Social networks predict the life and death of honey bees

Honey bee workers take on different tasks as they age. The authors study the individuals' social networks and show that interaction patterns predict task allocation and developmental trajectories.

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Latest Research articles

  • Background radiation has been identified as a key factor limiting the coherence times of superconducting circuits. Here, the authors measure the impact of environmental and cosmic radiation on a superconducting resonator with varying degrees of shielding, including an underground facility.

    • L. Cardani
    • F. Valenti
    • I. M. Pop
    Article Open Access
  • Domains and domain walls can have distinctively different physical properties. Here, the authors show how to transfer domains into domain walls and vice versa while maintaining their physical properties. Thereby the authors tune a multiferroic state between three and two dimensions.

    • E. Hassanpour
    • M. C. Weber
    • M. Fiebig
    Article Open Access
  • The poor bench stability of phosphoramidites is a drawback for fast automised chemical oligonucleotide synthesis. Here, the authors report a method for on-demand flow synthesis of phosphoramidites within short reaction times, in near-quantitative yields and sufficient purity for integration with DNA synthesizers.

    • Alexander F. Sandahl
    • Thuy J. D. Nguyen
    • Kurt V. Gothelf
    Article Open Access
  • A recent report on electrostatic field effect in superconducting devices provides a high potential for advanced quantum technology, but it remains controversial. Here, the authors report that the suppression of critical current, which was attributed to the field effect, can instead be explained by quasiparticle excitations in the constriction of superconducting devices.

    • I. Golokolenov
    • A. Guthrie
    • V. Tsepelin
    Article Open Access
  • Furanose species have a key role in the chemistry of life despite their instability over pyranose ones. The authors, through NMR characterization of the anomeric ratios at equilibrium and a non-equilibrium theoretical treatment, show that a steady temperature gradient, at temperatures relevant to the early Earth, favors furanose over pyranose isomers.

    • Avinash Vicholous Dass
    • Thomas Georgelin
    • Francesco Piazza
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Physical sciences

  • Most studies have examined the impacts of human-driven climate change on mean or extreme climate variables and have neglected to explore interrelated drought features. Here, the authors show that the presence of human activity has increased the number and maximum length and intensity of drought events across the globe.

    • Felicia Chiang
    • Omid Mazdiyasni
    • Amir AghaKouchak
    Article Open Access
  • Established climate mitigation modelling relies on controversial negative emissions and unprecedented technological change, but neglects to consider degrowth scenarios. Here the authors show that degrowth scenarios minimize many key risks for feasibility and sustainability and thus need to be thoroughly assessed.

    • Lorenz T. Keyßer
    • Manfred Lenzen
    Article Open Access
  • Clean water is a fundamental resource, yet the economic impacts of pollution, drinking water availability, and greenhouse gas emissions from freshwaters are unknown. Here the authors combine models with economic assessments and find trillions of dollars in savings by mitigating lake methane emissions.

    • John A. Downing
    • Stephen Polasky
    • Stephen C. Newbold
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Earth and environmental sciences

  • Single-nucleotide variants in enhancers or promoters may affect gene transcription by altering transcription factor binding sites. Here the authors present a meta-analysis empowered by a new statistical method covering thousands of ChIP-Seq experiments resulting in the identification of more than 500 thousand allele-specific binding (ASB) events in the human genome.

    • Sergey Abramov
    • Alexandr Boytsov
    • Ivan V. Kulakovskiy
    Article Open Access
  • Different proteins localised at telomeres ensure chromosome end stability to prevent double strand-end break recognition. Here the authors provide new insight into how in S. cerevisiae the interaction between Rif2 and Rad50 inhibits MRX functions at telomeres.

    • Florian Roisné-Hamelin
    • Sabrina Pobiega
    • Stéphane Marcand
    Article Open Access
  • Endothelial tissues must have intact barrier function, but this may be disrupted during inflammation. Here, the authors show that the mitochondrial protein Mitofusin-2 stabilizes cell–cell adherens junctions in endothelial cells during homeostasis and binds the transcriptional activator β-catenin upon inflammatory stimulation.

    • Young-Mee Kim
    • Sarah Krantz
    • Jalees Rehman
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Biological sciences

  • Estimates of COVID-19-related mortality are limited by incomplete testing. Here, the authors perform counterfactual analyses and estimate that there were 59,000–62,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Italy until 9th September 2020, approximately 1.5 times higher than official statistics.

    • Chirag Modi
    • Vanessa Böhm
    • Uroš Seljak
    Article Open Access
  • Transition zones connect distinct epithelia, contain cells expressing stem cell markers, and contribute to cancer development. Here, the authors examine the mouse anorectal junction, identifying a population of Krt17-positive basal cells that contribute to squamous and glandular epithelia during homeostasis and repair.

    • Louciné Mitoyan
    • Véronique Chevrier
    • Géraldine Guasch
    Article Open Access
  • Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) increases melanoma incidence. Here, the authors report that UVR-damaged dermal fibroblasts upregulate MMP1 to degrade collagen which inhibits melanoma invasion and that aged primary melanomas in skin with degraded collagen have a better prognosis, while new collagen synthesis restores invasion and leads to death.

