The Stern review backed the Research Excellence Framework but missed a chance to ease the burden on group leaders.
The Olympic Games celebrate physical prowess, but a cyborg Olympics honours and attempts to improve the lives of disabled people.
Push to resurrect instrument lost during satellite failure highlights JAXA’s resilience.
Conference on Shinichi Mochizuki’s work inspires cautious optimism.
They hope for an active role in the UK department for exiting the EU.
Researcher who spent months chasing permission to republish online data sets urges others to read up on the law.
A graphical guide to the impact of the Olympics on science.
The Cybathlon aims to help disabled people navigate the most difficult course of all: the everyday world.
News & Views
Dead cells are usually removed through their ingestion and destruction by other cells. A study of plaque deposits in arteries shows that dying cells in plaques display a 'don't-eat-me' signal that blocks their removal. See Letter p.86
A synthetic genetic circuit that mimics the quorum-sensing systems used by bacterial populations to coordinate gene expression enables bacteria to deliver drugs to mouse tumours in repeated and synchronized cycles. See Letter p.81
Quantum computers require many quantum bits to perform complex calculations, but devices with more than a few bits are difficult to program. A device based on five atomic quantum bits shows a way forward. See Letter p.63
A cognition-enhancing drug called CX546 prevents the neurodegenerative effects of repeated anaesthesia in infant mice by promoting neuronal changes associated with learning and by protecting neurons from death.
The largest DNA-sequencing study of type 2 diabetes conducted so far concludes that, contrary to expectation, low-frequency and rare genetic variants do not contribute significantly to disease risk. See Article p.41
Electric charge is quantized in units of the electron's charge. An experiment explores the suppression of charge quantization caused by quantum fluctuations and supports a long-standing theory that explains this behaviour. See Letter p.58
Sequencing data from two large-scale studies show that most of the genetic variation influencing the risk of type 2 diabetes involves common alleles and is found in regions previously identified by genome-wide association studies, clarifying the genetic architecture of this disease.
High-resolution near-infrared observations of the Occator bright areas on the dwarf planet Ceres suggest that the bright material is mostly made up of endogenous sodium carbonate.
A device consisting of a metallic island connected to electrodes via tunable semiconductor-based conduction channels is used to explore the evolution of charge quantization in the presence of quantum fluctuations; the measurements reveal a robust scaling of charge quantization as the square root of the residual electron reflection probability across a quantum channel, consistent with theoretical predictions.
A small programmable quantum computer is demonstrated that uses five trapped ions as qubits; the computer is reconfigurable and different algorithms can be compiled without changing the hardware.
Moving mechanical interfaces need to be lubricated to ensure long life and easy slippage; here, a new type of coating is described—comprising nitrides of either molybdenum or vanadium, together with a copper or nickel catalyst—that generates protective tribofilms from lubricating oils.
Satellite records show that the global pattern of cloud changes between the 1980s and the 2000s are similar to the patterns predicted by models of climate with recent external radiative forcing, and that the primary drivers of the cloud changes appear to be increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and a recovery from volcanic radiative cooling.
A novel rhythmogenic brainstem network was discovered in mice that is necessary and sufficient for generating postinspiration, a breathing phase also used for swallowing, coughing and vocalization.
Clinically relevant bacteria have been engineered to lyse synchronously at a threshold population density and release genetically encoded therapeutics; treatment of mice with these bacteria slowed the growth of tumours.
Atherosclerotic lesions in mice and humans switch on a ‘don’t eat me’ signal—expression of CD47—that prevents effective removal of diseased tissue; anti-CD47 antibody therapy can normalize this defective efferocytosis, with beneficial results in several mouse models of atherosclerosis.
Analyses of tumour samples and tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes from two patients with melanoma who were treated with adoptive T-cell therapy provide evidence for tumour escape by loss and downregulation of immunogenic antigens.
The initiation protein eIF3d serves as an alternative cap-recognition factor for a subclass of mRNAs, such as c-Jun; the high-resolution structure of the eIF3d cap-binding domain can be modelled onto the cap structure, defining interactions that are needed for translation of these mRNAs.
A cryo-electron microscopy structure of the DNA damage repair protein 53BP1 bound to a nucleosome illuminates the way 53BP1 recognizes two types of histone modifications (a methyl group and a ubiquitin moiety), and provides insight into the highly specified recognition and recruitment of 53BP1 to modified chromatin.
An engineered G protein is used to bind to and stabilize the active conformation of the adenosine A2A receptor, enabling the acquisition of an X-ray crystal structure of this GPCR in an active state.
The cryo-electron microscopy structure of the homomeric GluA2 AMPA receptor in the presence of ARP γ2 subunits is reported, which reveals that TARPs are arranged around the ion channel domain and underneath the ligand-binding domains, poised to modulate receptor activity.