To make replication studies more useful, researchers must make more of them, funders must encourage them and journals must publish them.
Planet orbiting Proxima Centauri is likely to be the focus of future interstellar voyages.
Recent decisions seem to drive spike in patent rejections.
Labs are vying to build ever-bigger colliders against a backdrop of uncertainty about how particle physicists will make the next big discoveries.
Ambitious bids to map the brain and cure cancer have not boosted overall research funding.
A crewed trip to Mars is still decades away.
US agencies have adopted stronger policies but have not always followed them.
President sidesteps Congress to curb US greenhouse-gas emissions.
A non-profit organization is proving that new drugs don't have to cost a fortune. Can its model work more broadly?
News & Views
Meet the octobot, the first robot to be made entirely from soft materials. Powered by a chemical reaction and controlled by a fluidic logic circuit, it heralds a generation of soft robots that might surpass conventional machines. See Letter p.451
In pancreatic cancer, neighbouring non-cancerous cells degrade their own proteins through a process called autophagy and release amino acids that are then taken up and used by the cancer cells. See Letter p.479
A plant receptor protein interacts in an unusual way with the hormone it binds. The receptor cleaves the hormone, a fragment of which then binds covalently to the receptor and triggers a major receptor shape change. See Letter p.469
A heroic effort to characterize the chemistry of actinium, a short-lived radioactive element, reveals surprising differences in behaviour compared with other elements in the actinide series.
In mice, two fear-associated memories that are created close in time are represented in the brain's amygdala by the activation of overlapping ensembles of neurons. As a result, eliminating the fear of one memory also extinguishes fear of the other.
Structural studies provide insight into the mechanisms governing a checkpoint in cell division that prevents chromosomes from segregating before they are properly aligned on a structure called the mitotic spindle. See Article p.431
An Earth-mass planet has been discovered in orbit around Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun. The planet orbits at a distance from the star such that liquid water and potentially life could exist on its surface. See Letter p.437
Reconstructions of ocean and land temperatures since ad 1500 indicate that sustained, industrial-era warming of land areas in the Northern Hemisphere and tropical oceans began earlier than previously thought, around the mid-nineteenth century.
Analysis of DNA from ancient individuals of the Near East documents the extreme substructure among the populations which transitioned to farming, a structure that was maintained throughout the transition from hunter–gatherer to farmer but that broke down over the next five thousand years.
An integrated computational approach that explores the viral content of more than 3,000 metagenomic samples collected globally highlights the existing global viral diversity, increases the known number of viral genes by an order of magnitude, and provides detailed insights into viral distribution across diverse ecosystems and into virus–host interactions.
A high-resolution structure of a complex between the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C) and the mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC) reveals how MCC interacts with and represses APC/C by obstructing substrate recognition and suppressing E3 ligase activity.
A small planet of at least 1.3 Earth masses is orbiting Proxima Centauri with a period of about 11.2 days, with the potential for liquid water on its surface.
A quantum-error-correction system is demonstrated in which natural errors due to energy loss are suppressed by encoding a logical state as a superposition of Schrödinger-cat states, which results in the system reaching the ‘break-even’ point, at which the lifetime of a qubit exceeds the lifetime of the constituents of the system.
Like citrate, the molecule hydroxycitrate is shown to inhibit growth of the crystal that is the principal component of kidney stones, suggesting that hydroxycitrate could be another treatment for kidney stone disease.
An untethered, entirely soft robot is designed to operate autonomously by combining microfluidic logic and hydrogen peroxide as an on-board fuel supply.
Both a high number of species and abundance in multiple trophic levels are required for ecosystems to continue to provide the services humans require of them.
The neuronal mechanism for the detection of non-painful warm stimuli has remained unclear; mammalian TRPM2 ion channel is shown to be required for warmth detection in the non-noxious range of 33–38 °C, and surprisingly to mediate responses to warmth in the autonomic nervous system.
The cellular prion protein PrPC promotes peripheral myelin homeostasis by acting on a G protein-coupled receptor to increase levels of cyclic AMP in Schwann cells.
Structural, biochemical, mass spectrometry and genetic analyses define Arabidopsis thaliana AtD14 as a non-canonical hormone receptor for strigolactone, which hydrolyses strigolactone into a covalently linked intermediate molecule and undergoes an open-to-closed state transition for interaction with D3 to trigger strigolactone signalling.
The authors test several candidate vaccines for Zika virus in mouse models and show that single-shot DNA vaccines and inactivated virus vaccines provide complete protection against Zika virus isolates from Brazil and Puerto Rico.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells drive autophagy in tumour microenvironment-associated stellate cells, which release alanine that is used by the cancer cells as a carbon source for a variety of metabolic processes in an otherwise nutrient-poor environment.
A highly conserved rearrangement of residue contacts functions as a common step in the activation pathways of diverse G-protein-coupled receptors.