multicellular bacteria looking like caterpillars

Evolution of longitudinal division in multicellular bacteria

Sammy Nyongesa, Philipp Weber et al. study cell shape and cell division in a family of bacteria, some of which divide in unusual ways and form caterpillar-like multicellular structures… in your mouth!


  • sugar crystal through a microscope

    Our editors highlight articles they see as particularly interesting or important in these new pages spanning all research areas.

  • Metrics image

    Nature Communications has a 2-year impact factor of 17.7 (2021), article downloads of 85,307,200 (2021), and 8 days from submission to the first editorial decision.

  • A selection of biomaterials: Wood, shell, and a mesh

    This Collection highlights recent publications in Nature Communications and Communications Materials on the discovery of natural materials and their potential applications as biomaterials. We also highlight how lessons learned from Nature can help develop advanced biomimetic materials, and explore their diverse applications

    Open for submissions
  • Silhouettes of adults and children with arms raised

    In this joint Collection, Nature Communications and Communications Medicine invite submissions of primary research that aims to understand and improve child and adolescent development and health.

    Open for submissions


Latest Research articles

  • Cellulose biocomposites from nanocellulose or plant fibers with polymer matrix are often not degradable and suffer from insufficient mechanical properties to replace established materials. Here, the authors demonstrate the fabrication of hydrolytically degradable polymers through in-situ polymerization of new functionally balanced oligomers within high-content lignocellulose reinforcement networks.

    • Erfan Oliaei
    • Peter Olsén
    • Lars A. Berglund
    Article Open Access
  • Hydrogenation is a treatment for chronic inflammation caused by high glucose levels in diabetic ulcers, However, current therapies have limitations. Here, the authors report on the creation of a visible light photocatalytic agent which depletes glucose in the wound and generates hydrogen to aid in diabetic wound healing.

    • Shengqiang Chen
    • Yanxia Zhu
    • Qianjun He
    Article Open Access
  • Engineering metals often suffer from a small elastic deformation with a linear stress-strain relationship obeying Hooke’s law. Here the authors observe a large nonlinear tensile elastic deformation with a strain of >4.3% in a bulk Cu alloy that offers potential for elastic strain engineering.

    • Sheng Xu
    • Takumi Odaira
    • Ryosuke Kainuma
    Article Open Access
  • DNA origami can be coated in a layer of silica to improve chemical and thermal stability however; it is unclear if this is a surface or interpenetrating layer. Here, the authors use in situ small-angle X-ray scattering to study silica deposition and observe internal silica formation resulting in DNA origami condensation and structure shrinkage.

    • Martina F. Ober
    • Anna Baptist
    • Bert Nickel
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Physical sciences

  • Vertical exchange in the ocean is an important conduit connecting the surface to the deep and influences the distributions of gases, nutrients, pollutants, and other tracers. Here the authors using high-resolution observations and numerical simulations of the ocean fronts in the Northern Gulf of Mexico reveal that the interaction between the fronts and land-sea breeze creates slantwise pathways for water parcels and induces significant subduction of surface water and upwelling of bottom water.

    • Lixin Qu
    • Leif N. Thomas
    • Jonathan D. Nash
    Article Open Access
  • Accurate estimates of carbon fluxes are important to our understanding of the carbon cycle. Here, via model-data integration, the authors disentangle anthropogenic and environmental carbon flux contributions of terrestrial woody vegetation, and find that environmental processes are weaker and more susceptible to interannual variations and extreme events in the 21st century than previously estimated.

    • Selma Bultan
    • Julia E. M. S. Nabel
    • Julia Pongratz
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Earth and environmental sciences

  • Manganese has a crucial role in cGAS-STING-mediated DNA sensing and has emerged as a STING agonist. Here the authors report the design and characterization of a nanosystem incorporating manganese ions and the chemotherapeutic drug β-lapachone, inducing T-cell mediated anti-tumor immune responses in preclinical cancer models.

    • Xuan Wang
    • Yingqi Liu
    • Zhong Luo
    Article Open Access
  • Arabidopsis thaliana potassium channel AKT1 is responsible for primary K + uptake from soil, which is functionally activated through phosphorylation and negatively regulated by an α-subunit AtKC1. Here, the authors report the structures of AKT1 at different states, revealing a 2- fold to 4-fold symmetry switch at cytoplasmic domain associated with AKT1 activity regulation.

