Safety in neutrons p.5

To boost nuclear security, research reactors must eliminate highly enriched uranium.

doi: 10.1038/532005b

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Viral complacency p.5

The first outbreak of yellow fever in Angola in almost 30 years illustrates the danger of a short attention span when confronting epidemic threats.

doi: 10.1038/532005a

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Mind matters p.6

Mental illness is moving up the global agenda — but there is still much to do.

doi: 10.1038/532006a

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Trump’s immigration stance stokes fears for science p.13

Rhetoric in US presidential campaign concerns researchers — particularly Muslims.

doi: 10.1038/532013a

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Controversial dark-matter claim faces ultimate test p.14

Multiple teams finally have the material they need to repeat enigmatic experiment.

doi: 10.1038/532014a

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Zika highlights role of controversial fetal-tissue research p.16

Fetal tissue may prove crucial to probing link between virus and birth defects.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19655

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Snow-sensing fleet to unlock water's icy secrets p.17

Airborne experiments aim to fill in the blanks of global water resources as the climate changes.

doi: 10.1038/532017a

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Negotiations to tame marine Wild West begin p.18

Nations debate how to protect biodiversity in the high seas.

doi: 10.1038/532018a

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Flagship brain project releases neuro-computing tools p.18

Human Brain Project asks wider neuroscience community to start using its hardware and software.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19672

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News Features


Mental health: There’s an app for that p.20


doi: 10.1038/532020a

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News & Views


Stellar astrophysics: Supernovae in the neighbourhood p.40


doi: 10.1038/532040a

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Microbiology: Fungus produces a toxic surprise p.41

真菌の一種のCandida albicansの菌糸から放出されるタンパク質断片が宿主細胞を破壊することが分かった。これはカビ以外のヒト真菌病原体が毒性ペプチドを産生することを実証した最初の研究である。

doi: 10.1038/nature17319

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Island biogeography: Shaped by sea-level shifts p.42


doi: 10.1038/nature17880

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Climate science: Water's past revisited to predict its future p.44


doi: 10.1038/532044a

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Neuroscience: Untangling autism p.45


doi: 10.1038/nature17311

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Molecular biology: Breaks in the brain p.46


doi: 10.1038/nature17316

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Climate-smart soils p.49

The potential of soils to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions has not been exploited; here we discuss and recommend research and technology developments to implement mitigation practices.

doi: 10.1038/nature17174

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Thalamic reticular impairment underlies attention deficit in Ptchd1Y/− mice p.58

PTCHD1 deletion in humans leads to attention deficits, intellectual disability, and autism spectrum disorders; mouse PTCHD1 is enriched in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) and TRN-restricted Ptchd1 deletion in mice led to attention-deficit hyperactivity, which could be rescued by modulating calcium-dependent potassium channel activity, suggesting that a TRN deficit may underlie core impairments associated with neurodevelopmental disorders and it may be possible to identify therapeutic targets for individuals with attention disorders.

doi: 10.1038/nature17427

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Candidalysin is a fungal peptide toxin critical for mucosal infection p.64

This study identifies a cytolytic peptide toxin in the opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans—the peptide is both a crucial virulence factor that permeabilizes the host cell plasma membrane and a key signal that triggers a host danger response pathway.

doi: 10.1038/nature17625

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Recent near-Earth supernovae probed by global deposition of interstellar radioactive 60Fe p.69

The rate of supernovae in our local Galactic neighbourhood within a distance of about 100 parsecs from Earth is estimated to be one every 2–4 million years, based on the total rate in the Milky Way (2.0 ± 0.7 per century). Recent massive-star and supernova activity in Earth’s vicinity may be traced by radionuclides with half-lives of up to 100 million years, if trapped in interstellar dust grains that penetrate the Solar System. One such radionuclide is 60Fe (with a half-life of 2.6 million years), which is ejected in supernova explosions and winds from massive stars. Here we report that the 60Fe signal observed previously in deep-sea crusts is global, extended in time and of interstellar origin from multiple events. We analysed deep-sea archives from all major oceans for 60Fe deposition via the accretion of interstellar dust particles. Our results reveal 60Fe interstellar influxes onto Earth at 1.5–3.2 million years ago and at 6.5–8.7 million years ago. The signal measured implies that a few per cent of fresh 60Fe was captured in dust and deposited on Earth. Our findings indicate multiple supernova and massive-star events during the last ten million years at distances of up to 100 parsecs.

doi: 10.1038/nature17196

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The locations of recent supernovae near the Sun from modelling 60Fe transport p.73

The signature of 60Fe in deep-sea crusts indicates that one or more supernovae exploded in the solar neighbourhood about 2.2 million years ago. Recent isotopic analysis is consistent with a core-collapse or electron-capture supernova that occurred 60 to 130 parsecs from the Sun. Moreover, peculiarities in the cosmic ray spectrum point to a nearby supernova about two million years ago. The Local Bubble of hot, diffuse plasma, in which the Solar System is embedded, originated from 14 to 20 supernovae within a moving group, whose surviving members are now in the Scorpius–Centaurus stellar association. Here we report calculations of the most probable trajectories and masses of the supernova progenitors, and hence their explosion times and sites. The 60Fe signal arises from two supernovae at distances between 90 and 100 parsecs. The closest occurred 2.3 million years ago at present-day galactic coordinates l = 327°, b = 11°, and the second-closest exploded about 1.5 million years ago at l = 343°, b = 25°, with masses of 9.2 and 8.8 times the solar mass, respectively. The remaining supernovae, which formed the Local Bubble, contribute to a smaller extent because they happened at larger distances and longer ago (60Fe has a half-life of 2.6 million years). There are uncertainties relating to the nucleosynthesis yields and the loss of 60Fe during transport, but they do not influence the relative distribution of 60Fe in the crust layers, and therefore our model reproduces the measured relative abundances very well.

