Volume 533 Number 7603



Zika must remain a high priority p.291

Although the evidence suggests that the Olympic Games are safe to proceed, the global health community must not let the Zika virus fade from the research agenda until the threat is wiped out.

doi: 10.1038/533291a


Second thoughts p.291

Revisting the past can help to inform ideas of the present.

doi: 10.1038/533291b


Open medicine p.292

Governments need to tighten regulation if the sharing of clinical-trial data is to succeed.

doi: 10.1038/533292a



Gridlock over Italy’s olive tree deaths starts to ease p.299

A court ruling paves the way for disease-containment measures, but the risk of spread to other regions and nations remains.

doi: 10.1038/533299a


Demotion of science ministry angers beleaguered Brazilian researchers p.301

New President Michel Temer ’ who replaces impeached Dilma Rousseff ’ is fusing the science and telecommunications ministries.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19910


Boaty McBoatfleet: British ship joins wave of rugged polar vessels p.302

Ice-going vessels like Britain’s RRS Sir David Attenborough ’ named Boaty McBoatface by the Internet ’ are being built across the world.

doi: 10.1038/533302a


Mirror-image enzyme copies looking-glass DNA p.303

Synthetic polymerase is a small step along the way to mirrored life forms.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19918


Bankruptcy filing worries developers of nanoparticle cancer drugs p.304

Financial woes of leading biotech firm highlight challenges of developing innovative therapies.

doi: 10.1038/533304a

News Features


Mixed-up metals make for stronger, tougher, stretchier alloys p.306


doi: 10.1038/533306a


The race to create super-crops p.308


doi: 10.1038/533308a

News & Views


Neuroscience: Virtual reality explored p.324


doi: 10.1038/nature17899


Drug discovery: Fighting evolution with chemical synthesis p.326


doi: 10.1038/533326a


Neutrino physics: A deliberate mix-up in flavour p.327


doi: 10.1038/533327a


Regeneration: Limb regrowth takes two p.328


doi: 10.1038/nature17889


Astrophysics: Illuminating brown dwarfs p.330


doi: 10.1038/533330a


Structural biology: Snapshots of transcription initiation p.331


doi: 10.1038/nature18437



Reproducible pharmacogenomic profiling of cancer cell line panels p.333

Large-scale analyses of the drug sensitivity of cancer cell lines have been previously reported to yield conflicting conclusions; this Analysis uses independently generated data to demonstrate that consistency can be achieved if key laboratory and data analysis practices are considered when future studies are undertaken.

doi: 10.1038/nature17987



A platform for the discovery of new macrolide antibiotics p.338

A practical, fully synthetic route to macrolide antibiotics via the convergent assembly of simple chemical building blocks is described; more than 300 new macrolide antibiotic candidates have been synthesized using this approach, a number of which are active against bacterial strains that are resistant to currently used antibiotics.

doi: 10.1038/nature17967


Structure of the T4 baseplate and its function in triggering sheath contraction p.346

A tour-de-force of structural biology solves the structure of the macromolecular injection machinery used to deliver a phage genome into a bacterium.

doi: 10.1038/nature17971


Transcription initiation complex structures elucidate DNA opening p.353

The cryo-electron microscopy structures of yeast initiation complexes containing the transcription factors TBP, TFIIA, TFIIB, TFIIE, and TFIIF and containing either closed or open promoter DNA are reported, providing mechanistic insights into DNA opening and template-strand loading.

doi: 10.1038/nature17990


Near-atomic resolution visualization of human transcription promoter opening p.359

Cryo-electron microscopy structural models of the human pre-initiation complex at all major steps of transcription initiation at near atomic-level resolution are presented, providing new mechanistic insights into the processes of promoter melting and transcription-bubble formation, as well as an almost complete proposed structural model of all of the pre-initiation complex components and their interactions with DNA.

doi: 10.1038/nature17970



An irradiated brown-dwarf companion to an accreting white dwarf p.366

Spectroscopic detection and characterization of an irradiated substellar donor planet in an accreting white-dwarf binary system reveals a donor mass of 0.055 ± 0.008 solar masses, an average spectral type of L1 ± 1 and an average irradiation-induced temperature difference between the dayside and nightside of 57 kelvin.

doi: 10.1038/nature17952


Self-assembly of coherently dynamic, auxetic, two-dimensional protein crystals p.369

Mutants of the C4-symmetric protein RhuA were designed to self-assemble into two-dimensional crystalline lattices with precise spatial arrangements and patterns; the lattices of one of the variants are auxetic and deform perpendicularly to an applied force in a way that is contrary to what is generally expected in typical materials.

