A portable bioluminescent platform for monitoring biological processes in live animals

Aleksey Yevtodiyenko et al. present a portable bioluminescent system that allows non-invasive measurement of enzymatic activities within the body of non-transgenic, live animals.


  • sugar crystal through a microscope

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Latest Research articles

  • Semiconductor surface states often stand in the way of device performance, but here, the authors take advantage of them for wavelength conversion. They present a compact, passive conversion device insensitive to optical alignment by using plasmon-coupled surface states that enable the efficient conversion without nonlinear phenomena.

    • Deniz Turan
    • Ping Keng Lu
    • Mona Jarrahi
    Article Open Access
  • Catalytic amide bond-forming methods is important because they could potentially address the existing limitations of classical methods using superstoichiometric activating reagents. Here the authors show an Umpolung amidation reaction of carboxylic acids with nitroarenes and nitroalkanes enabled by FeI2, P(V)/P(III) and photoredox catalysis that avoids the production of byproducts.

    • Yunyun Ning
    • Shuaishuai Wang
    • Jin Xie
    Article Open Access
  • The identification of catalytically active sites with atomic-scale precision occupies a central place in the theory and practice of heterogeneous catalysis. Here the authors assess the nature of the copper-oxygen bond in a Cu-CHA zeolite and recover the microscopic structure of single-metal sites.

    • Paolo Cleto Bruzzese
    • Enrico Salvadori
    • Mario Chiesa
    Article Open Access
  • A semiconductor thermionic device, which utilises thermally excited electrons, is considered as an alternative in solar conversion technology, yet its working mechanism is not clear. Here, the authors reveal that whether such a device operates in the photon enhanced or purely thermionic mode, greatly depends on the material properties and device physics.

    • Ehsanur Rahman
    • Alireza Nojeh
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Physical sciences

  • The relative role of individual forcing events in long-term landscape evolution is challenging to measure in the field. Badlands offer special opportunities to quantify common, natural landscape dynamics on observational time scales.

    • Ci-Jian Yang
    • Jens M. Turowski
    • Kuo-Jen Chang
    Article Open Access
  • Silica formation in diatoms is of interest for a range of different subjects from biomimetics to oceanography. Here the authors study the formation of silicified extensions in diatoms and find that unlike cell wall elements, that form in the cytoplasm, the extensions have a different formation mechanism outside the cytoplasm.

    • Boaz Mayzel
    • Lior Aram
    • Assaf Gal
    Article Open Access
  • Climate change is expected to have impacts on human mortality, e.g. through increases in heat waves. Here, the author proposes a new metric to account for excess deaths from additional CO2 emissions, which allows to assess the mortality impacts of marginal emissions and leads to a substantial increase in the social costs of carbon.

    • R. Daniel Bressler
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Earth and environmental sciences

  • The common ancestor of all living arthropods had biramous postantennal appendages, with an endopodite and exopodite branching off the limb base. This study uses microtomographic imaging of the Cambrian arthropod Leanchoilia to reveal a previously undetected exite at the base of most appendages, suggesting a deeper origin for exites in arthropod phylogeny.

    • Yu Liu
    • Gregory D. Edgecombe
    • Xianguang Hou
    Article Open Access
  • Bacteria can secrete diffusible protein toxins that kill competing bacteria. Here, the authors use biochemical, biophysical and structural analyses to show how one of these toxins exploits TolC (a major antibiotic efflux channel) to transport itself across the outer membrane of target cells.

    • Nicholas G. Housden
    • Melissa N. Webby
    • Colin Kleanthous
    Article Open Access
  • In this study, Peijun Zhang and colleagues use cryoFIB/SEM volume imaging and soft x-ray cryo-tomography with cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) of cellular periphery, lamellae, and subtomogram averaging to place critical structural events in the SARS-CoV-2 infection cycle in the context of whole-cell images.

    • Luiza Mendonça
    • Andrew Howe
    • Peijun Zhang
    Article Open Access
  • Little is known about viral-host interactions in the continental subsurface. Here, the authors use a combination of metagenomics, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy to show infections of abundant C-fixing subsurface archaea by lytic viruses.

    • Janina Rahlff
    • Victoria Turzynski
    • Alexander J. Probst
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Biological sciences

  • Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a reemerging mosquito-borne virus that has caused outbreaks in various regions of the world. Here the authors present safety and immunogenicity data from a phase 1 trial with the simian adenovirus vectored vaccine ChAdOx1 Chik, showing induction of neutralizing antibodies to four CHIKV lineages.