    • Yaming Lu
    • Miao Yu
    • Guanghui Yang
    Article Open Access
  • IgE is a critical component of the allergic response and therapeutic targeting can alleviate symptomology. Here the authors propose the combined use of Bifidobacterium longum and a FcεRIα extracellular domain linked to a IgD/IgG4 hybrid Fc domain fusion protein called IgETRAP and show reduction of mast cell and IgE levels in models of food allergy.

    • Seong Beom An
    • Bo-Gie Yang
    • Myoung Ho Jang
    Article Open Access
  • Predicting treatment response in cancer remains a highly complex task. Here, the authors develop Precily, a deep neural network framework to predict treatment response in cancer by considering gene expression, pathway activity estimates and drug features, and test this method in multiple datasets and preclinical models.

    • Smriti Chawla
    • Anja Rockstroh
    • Debarka Sengupta
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Biological sciences

Subjects within Health sciences

  • This research quantifies the role of zero deforestation policies and potential leakages in Brazilian soybean production, the third major driver of deforestation globally. Here the authors provide the first estimates of net global avoided soy-driven deforestation from zero-deforestation import restrictions and find that such restrictions could help avoid ~40% of deforestation for soy cultivation in Brazil and ~2% of global deforestation.

    • Nelson Villoria
    • Rachael Garrett
    • Kimberly Carlson
    Article Open Access
  • The singlet fission mechanism is still not relatively well understood, except for polyacenes. Here, the authors demonstrate that in diketopyrrolopyrrole supramolecular assemblies, both singlet fission and intersystem crossing can simultaneously happen.

    • Nilabja Maity
    • Woojae Kim
    • Satish Patil
    Article Open Access
  • Wood used in construction stores carbon and reduces the emissions from steel and cement production. Transformation to timber cities while protecting forest and biodiversity is possible without significant increase in competition for land.

    • Abhijeet Mishra
    • Florian Humpenöder
    • Alexander Popp
    Article Open Access
  • Selecting economic policies to achieve sustainable development is challenging due to the many sectors involved and the trade-offs implied. Artificial intelligence combined with economy-wide computer simulations can help.

    • Mohammed Basheer
    • Victor Nechifor
    • Julien J. Harou
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Scientific community and society

  • Over the last two and a half years, Nature Communications has received thousands of submissions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and accepted hundreds for publication. To showcase the breadth and quality of this work, we are now launching a COVID-19 Collection, and here we reflect on our editorial processes during this period.

    Editorial Open Access
  • Most organelles move bidirectionally on microtubule tracks, yet how this opposing movement is regulated by kinesin and dynein remains unclear. Recent work found that ARL8, a known anterograde adaptor linking the lysosome to kinesin, also links lysosomes to the retrograde motor dynein, providing key insight into bidirectional organelle movement in cells.

    • Agnieszka A. Kendrick
    • Jenna R. Christensen
    Comment Open Access
  • Advances in geospatial and Machine Learning techniques for large datasets of georeferenced observations have made it possible to produce model-based global maps of ecological and environmental variables. However, the implementation of existing scientific methods (especially Machine Learning models) to produce accurate global maps is often complex. Tomislav Hengl (co-founder of OpenGeoHub foundation), Johan van den Hoogen (researcher at ETH Zürich), and Devin Routh (Science IT Consultant at the University of Zürich) shared with Nature Communications their perspectives for creators and users of these maps, focusing on the key challenges in producing global environmental geospatial datasets to achieve significant impacts.

    Q&A Open Access
  • Chirality of magnons is an intrinsic degree of freedom that characterizes the handedness of spin precession around its equilibrium direction. This commentary summarizes recent progress on spin pumping by ferromagnetic resonance in magnetic heterostructures. In particular, the commentary highlights one fundamental issue in spin pumping: the chirality dependence of the spin current.

    • Z. Q. Qiu
    Comment Open Access
  • CAR T cell therapy is an effective cancer treatment, but biological and manufacturing hurdles hamper its broad breakthrough. Although the first step towards automated manufacture of CAR cells has been taken, new technologies are needed to enable the treatment of large patient groups.

    • Ulrich Blache
    • Georg Popp
    • Stephan Fricke
    Comment Open Access


In this page, we highlight research papers in the areas of quantum information, computation and communication, quantum technologies, and fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics.


Nature Careers