides insights into how chromatin states are decoded by chromatin readers.

      • Saulius Lukauskas
      • Andrey Tvardovskiy
      • Till Bartke
      Article Open Access
    • Global profiling of hyper-reactive tryptophan sites across whole proteomes using tryptophan chemical ligation by cyclization (Trp-CLiC) reveals a systematic map of tryptophan residues that participate in cation–π interactions, including functional sites that can regulate protein-mediated phase-separation processes.

      • Xiao Xie
      • Patrick J. Moon
      • Christopher J. Chang
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Amendments & Corrections

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  • Japan is a leading country in terms of the number of diagnostic imaging devices per capita due to a strong radiological technology market.

    Focal Point
  • Recent government policy changes have encouraged Chinese hospitals to look to suppliers based in China for their equipment and materials.

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