Volume 531 Issue 7593



A recreation of how early humans managed to eat a diet of meat hundreds of thousands of years before they had fire to cook it with, shows an ingenious use of tools to cut down on chewing time.

doi: 10.1038/531139a


An unexpected data signal that could change everything has particle physicists salivating.

doi: 10.1038/531139b


The risks and rewards of genome editing resonate beyond the clinic.

doi: 10.1038/531140a



Conference aims to raise awareness of shared resources for building lab equipment.

doi: 10.1038/531147a


Decision could determine who profits from the gene-editing technique in future.

doi: 10.1038/531149a


The pressure is on to choose between several proposals for space-based detectors.

doi: 10.1038/531150a


Policy statement aims to halt missteps in the quest for certainty.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19503


Project Baseline will monitor effects of climate change on plant evolution.

doi: 10.1038/531152a


Cases may signal start of anticipated wave of birth defects in country hit hard by Zika virus.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19502

News Features


A special issue explores what it means to be living in an age of gene editing.

doi: 10.1038/531155a


The real power of the biological tool lies in exploring how genomes work.

doi: 10.1038/531156a


Birds and bees are just the beginning for a burgeoning technology.

doi: 10.1038/531160a

News & Views


An analysis confirms the long-standing theory that sex increases the rate of adaptive evolution by accelerating the speed at which beneficial mutations sweep through sexual, as opposed to asexual, populations. See Letter p.233

doi: 10.1038/nature17304


Quantum computers will one day wildly outperform conventional machines. An experimental feat reveals a fundamental property of exotic superconductors that brings this quantum technology a step closer. See Letter p.206

doi: 10.1038/531177a


In flowering plants, sperm-containing pollen tubes are guided towards ovules by attractants from the female reproductive organ. Receptors for the attractant molecule AtLURE1 have now been found. See Letters p.241 & p.245

doi: 10.1038/531178a


Carbon dioxide is an abundant resource, but difficult for industry to use effectively. A simple reaction might allow it to be used to make commercial products more sustainably than with current processes. See Letter p.215

doi: 10.1038/531180a


Satellite data have allowed scientists to generate a quantitative model to assess the response rates of different ecosystems to climate variability. The index provides a tool for comparing regional sensitivity and resilience. See Letter p.229

doi: 10.1038/nature17301


Nitric oxide gas has now been found to act as a switch during developmental remodelling of axonal projections from neurons: high gas levels promote the degeneration of unwanted axons and low levels support subsequent regrowth.

doi: 10.1038/nature17308



In the mammalian navigational system, neurons have been identified in the CA2 region of the hippocampus that keep track of position when an animal is not moving.

doi: 10.1038/nature17144


Defects in the ribosome quality control (RQC) complex, which clears proteins that stalled during translation, can cause neurodegeneration; here it is shown that in RQC-defective cells a peptide tail added by the RQC subunit 2 to stalled polypeptides promotes their aggregation and the sequestration of chaperones in these aggregates, affecting normal protein quality control processes.

doi: 10.1038/nature16973


The X-ray crystal structure of a two-pore channel from Arabidopsis thaliana reveals the structure and the mechanism of voltage gating of this class of ubiquitous cation-selective ion channels.

doi: 10.1038/nature16446



Observations of repeated fast radio bursts, having dispersion measures and sky positions consistent with those of FRB 121102, show that the signals do not originate in a single cataclysmic event and may come from a young, highly magnetized, extragalactic neutron star.

doi: 10.1038/nature17168


The splitting of zero-energy Majorana modes in a tunnel-coupled InAs nanowire with epitaxial aluminium is exponentially suppressed as the wire length is increased, resulting in protection of these modes; this result helps to establish the robust presence of Majorana modes and quantifies exponential protection in nanowire devices.

