There is much hype about predicting and preventing future pandemics, but not enough is being done about a threat sitting under our noses.
A fledgling neuroscience programme is a rare beacon of research excellence in Romania.
Does reality exist? Fifty years on, Bell’s theorem still divides (and confuses) physicists.
Digital-photo software promises to offer unprecedented access to artefacts and sites.
Acacia analysis reveals globetrotting seed trekked 18,000 kilometres from Hawaii to Réunion.
Launch date for cohort study set to be delayed as data problems are identified.
Critics question ethics of allowing pregnant women to receive treatment that falls below the standard in their country.
Funding agency aims to affirm best practice with independent checks on research methods.
Researchers are exploring unconventional sources of fresh water to quench the globe's growing thirst.
Members of the US National Academy of Sciences have long enjoyed a privileged path to publication in the body's prominent house journal. Meet the scientists who use it most heavily.
News & Views
The finding that phosphoinositide-3-OH kinase δ restrains the antitumour immune response by promoting the action of suppressive immune cells may broaden the applicability of drugs targeting this enzyme to multiple cancers. See Letter p.407
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future,” goes the proverb. A study of the dynamics of chaotic systems in the context of information theory adds a twist to this saying.
Undernourished children fall behind not only on growth, but also on maturation of their intestinal bacterial communities, according to a study comparing acutely malnourished and healthy Bangladeshi children. See Letter p.417
What gives quantum computers that extra oomph over their classical digital counterparts? An intrinsic, measurable aspect of quantum mechanics called contextuality, it now emerges. See Article p.351
The enzyme parkin is known to promote disposal of organelles called mitochondria that have suffered damage. The identification of an enzyme that opposes parkin demonstrates how a delicate balance is maintained in the cell. See Article p.370
An approach based on quantum sensing, in which controlled quantum systems serve as precision sensors, has enabled measurement of the weak magnetic interaction between two electrons bound to two separate ions. See Letter p.376
Quantum computing promises advantages over classical computing for certain problems; now ‘quantum contextuality’ — a generalization of the concept of quantum non-locality — is shown to be a critical resource that gives the most promising class of quantum computers their power.
The Eucalyptus grandis genome has been sequenced, revealing the greatest number of tandem duplications of any plant genome sequenced so far, and the highest diversity of genes for specialized metabolites that act as chemical defence and provide unique pharmaceutical oils; genome sequencing of the sister species E. globules and a set of inbred E. grand is tree genomes reveals dynamic genome evolution and hotspots of inbreeding depression.
Large-scale single-cell RNA-seq of stimulated primary mouse bone-marrow-derived dendritic cells highlights positive and negative intercellular signalling pathways that promote and restrain cellular variation.
Damaged mitochondria are removed by mitophagy, and defects in mitophagy are linked to Parkinson’s disease; here it is shown that USP30, a deubiquitinase localized to mitochondria, antagonizes mitophagy by removing the ubiquitin tags put in place by Parkin, USP30 inhibition is therefore potentially beneficial for Parkinson’s disease by promoting mitochondrial clearance and quality control.
The magnetic interaction between two electrons is measured at the micrometre scale, exhibiting spin entanglement generation over 15 seconds of coherent evolution; varying the inter-electron separation shows a distance dependence consistent with the inverse-cube law.
Femtosecond X-ray laser pulses are used to probe the structure of liquid water in micrometre-sized droplets that have been cooled below the homogeneous ice nucleation temperature, revealing the existence of metastable bulk liquid water down to temperatures of 227 kelvin.
A stable crystal phase and two metastable liquid phases of the ST2 model of water exist at the same deeply supercooled condition, and the two liquids undergo a first-order liquid–liquid transition that meets stringent thermodynamic criteria.
Seismic data from subduction zones that exhibit slow earthquakes reveal that the ratio of compressional-wave to shear-wave velocity of the overriding forearc crust is linearly related to the average recurrence time of slow earthquakes and that this may be associated with quartz enrichment within the forearc crust.
A mouse study reveals that the stem cell quiescent state is composed of two distinct phases, G0 and GAlert; stem cells reversibly transition between these two phases in response to systemic environmental stimuli acting through the mTORC1 pathway.
Metabolism and ageing are intimately linked. Compared with ad libitum feeding, dietary restriction consistently extends lifespan and delays age-related diseases in evolutionarily diverse organisms. Similar conditions of nutrient limitation and genetic or pharmacological perturbations of nutrient or energy metabolism also have longevity benefits. Recently, several metabolites have been identified that modulate ageing; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying this are largely undefined. Here we show that α-ketoglutarate (α-KG), a tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, extends the lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans. ATP synthase subunit β is identified as a novel binding protein of α-KG using a small-molecule target identification strategy termed drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS). The ATP synthase, also known as complex V of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, is the main cellular energy-generating machinery and is highly conserved throughout evolution. Although complete loss of mitochondrial function is detrimental, partial suppression of the electron transport chain has been shown to extend C. elegans lifespan. We show that α-KG inhibits ATP synthase and, similar to ATP synthase knockdown, inhibition by α-KG leads to reduced ATP content, decreased oxygen consumption, and increased autophagy in both C. elegans and mammalian cells. We provide evidence that the lifespan increase by α-KG requires ATP synthase subunit β and is dependent on target of rapamycin (TOR) downstream. Endogenous α-KG levels are increased on starvation and α-KG does not extend the lifespan of dietary-restricted animals, indicating that α-KG is a key metabolite that mediates longevity by dietary restriction. Our analyses uncover new molecular links between a common metabolite, a universal cellular energy generator and dietary restriction in the regulation of organismal lifespan, thus suggesting new strategies for the prevention and treatment of ageing and age-related diseases.
A mouse model of T-cell leukaemia is used to test whether PTEN loss is required for tumour maintenance as well as initiation; although it had little effect on tumour load in haematopoietic organs, PTEN reactivation reduced the CCR9-dependent tumour dissemination to the intestine that was amplified on PTEN loss, exposing the importance of tumour microenvironment in PTEN-deficient settings.
The kinase PI(3)Kδ is shown to be required for the immunosuppressive function of regulatory T cells; inactivation of PI(3)Kδ in these cells leads to enhanced cytotoxic T-cell function and restricts tumour growth and metastasis in a variety of mouse tumour models.
CFIm25 is identified as a factor that prevents messenger RNAs being shortened due to altered 3′ polyadenylation, which typically occurs when cells undergo high proliferation and correlates with increased tumorigenic activity in glioblastoma tumours.
Bacterial species whose representation defines healthy postnatal assembly of the gut microbiota in Bangladeshi children during their first 2 years are identified, and a model is constructed to compare healthy children to those with severe acute malnutrition (SAM); results show that SAM is associated with microbiota immaturity that is only partially ameliorated by existing nutritional interventions.
Crystal structures of human and prokaryotic ribosomal oxygenases reported here, with and without their ribosomal protein substrates, support their assignments as hydroxylases, and provide insights into the evolution of the JmjC-domain-containing hydroxylases and demethylases.
How sulphur is incorporated into sulphur-containing secondary metabolites is poorly understood; here, the bacterium Amycolatopsis orientalis is shown to co-opt sulphur-carrier proteins from primary metabolic pathways to facilitate the biosynthesis of sulphur-containing natural products.