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.


  • image of sugar crystal through a microscope

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

  • Love science but feel a career at the bench isn’t for you? Become part of our team in London, New York, Shanghai or Berlin.

  • lava flowing from a mountain

    When nature strikes with force, the effects can be devastating. It is critically important to better study and understand natural hazards to help mitigate against their effects. In this collection, we focus on geological hazards such as volcanic eruptions, tectonic earthquakes and mass movements.


Latest Research articles

  • Photonic crystals have a range of desirable properties for manipulating light. Here, the authors calculate and use the photonic band gap for thousands of such crystals to examine heuristics for their design and predict new photonic crystal structures.

    • Rose K. Cersonsky
    • James Antonaglia
    • Sharon C. Glotzer
    Article Open Access
  • Here, the authors characterize the spectroscopic and transport properties of heterojunctions composed of quasi-metallic and semiconducting graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with different widths, showing a predominant quantum tunnelling mechanism. The GNR heterojunctions can also be used to realize adsorbate sensors with high sensitivity.

    • Boris V. Senkovskiy
    • Alexey V. Nenashev
    • Alexander Grüneis
    Article Open Access
  • Deep neural networks usually rapidly forget the previously learned tasks while training new ones. Laborieux et al. propose a method for training binarized neural networks inspired by neuronal metaplasticity that allows to avoid catastrophic forgetting and is relevant for neuromorphic applications.

    • Axel Laborieux
    • Maxence Ernoult
    • Damien Querlioz
    Article Open Access
  • Optical matter consisting of nanoparticle constituents in solution is of key interest due to the exhibited self-assembling mechanisms. The authors propose a principal components analysis based data-driven approach to determine the collective modes of colloidal clusters mimicking optical binding used in colloidal self-assembly.

    • Shiqi Chen
    • Curtis W. Peterson
    • Norbert F. Scherer
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Physical sciences

  • The assessment of soil sustainability in prehistoric times requires comparing millennium-scale erosion rates with geological background rates. Here, the authors apply in situ cosmogenic 14C, 10Be, and 26Al to reveal rapid soil erosion on the Andean Altiplano in response to Late Holocene climate change and the onset of agropastoralism.

    • Kristina Hippe
    • John D. Jansen
    • David Lundbek Egholm
    Article Open Access
  • Phase equilibrium modelling combined with Ca isotope measurements in ancient granitoids demonstrates that subduction of oceanic crust occurred repeatedly throughout the Archaean and that carbonate sediments were present in early Eoarchaean oceans (>3.8 billion years).

    • Michael A. Antonelli
    • Jillian Kendrick
    • Frédéric Moynier
    Article Open Access
  • Laboratory experiments reproducing earthquake slip in non cohesive fault rocks under fluid pressurised conditions are challenging. Thanks to these experiments, the authors show that earthquake slip occurring in tsunamigenic subduction zone faults is controlled by dilatancy and pressurisation processes.

    • S. Aretusini
    • F. Meneghini
    • G. Di Toro
    Article Open Access
  • The authors investigate the impacts of wildfires on fluvial networks in the western US. They find that wildfires directly impacted ~6% of the total stream length between 1984 and 2014. When longitudinal propagation was included, they estimate that wildfires affected ~11% of the total stream length.

    • Grady Ball
    • Peter Regier
    • David Van Horn
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Earth and environmental sciences

  • Histone variant H2A.Z has been suggested to contribute to the regulation of promoter accessibility. Here, the authors present high-depth maps of the position and accessibility of H2A.Z-containing nucleosomes for human Pol II promoters and provide evidence that H2A.Z has multiple and distinct roles in regulating gene expression dependent upon its location in a promoter.

    • Lauren Cole
    • Sebastian Kurscheid
    • David J. Tremethick
    Article Open Access
  • Phosphoproteomics can provide systematic insights into disease-associated cell signaling changes. Here, the authors present a sensitive workflow integrating library-based and direct data-independent acquisition approaches, and a hybrid spectral library resource for in-depth phosphoproteomic profiling.

    • Reta Birhanu Kitata
    • Wai-Kok Choong
    • Yu-Ju Chen
    Article Open Access
  • Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) are a component of type 2 immune response recently described to be involved in the regulation of anti-tumor immune responses. Here, the authors show that the expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAPγ) in human and mouse ILC2 sustains type-2 cytokines secretion and support their pro-tumorigenic role in preclinical cancer models.

    • Giuseppe Ercolano
    • Alejandra Gomez-Cadena
    • Camilla Jandus
    Article Open Access
  • The FRET efficiency usually predominantly depends on the proximity of donor and acceptor. Here the authors report an anisotropy-based mode of FRET detection, FRET-induced Angular Displacement Evaluation via Dim donor (FADED), to allow quantification of the relative angle between donor and acceptor.

    • Danai Laskaratou
    • Guillermo Solís Fernández
    • Hideaki Mizuno
    Article Open Access

Subjects within Biological sciences

Subjects within Health sciences

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
Microbiology and infectious diseases

Microbiology and infectious diseases

This page highlights recent articles on all aspects of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology and virology, covering the biology of pathogens, host-pathogen interactions, environmental microbiology, epidemiology of infectious diseases, translational work on the development of antimicrobial therapeutics and vaccines, and clinical studies.

Nature Careers