Volume 543 Issue 7644



News Features

News & Views

Manipulation of the manipulators p.182

Wolbachia bacteria infect insects and can cause mating incompatibilities, an outcome that is used to fight insect-transmitted disease. The proposed genes responsible illuminate this process and the disease-control mechanisms. See Letter p.243

doi: 10.1038/nature21509

More uses for genomic junk p.183

It emerges that nascent non-coding RNAs transcribed from regulatory DNA sequences called enhancers bind to the enzyme CBP to promote its activity locally. In turn, the activities of CBP stimulate further enhancer transcription.

doi: 10.1038/543183a

Marching to a different quantum beat p.185

Periodic oscillations are common in nature but they generally decay or fall out of phase. Two experiments have found evidence for a Floquet time crystal, which is characterized by persistent in-phase oscillations. See Letters p.217 & p. 221

doi: 10.1038/543185a

Reading the future of leukaemia p.186

The identification of the regulatory protein ENL as essential to an aggressive form of leukaemia provides insight into transcriptional regulation and highlights potential avenues for therapy. See Letters p.265 & p.270

doi: 10.1038/nature21894

Digital maps illuminate ancient trade routes p.188

How did the relationship between human societies and their surrounding terrain shape the formation of long-distance trade networks such as the Silk Road? Digital mapping and computer modelling offer insights. See Article p.193

doi: 10.1038/543188a

Single-atom data storage p.189

The ultimate limit of classical data storage is a single-atom magnetic bit. Researchers have now achieved the writing and reading of individual atoms whose magnetic information can be retained for several hours. See Letter p.226

doi: 10.1038/543189a

The chronicles of T-cell exhaustion p.190

T cells of the immune system often fail to target cancer cells because they enter a dysfunctional state known as exhaustion. Molecular analysis of T-cell exhaustion provides insights into the clinical use of these cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature21508



Observation of a discrete time crystal p.217

A time crystal is a state of matter that shows robust oscillations in time, and although forbidden in equilibrium, a discrete time crystal has now been observed in a periodically driven quantum system.

doi: 10.1038/nature21413

Reading and writing single-atom magnets p.226

A two-bit magnetic memory is demonstrated, based on the magnetic states of individual holmium atoms, which are read and written in a scanning tunnelling microscope set-up and are stable over many hours.

doi: 10.1038/nature21371

Earth’s first stable continents did not form by subduction p.239

Phase equilibria modelling of rocks from Western Australia confirms that the ancient continental crust could have formed by multistage melting of basaltic ‘parents’ along high geothermal gradients—a process incompatible with modern-style subduction.

doi: 10.1038/nature21383