doi: 10.1038/nature17424

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Coherent feedback control of a single qubit in diamond p.77

A feedback-control algorithm implemented using a solid-state spin qubit system associated with the nitrogen vacancy centre in diamond is demonstrated; the algorithm uses coherent feedback to overcome the limitations of measurement-based feedback and protects the qubit against intrinsic dephasing noise, making it stable for milliseconds.

doi: 10.1038/nature17404

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Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system p.81

Ab initio calculations are used to determine the contribution of quantum fluctuations to the crystal structure of the high-pressure superconducting phase of H3S and D3S; the quantum nature of the proton is found to fundamentally change the superconducting phase diagram of H3S.

doi: 10.1038/nature17175

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Continuous directional water transport on the peristome surface of Nepenthes alata p.85

Insects are captured by the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata when they ‘aquaplane’ on the wet rim, or ‘peristome’, of the plant’s pitcher organ; here it is shown that unidirectional water flow is crucial to the complete wetting of the peristome, and that the underlying mechanism involves multiscale structural features.

doi: 10.1038/nature17189

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Nineteen-step total synthesis of (+)-phorbol p.90

Enantiospecific total synthesis of (+)-phorbol in only 19 steps from the abundant monoterpene (+)-3-carene is demonstrated using a two-phase terpene synthesis strategy.

doi: 10.1038/nature17153

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Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries p.94

A very large set of proxy data is used to reconstruct Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries, to benchmark climate model simulations of hydroclimate; the twentieth-century intensification of hydroclimate extremes seen in the model simulations is not supported by the proxy reconstruction.

doi: 10.1038/nature17418

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Late Quaternary climate change shapes island biodiversity p.99

Changes in island area, isolation and connectivity observed since the Last Glacial Maximum have had measurable effects on present-day biodiversity, with formerly larger and less well connected islands having a greater number of endemic species.

doi: 10.1038/nature17443

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A specific area of olfactory cortex involved in stress hormone responses to predator odours p.103

Exposure to predator scents triggers an instinctive fear response in mice, including a surge in blood levels of stress hormones; here, the amygdalo-piriform transition area is identified as provoking these hormonal responses.

doi: 10.1038/nature17156

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Derivation and differentiation of haploid human embryonic stem cells p.107

Haploid human embryonic stem cells have been derived from haploid oocytes, the cells maintain a normal haploid karyotype as pluripotent cells and, unexpectedly, as differentiated cells — loss-of-function genetic screens previously performed with haploid embryonic stem cells in mice can now be performed in humans.

doi: 10.1038/nature17408

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Mitochondrial ROS regulate thermogenic energy expenditure and sulfenylation of UCP1 p.112

Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue is supported by a burst of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species upon cold exposure.

doi: 10.1038/nature17399

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Lypd8 promotes the segregation of flagellated microbiota and colonic epithelia p.117

Lypd8 protein derived from intestinal epithelial cells binds to flagellated bacteria to reduce their motility, which limits the entry of Gram-negative bacteria into the inner colonic mucus and prevents invasion of colonic epithelia.

doi: 10.1038/nature17406

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Cerebral cavernous malformations arise from endothelial gain of MEKK3–KLF2/4 signalling p.122

Gain of MEKK3 signalling is shown to cause cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) via activation of the target genes Klf2 and Klf4; endothelial-specific loss of MEKK3, KLF2 or KLF4 prevents lesion formation and lethality in a mouse CCM model.

doi: 10.1038/nature17178

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Structural basis of lenalidomide-induced CK1α degradation by the CRL4CRBN ubiquitin ligase p.127

Thalidomide and its derivatives, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, are immune modulatory drugs (IMiDs) used in the treatment of haematologic malignancies. IMiDs bind CRBN, the substrate receptor of the CUL4–RBX1–DDB1–CRBN (also known as CRL4CRBN) E3 ubiquitin ligase, and inhibit ubiquitination of endogenous CRL4CRBN substrates. Unexpectedly, IMiDs also repurpose the ligase to target new proteins for degradation. Lenalidomide induces degradation of the lymphoid transcription factors Ikaros and Aiolos (also known as IKZF1 and IKZF3), and casein kinase 1α (CK1α), which contributes to its clinical efficacy in the treatment of multiple myeloma and 5q-deletion associated myelodysplastic syndrome (del(5q) MDS), respectively. How lenalidomide alters the specificity of the ligase to degrade these proteins remains elusive. Here we present the 2.45 Å crystal structure of DDB1–CRBN bound to lenalidomide and CK1α. CRBN and lenalidomide jointly provide the binding interface for a CK1α β-hairpin-loop located in the kinase N-lobe. We show that CK1α binding to CRL4CRBN is strictly dependent on the presence of an IMiD. Binding of IKZF1 to CRBN similarly requires the compound and both, IKZF1 and CK1α, use a related binding mode. Our study provides a mechanistic explanation for the selective efficacy of lenalidomide in del(5q) MDS therapy. We anticipate that high-affinity protein–protein interactions induced by small molecules will provide opportunities for drug development, particularly for targeted protein degradation.

doi: 10.1038/nature16979

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Structural basis of cohesin cleavage by separase p.131

The crystal structures of the protease domain of separase are reported, showing how separase recognizes cohesin, and how phosphorylation of the cleavage site enhances separase activity.

doi: 10.1038/nature17402

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