Volume 532 Number 7598



Breeding controls p.147

Scientists must help to inform regulators wrestling with how to handle the next generation of genetically engineered crops.

doi: 10.1038/532147a


Under appeal p.147

Don’t get too excited about that successful appeal against a grant rejection.

doi: 10.1038/532147b


Destination Venus p.148

Findings from the Akatsuki mission should rekindle interest in Earth’s closest neighbour.

doi: 10.1038/532148a



Fears rise over yellow fever’s next move p.155

Scientists warn vaccine stocks would be overwhelmed in the event of large urban outbreaks.

doi: 10.1038/532155a


Rescued Japanese spacecraft delivers first results from Venus p.157

Streaked acidic clouds and a bow shape in the atmosphere are among Akatsuki’s findings.

doi: 10.1038/532157a


Gene-editing surges as US rethinks regulations p.158

Committee begins study to guide oversight of modified organisms.

doi: 10.1038/532158a


How one lab challenged a grant rejection and won €5 million p.159

A British scientist successfully appealed against an unfavourable grant review — but the road to victory can be paved with challenges.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19714


Human mind excels at quantum physics game p.160

Revelation could have implications for how scientists approach quantum physics.

doi: 10.1038/532160a

News Features


Cocktails for cancer with a measure of immunotherapy p.162


doi: 10.1038/532162a


Cancer therapy: an evolved approach p.166


doi: 10.1038/532166a

News & Views


Animal behaviour: Some begging is actually bragging p.180


doi: 10.1038/nature17317


Cancer genomics: Hard-to-reach repairs p.181


doi: 10.1038/532181a


Regeneration: Not everything is scary about a glial scar p.182


doi: 10.1038/nature17318


Physics: Quantum problems solved through games p.184


doi: 10.1038/532184a


Neuroinflammation: Surprises from the sanitary engineers p.185


doi: 10.1038/nature17881


Geochemistry: How rain affects rock and rivers p.186


doi: 10.1038/532186a



Hourglass fermions p.189

The energy–momentum relationship of certain fermions resembles an hourglass, which is movable but unremovable; this robust property follows from the intertwining of spatial symmetries with the band theory of crystals, revised with mathematical connections to topology and cohomology.

doi: 10.1038/nature17410


Astrocyte scar formation aids central nervous system axon regeneration p.195

Sustained delivery of axon-specific growth factors not typically present in spinal cord lesions allows for robust axonal regrowth only if the astrocytic scar is present—a result that questions the prevailing dogma and suggests that astrocytic scarring aids rather than prevents central nervous system axon regeneration post injury.

doi: 10.1038/nature17623


Modulation of tissue repair by regeneration enhancer elements p.201

An injury-dependent enhancer element is identified that activates gene expression in regenerating zebrafish tissues and can be engineered into DNA constructs that increase tissue regenerative capacity; the element is also active in injured mouse tissue.

doi: 10.1038/nature17644



A map of the large day–night temperature gradient of a super-Earth exoplanet p.207

A longitudinal thermal brightness map of the super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e reveals strong day–night temperature contrast, indicating inefficient heat redistribution consistent with 55 Cancri e either being devoid of atmosphere or having an optically thick atmosphere with heat recirculation confined to the planetary dayside.

doi: 10.1038/nature17169


Exploring the quantum speed limit with computer games p.210

The crowd sourcing and gamification of a problem in quantum computing are described; human players succeed in solving the problem where purely numerical optimization fails, providing insight into, and a starting point for, strategies for optimization.

doi: 10.1038/nature17620


Direct observation of dynamic shear jamming in dense suspensions p.214

Dense suspensions of hard granular particles can transform from liquid-like to solid-like when perturbed; a state diagram is mapped out that reveals how this transformation can occur via dynamic jamming at sufficiently large shear stress while leaving the particle density unchanged.

doi: 10.1038/nature17167


Asymmetric catalytic formation of quaternary carbons by iminium ion trapping of radicals p.218

A combination of photoredox and asymmetric organic catalysis enables enantioselective radical conjugate additions to β,β-disubstituted cyclic enones to construct quaternary carbon stereocentres with high fidelity.

doi: 10.1038/nature17438


Chemical weathering as a mechanism for the climatic control of bedrock river incision p.223

Climate-dependent chemical weathering is found to control the erodibility of bedrock-floored rivers across a rainfall gradient on the Kohala Peninsula, Hawai‘i; river erosion models that incorporate this process could improve the assessment of climatic controls from topographic data and the understanding of climatic feedbacks in landscape evolution models.

doi: 10.1038/nature17449


Ritual human sacrifice promoted and sustained the evolution of stratified societies p.228

Phylogenetic methods were applied to a cross-cultural database of traditional Austronesian societies to test the link between ritual human sacrifice and the origins of social hierarchy—the presence of sacrifice in a society stabilized social stratification and promoted inherited class systems.

doi: 10.1038/nature17159


Post-invasion demography of prehistoric humans in South America p.232

South America was the last habitable continent to be colonized by humans; using a database of 1,147 archaeological sites and 5,464 radiocarbon dates spanning 14,000 to 2,000 years ago reveals two phases of the population history of the continent—a rapid expansion through the continent at low population sizes for over 8,000 years and then a second phase of sedentary lifestyle and exponential population growth starting around 5,000 years ago.

doi: 10.1038/nature17176


A neuronal circuit for colour vision based on rod–cone opponency p.236

Colour vision is thought to rely on the comparison of signals from cone cells in the retina, this paper identifies a class of mouse retinal ganglion cells (J-RGC) that integrates an OFF signal from ultraviolet-sensitive cones with an ON signal from green-sensitive rods, producing a colour-opponent channel that may enable animals to detect urine territory marks; the underlying circuit may also explain why humans experience a blue shift in night-time vision.

doi: 10.1038/nature17158


TAM receptors regulate multiple features of microglial physiology p.240

Microglial phagocytosis is required for neurogenic niche maintenance and response to injury; the TAM kinases Mer and Axl are expressed by microglia in the adult CNS, and mediate the clearance of apoptotic cells from the niche.

doi: 10.1038/nature17630


The necrosome promotes pancreatic oncogenesis via CXCL1 and Mincle-induced immune suppression p.245

A study of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma shows that cancer cell proliferation is associated with increased expression of proteins that control programmed necrotic cell death and suppress the adaptive immune system.

doi: 10.1038/nature17403


sFRP2 in the aged microenvironment drives melanoma metastasis and therapy resistance p.250

Aged fibroblasts release a Wnt antagonist, sFRP2, which drives a signalling cascade in melanoma cells, leading to increased metastasis and reduced effectiveness of targeted therapy.

doi: 10.1038/nature17392


Reductive carboxylation supports redox homeostasis during anchorage-independent growth p.255

Malignant cells are able to survive and grow in detached conditions, despite the associated increase in reactive oxygen species; here a novel metabolic pathway used by cancer cells as they adapt to anchorage-independent growth is described.

doi: 10.1038/nature17393


Differential DNA repair underlies mutation hotspots at active promoters in cancer genomes p.259

Analysis of 1,161 cancer genomes across 14 cancer types shows that increased mutation density at gene promoters can be linked to transcription initiation activity and impairment of nucleotide excision repair.

doi: 10.1038/nature17437


Nucleotide excision repair is impaired by binding of transcription factors to DNA p.264

An analysis of cancer genomic data reveals an increased rate of somatic mutations at active transcription factor binding sites located both within promoter regions and distal from genes; the increased mutation rate at these genomic regions can be explained by reduced accessibility of the protein-bound DNA to nucleotide excision repair machinery.

doi: 10.1038/nature17661

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