    • Pedro M. Folegatti
    • Kate Harrison
    • Arturo Reyes-Sandoval
    Article Open Access
  • Cranial sutures are major growth centers for the skull vault and premature fusion leads to pathological fusion, craniosynostosis. Here the authors isolate Wnt responsive skeletal stem and progenitor cells from sutures, that can be transplanted together with Wnt3a protein to repair craniosynostosis in a mouse model.

    • Siddharth Menon
    • Ankit Salhotra
    • Natalina Quarto
    Article Open Access
  • To understand malaria symptoms, several studies investigate association between parasite’s transcriptome and disease severity. Here, Thomson-Luque et al. reanalyze available transcriptomic data of P. falciparum and find that longer circulation of infected erythrocytes without sequestering to endothelial cells associates with decreasing parasitaemia and less severe disease.

    • Richard Thomson-Luque
    • Lasse Votborg-Novél
    • Silvia Portugal
    Article Open Access
  • Aβ oligomers (AβO) are thought to represent the main toxic species in Alzheimer’s disease but very high Aβ concentrations are required to study them in vitro and it remains unknown what role these off-pathway oligomers play in vivo. Here, the authors use a dimeric variant of Aβ termed dimAβ, where two Aβ40 units are linked, which facilitates to study AβO formation kinetics and they observe that Aβ off-pathway oligomer formation is strongly accelerated at endo-lysosomal pH, while amyloid fibril formation is delayed. Furthermore, the authors demonstrate that dimAβ is a disease-relevant model construct for pathogenic AβO formation by showing that dimAβ AβOs target dendritic spines and induce AD-like somatodendritic Tau missorting.

    • Marie P. Schützmann
    • Filip Hasecke
    • Wolfgang Hoyer
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Health sciences

  • This study combines ethnobotanical and epidemiological data to understand how social networks of seed exchange influence the genetic structure of the African cassava mosaic virus in Gabon. Results reveal contrasted patterns of viral diversity in patrilineal and matrilineal communities, consistent with cultural differences in modes of seed exchange.

    • Marc Delêtre
    • Jean-Michel Lett
    • Charles Spillane
    Article Open Access
  • National parochialism is the tendency to cooperate more with people of the same nation. In a 42-nations study, the authors show that national parochialism is a pervasive phenomenon, present to a similar degree across all the studied nations, and occurs both when decisions are private or public.

    • Angelo Romano
    • Matthias Sutter
    • Daniel Balliet
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Scientific community and society

  • As it fulfills an irresistible need to understand our own origins, research on human development occupies a unique niche in scientific and medical research. In this Comment, we explore the progress in our understanding of human development over the past 10 years. The focus is on basic research, clinical applications, and ethical considerations.

    • Ali H. Brivanlou
    • Norbert Gleicher
    Comment Open Access
  • In the next 10 years, the continued exploration of human embryology holds promise to revolutionize regenerative and reproductive medicine with important societal consequences. In this Comment we speculate on the evolution of recent advances made and describe emerging technologies for basic research, their potential clinical applications, and, importantly, the ethical frameworks in which they must be considered.

    • Ali H. Brivanlou
    • Nicolas Rivron
    • Norbert Gleicher
    Comment Open Access
  • In the face of an on-going global pandemic and the growing urgency of climate change, the challenge of building an equitable and sustainable world has never been greater. Thus, now more than ever, we want to support and highlight research efforts made at attaining the UN sustainable development goals.

    Editorial Open Access
  • From smartphones to electric vehicles, Li-ion batteries have revolutionized our daily lives. Here, we discuss the most important aspects that have enabled lithium-ion batteries to thrive, and introduce some of our articles that contribute to the evolution of these devices.

    Editorial Open Access
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) scientists are an invisible minority that still faces harassment and discrimination. Fostering safe, designated LGBTQ+ environments is a way for the community to connect with each other and raise awareness. In honor of Pride Month (June 2021), Dr. Keisling (postdoctoral fellow at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University), Dr. Le Bras (scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Dr. Ludka (postdoctoral researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography) share with Nature Communications their experiences bringing together the LGBTQ+ community at geoscience conferences, and offer advice for how other disciplines can do the same.

    Q&A Open Access
  • The longevity of a lithium-ion battery is limited by cathode degradation. Combining atom probe tomography and scanning transmission electron microscopy reveals that the degradation results from atomic-scale irreversible structural changes once lithium leaves the cathode during charging, thereby inhibiting lithium intercalation back into the cathode as the battery discharges. This information unveils possible routes for improving the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries.

    • Baptiste Gault
    • Jonathan D. Poplawsky
    Comment Open Access
Optics and photonics

Optics and photonics

This page highlights recent engaging work in the areas of optics and photonics, ranging from optical physics, materials, imaging, and communications, to techniques, integration and applications, at all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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