doi: 10.1038/nature17633


Iron(III)-catalysed carbonyl–olefin metathesis p.374

The olefin metathesis reaction of two unsaturated substrates is one of the most powerful carbon–carbon-bond-forming reactions in organic chemistry. Specifically, the catalytic olefin metathesis reaction has led to profound developments in the synthesis of molecules relevant to the petroleum, materials, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. These reactions are characterized by their use of discrete metal alkylidene catalysts that operate via a well-established mechanism. While the corresponding carbonyl–olefin metathesis reaction can also be used to construct carbon–carbon bonds, currently available methods are scarce and severely hampered by either harsh reaction conditions or the required use of stoichiometric transition metals as reagents. To date, no general protocol for catalytic carbonyl–olefin metathesis has been reported. Here we demonstrate a catalytic carbonyl–olefin ring-closing metathesis reaction that uses iron, an Earth-abundant and environmentally benign transition metal, as a catalyst. This transformation accommodates a variety of substrates and is distinguished by its operational simplicity, mild reaction conditions, high functional-group tolerance, and amenability to gram-scale synthesis. We anticipate that these characteristics, coupled with the efficiency of this reaction, will allow for further advances in areas that have historically been enhanced by olefin metathesis.

doi: 10.1038/nature17432


Changing atmospheric CO2 concentration was the primary driver of early Cenozoic climate p.380

A reconstruction of atmospheric CO2 concentration from boron isotopes recorded in planktonic foraminifera examines climate–carbon interactions over the past tens of millions of years and confirms a strong linkage between climate and atmospheric CO2.

doi: 10.1038/nature17423


Repeated large-scale retreat and advance of Totten Glacier indicated by inland bed erosion p.385

The stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and its contribution to past sea-level rise are not well defined; in this paper, airborne geophysical data and ice-sheet models are used to show that the Totten Glacier has undergone large-scale retreats and advances, and that it could contribute several metres of sea-level rise in a fully retreated scenario.

doi: 10.1038/nature17447


Metabolic acceleration and the evolution of human brain size and life history p.390

Compared to other apes, humans live longer, reproduce faster and have larger brains; here, total energy expenditure is studied in humans and all species of great ape, and is shown to be significantly higher in humans, demonstrating that the human lineage has experienced an energy-boosting acceleration in metabolic rate.

doi: 10.1038/nature17654


Deep-sea diversity patterns are shaped by energy availability p.393

Depth-dependent patterns in ocean species diversity can be explained by latitudinal variations in energy availability, with shelf and upper-slope diversity increasing with thermal energy availability, and deep-sea diversity increasing with chemical energy availability; the discovery of these distinct patterns could help to guide the conservation and management of these remote ecosystems.

doi: 10.1038/nature17937


Local fitness landscape of the green fluorescent protein p.397

Comprehensive genotype–phenotype mapping of the green fluorescent protein shows that the local fitness peak is narrow, shaped by a high prevalence of epistatic interactions, providing for the loss of fluorescence when the joint effect of mutations exceeds a threshold.

doi: 10.1038/nature17995


Opponent and bidirectional control of movement velocity in the basal ganglia p.402

Activity in the direct and indirect basal ganglia pathways can bidirectionally control the speed of movements that underlie reward-seeking actions in mice without affecting motivation.

doi: 10.1038/nature17639


FGF8 and SHH substitute for anterior–posterior tissue interactions to induce limb regeneration p.407

The long-standing puzzle of why salamander limb regeneration requires anterior and posterior tissue interaction has been solved by the demonstration that fibroblast growth factor 8 and sonic hedgehog are key anterior and posterior cross-inductive signals that drive regeneration.

doi: 10.1038/nature17972


An obligatory role for neurotensin in high-fat-diet-induced obesity p.411

Neurotensin, a peptide expressed in the enteroendocrine cells of the small intestine that is released upon fat ingestion, is shown to increase fatty acid absorption, with neurotensin-deficient mice being protected from obesity induced by a high-fat diet.

doi: 10.1038/nature17662


Maintenance and propagation of a deleterious mitochondrial genome by the mitochondrial unfolded protein response p.416

In the context of mitochondrial genome heteroplasmy that causes defective oxidative phosphorylation in C. elegans, the ATFS-1-mediated mitochondrial unfolded protein response maintains the deleterious mitochondrial DNA in an attempt to recover oxidative phosphorylation activity and avoid cellular dysfunction.

doi: 10.1038/nature17989


Programmable editing of a target base in genomic DNA without double-stranded DNA cleavage p.420

CRISPR/Cas9 DNA editing creates a double-stranded break in the target DNA, which can frequently generate random insertion or deletion of bases (indels); a new genome editing approach combining Cas9 with a cytidine deaminase is described here, which corrects point mutations more efficiently than canonical Cas9, while avoiding double-stranded breaks and indel formation.

doi: 10.1038/nature17946


Structure of the thermally stable Zika virus p.425

The 3.7 Å cryo-electron microscopy structure of Zika virus is presented, revealing a typical flavivirus architecture; in contrast to the related flavivirus dengue virus, Zika virus is thermally stable at 40 °C, and this structural stability may be a feature that helps it to survive in semen, saliva and urine.

doi: 10.1038/nature17994

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