doi: 10.1038/nature17162


Low-temperature measurements of the Hall effect in cuprate materials in which superconductivity is suppressed by high magnetic fields show that the pseudogap is not related to the charge ordering that has been seen at intermediate doping levels, but is instead linked to the antiferromagnetic Mott insulator at low doping.

doi: 10.1038/nature16983


Molten salts at intermediate temperatures enable efficient carbonate-promoted carboxylation of very weakly acidic C–H bonds, revealing a new way to transform inedible biomass and carbon dioxide into valuable feedstock chemicals.

doi: 10.1038/nature17185


An approach to selectively manipulate the C–H bonds of alicyclic amines at sites remote to nitrogen is demonstrated by the synthesis of new derivatives of several bioactive molecules, including varenicline, a drug used to treat nicotine addiction.

doi: 10.1038/nature16957


The net balance of terrestrial biogenic greenhouse gases produced as a result of human activities and the climatic impact of this balance are uncertain; here the net cumulative impact of the three greenhouse gases, methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, on the planetary energy budget from 2001 to 2010 is a warming of the planet.

doi: 10.1038/nature16946


Using satellite data and a novel analytical approach, a new index of the sensitivity of vegetation to climate variability is developed, revealing areas of high sensitivity that include tundra, boreal forest, tropical forest and temperate grasslands.

doi: 10.1038/nature16986


In a comparison between replicate sexual and asexual populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, sexual reproduction increases fitness by reducing clonal interference and alters the type of mutations that get fixed by natural selection.

doi: 10.1038/nature17143


The salamander, or axolotl, is well known to be able to regenerate missing body parts, but the signals that drive the initial proliferative response were unclear; now, a secreted protein has been identified that induces the initial cell cycle response after injury.

doi: 10.1038/nature16974


A male cell-surface receptor-like kinase that responds to the female chemoattractant LURE1 on the pollen tube of Arabidopsis thaliana is identified; LURE1 triggers dimerization of the receptor components and activation of the kinase activity, and the transformation of a component of the A. thaliana receptor to the Capsella rubella species partially breaks down the reproductive isolation barrier.

doi: 10.1038/nature16975


Pollen-specific receptor-like kinase 6 (PRK6), which signals through the guanine nucleotide-exchange factors ROPGEFs, is required for sensing of the LURE1 attractant peptide in Arabidopsis thaliana, and functions together with other PRK family kinases; when introduced into the pollen tubes of the related species Capsella rubella, PRK6 could confer responsiveness to AtLURE1.

doi: 10.1038/nature17413


MIMIVIRE is a novel nucleic-acid-based immune system against virophage infection in the giant virus mimivirus.

doi: 10.1038/nature17146


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects a large proportion of the US population and is considered to be a metabolic predisposition to liver cancer. However, the role of adaptive immune responses in NAFLD-promoted HCC is largely unknown. Here we show, in mouse models and human samples, that dysregulation of lipid metabolism in NAFLD causes a selective loss of intrahepatic CD4+ but not CD8+ T lymphocytes, leading to accelerated hepatocarcinogenesis. We also demonstrate that CD4+ T lymphocytes have greater mitochondrial mass than CD8+ T lymphocytes and generate higher levels of mitochondrially derived reactive oxygen species (ROS). Disruption of mitochondrial function by linoleic acid, a fatty acid accumulated in NAFLD, causes more oxidative damage than other free fatty acids such as palmitic acid, and mediates selective loss of intrahepatic CD4+ T lymphocytes. In vivo blockade of ROS reversed NAFLD-induced hepatic CD4+ T lymphocyte decrease and delayed NAFLD-promoted HCC. Our results provide an unexpected link between lipid dysregulation and impaired anti-tumour surveillance.

doi: 10.1038/nature16969


The X-ray crystal structure of a two-pore channel from Arabidopsis thaliana is reported, revealing the mechanisms of ion permeation, inhibition channel activation, and location of regulatory sites and voltage-sensing domains.

doi: 10.1038/nature17194