Volume 590 Issue 7846



How to make plastics less harmful is an urgent question in chemistry — and must be for policy, too.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00391-7


Two influential books suggest that universities contribute to societal divisions. In fact, they are essential to bridging divides.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00392-6



Investigation team rules out idea that the coronavirus came from a laboratory leak, but offers two hypotheses popular in Chinese media.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00375-7


UAE’s Hope spacecraft is poised to make pioneering measurements of the Martian atmosphere.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00347-x


Analyses suggest that China has successfully curbed production of an ozone-depleting chemical, a win for the international treaty that protects the ozone layer.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00360-0


In the race against emerging coronavirus variants, researchers are looking beyond antibodies for clues to lasting protection from COVID-19.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00367-7


Combining different coronavirus shots could speed immunization campaigns — and even boost immune response.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00315-5


Organoids that contain an ancient version of a gene that influences brain development are smaller and bumpier than those with human genes.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00388-2


doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00338-y

News Features


doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00395-3


doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00396-2

News & Views


Plastics are invaluable materials, but they use up petroleum resources and persist in the environment. A high-performance plastic derived from renewable oils has been designed at the molecular level to be truly recyclable.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00349-9


Inclusive fitness theory shows that social partners must be related for altruism to evolve, yet some models suggest that relatedness is not needed. An analysis concludes that assumptions in those models build in a role for relatedness, after all.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00210-z


The genome sequence of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) sheds light on genetic mechanisms that have enabled the ancestors of this valuable biomass crop to adapt to cycles of climate warming and cooling.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00212-x


Persistently luminescent nanocrystals have been used to make flexible X-ray detectors that produce better images of 3D objects than do the flat-panel detectors currently widely used in radiography.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00350-2


For those fortunate enough to have survived a deadly disease, a vital question remains: how long does their hard-earned immunity last? Tracking of antibodies in Ebola survivors reveals a surprising pattern.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-03044-3


Two studies show that some cancers are driven by genetic changes in the NSD3 protein that alter its enzymatic activity. Biochemical and structural characterization hints at a route to pharmacological reversal.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00002-5



Atmospheric concentration measurements at remote sites around the world reveal an accelerated decline in the global mean CFC-11 concentration during 2018 and 2019, reversing recent trends and building confidence in the timely recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer.

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03260-5