    • Timothy Budden
    • Caroline Gaudy-Marqueste
    • Amaya Virós
    Article Open Access
  • Several prognostic indices are available to predict the long-term fate of emerging infectious diseases and the effect of their containment measures, including a variety of reproduction numbers. Here, the authors introduce the epidemicity index, a complementary index to evaluate the potential for transient increases of SARS-Cov-2 epidemics.

    • Lorenzo Mari
    • Renato Casagrandi
    • Marino Gatto
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Health sciences

  • Clean water is a fundamental resource, yet the economic impacts of pollution, drinking water availability, and greenhouse gas emissions from freshwaters are unknown. Here the authors combine models with economic assessments and find trillions of dollars in savings by mitigating lake methane emissions.

    • John A. Downing
    • Stephen Polasky
    • Stephen C. Newbold
    Article Open Access
  • Quantifying land use change is critical in tackling global challenges related to food, climate and biodiversity. Here the authors show that land use change has affected 32 % of the global land area in six decades (1960- 2019) by combining multiple open datasets to create the HIstoric Land Dynamics Assessment +.

    • Karina Winkler
    • Richard Fuchs
    • Martin Herold
    Article Open Access
  • Established climate mitigation modelling relies on controversial negative emissions and unprecedented technological change, but neglects to consider degrowth scenarios. Here the authors show that degrowth scenarios minimize many key risks for feasibility and sustainability and thus need to be thoroughly assessed.

    • Lorenz T. Keyßer
    • Manfred Lenzen
    Article Open Access
  • Forecasts of COVID-19 mortality have been critical inputs into a range of policies, and decision-makers need information about their predictive performance. Here, the authors gather a panel of global epidemiological models and assess their predictive performance across time and space.

    • Joseph Friedman
    • Patrick Liu
    • Emmanuela Gakidou
    Article Open Access
  • Agricultural sectors receive US$600 billion per year in government support, providing incentives for GHG emission-intensive production. Here, the authors show that removing this support will not reduce global GHG emissions by much; rather it will need to be radically redirected to contribute to climate change mitigation.

    • David Laborde
    • Abdullah Mamun
    • Rob Vos
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Scientific community and society

  • Photocatalytic air purification is a promising technology that mimics nature’s photochemical process, but its practical applications are still limited despite considerable research efforts in recent decades. Here, we briefly discuss the progress and challenges associated with this technology.

    • Fei He
    • Woojung Jeon
    • Wonyong Choi
    Comment Open Access
  • Transient transfections are routinely used in basic and synthetic biology studies to unravel pathway regulation and to probe and characterise circuit designs. As each experiment has a component of intrinsic variability, reporter gene expression is usually normalized with co-delivered genes that act as transfection controls. Recent reports in mammalian cells highlight how resource competition for gene expression leads to biases in data interpretation, with a direct impact on co-transfection experiments. Here we define the connection between resource competition and transient transfection experiments and discuss possible alternatives. Our aim is to raise awareness within the community and stimulate discussion to include such considerations in future experimental designs, for the development of better transfection controls.

    • Roberto Di Blasi
    • Masue M. Marbiah
    • Francesca Ceroni
    Comment Open Access
  • Singleton and colleagues publish in Nature Communications an intervention study to reduce antimicrobial usage in companion animal practice. They identify significant reductions in antimicrobial usage with their more active intervention group over approximately a 6-month period. The study offers an exciting way forward to explore further the trial interventions and assess alternative methods to improve antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary practice.

    • David Brodbelt
    Comment Open Access
  • Precise knowledge of chemical composition and atomic structure of functional nanosized systems, such as metal clusters stabilized by an organic molecular layer, allows for detailed computational work to investigate structure-property relations. Here, we discuss selected recent examples of computational work that has advanced understanding of how these clusters work in catalysis, how they interact with biological systems, and how they can make self-assembled, macroscopic materials. A growing challenge is to develop effective new simulation methods that take into account the cluster-environment interactions. These new hybrid methods are likely to contain components from electronic structure theory combined with machine learning algorithms for accelerated evaluations of atom-atom interactions.

    • Sami Malola
    • Hannu Häkkinen
    Comment Open Access
  • Equitable partnerships among the international volcano science community are important now more than ever, to cope with financial disparities and ultimately allow for worldwide volcano monitoring oriented to hazard mitigation.

    Editorial Open Access
  • The various restrictions applied across the globe to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have been impacting the way we knew how to work. Dr. Matthews (a scientific program manager at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke—NINDS), Dr. David del Álamo Rodriguez (head of the European Molecular Biology Organization—EMBO—fellowship program), and Dr. Gray (Associate Dean for the Sciences at the Advanced Science Research Center of the City University of New York) shared with Nature Communications their thoughts on how funders and university leadership can support early career researchers and young faculty through the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Q&A Open Access
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