Don’t redirect Ebola cash to Zika vaccines p.7

The US government should not focus funds on the Zika virus at the expense of other health priorities.

doi: 10.1038/537007a

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Threat to African forest elephants p.7

Analysis highlights the risk faced by a newly distinct species.

doi: 10.1038/537007b

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Italian scientists shocked by earthquake devastation p.15

In a region known to be seismically active, destruction on this scale was still a surprise.

doi: 10.1038/537015a

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Nuclear power plants prepare for old age p.16

Materials research is at the heart of efforts to keep the world’s reactors running well past 2050.

doi: 10.1038/537016a

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Print your own 3D Lucy to work out how the famous hominin died p.19

Digital scans will help researchers test whether she fell out of a tree.

doi: 10.1038/537019a

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Majority of mathematicians hail from just 24 scientific ‘families’ p.20

Evolution of mathematics traced using unusually comprehensive genealogy database.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.20491

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News Features


How DNA could store all the world’s data p.22


doi: 10.1038/537022a

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Vipers, mambas and taipans: the escalating health crisis over snakebites p.26


doi: 10.1038/537026a

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News & Views


Alzheimer's disease: Attack on amyloid-β protein p.36


doi: 10.1038/537036a

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Planetary science: Cometary dust under the microscope p.37


doi: 10.1038/537037a

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Structural biology: Moulding the ribosome p.38


doi: 10.1038/537038a

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Climate science: Southern Ocean freshened by sea ice p.40


doi: 10.1038/537040a

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Ecology: More is less p.42


doi: 10.1038/537042a

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Cancer: Suffocation of gene expression p.42


doi: 10.1038/nature19426

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Ancient DNA: Muddy messages about American migration p.43


doi: 10.1038/nature19421

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Postglacial viability and colonization in North America’s ice-free corridor p.45

During much of the last ice age, continental ice sheets prevented humans from migrating into North America from Siberia; an environmental reconstruction of the corridor that opened up between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets reveals that it would have been inhospitable to the initial colonizing humans, who therefore probably entered North America by a different route.

doi: 10.1038/nature19085

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The antibody aducanumab reduces Aβ plaques in Alzheimer’s disease p.50

Aducanumab, a human monoclonal antibody that selectively targets aggregated Aβ, reduces soluble and insoluble Aβ in the brain, an action accompanied by a dose-dependent slowing of clinical decline in treated patients.

doi: 10.1038/nature19323

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A developmental coordinate of pluripotency among mice, monkeys and humans p.57

Using a single-cell sequencing analysis in monkey embryos, and comparing the genes expressed during early development in this species with those in mice and in human pluripotent stem cells, the authors define characteristics of pluripotency ontogeny across mammalian species.

doi: 10.1038/nature19096

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Tumour hypoxia causes DNA hypermethylation by reducing TET activity p.63

Hypoxia in solid tumours reduces the expression of tumour suppressor genes through an epigenetic mechanism.

doi: 10.1038/nature19081

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惑星科学:地球程度の大きさの太陽系外惑星TRAPPIST-1 bおよびcの混合した透過スペクトル

A combined transmission spectrum of the Earth-sized exoplanets TRAPPIST-1 b and c p.69

Recently, temperate Earth-sized planets were discovered around the nearby star TRAPPIST-1; now, preliminary transmission spectra observations of the two inner planets by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that these planets do not have a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere and are thus terrestrial, their atmospheric type still to be determined.

doi: 10.1038/nature18641

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Aggregate dust particles at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko p.73

In situ measurements of dust particles at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko confirm that the particles are aggregates of smaller, elongated grains even at the smallest sizes examined.

doi: 10.1038/nature19091

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Dynamically encircling an exceptional point for asymmetric mode switching p.76

A two-mode waveguide is designed to realize a dynamical encircling of an exceptional point at which two resonances coincide in their frequency and their rate of decay; as a result the waveguide transmits only into a unique mode at either one of its two output ports.

doi: 10.1038/nature18605

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Topological energy transfer in an optomechanical system with exceptional points p.80

The transfer of energy between two vibrational modes of an optomechanical device is achieved using topological operations; the key to this transfer is the existence of an exceptional point in the complex spectrum of the device.

doi: 10.1038/nature18604

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Ablation-cooled material removal with ultrafast bursts of pulses p.84

Ablation cooling is demonstrated as an effective means of removing material using successive bursts of laser pulses with short intraburst delay times; the technique allows the overall pulse energy to be decreased, overcoming negative thermal effects during the ablation process.

doi: 10.1038/nature18619

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Sea-ice transport driving Southern Ocean salinity and its recent trends p.89

Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the northward transport of sea ice from Antarctica can explain the bulk of the observed freshening in the Southern Ocean.

doi: 10.1038/nature19101

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Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity p.93

Analysis of multi-year nutrient enrichment experiments carried out on 45 global grassland sites show that an addition of an increasing number of nutrients leads to a reduction in plant species diversity, and competition for multiple below-ground resources promotes plant species diversity.

doi: 10.1038/nature19324

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Serotonin engages an anxiety and fear-promoting circuit in the extended amygdala p.97

A brain circuit is identified through which serotonin induces an anxiety-like state; this circuit also mediates the anxiety-like behaviour induced by acute administration of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine and may underlie the early adverse events that some patients with anxiety disorders have to these types of drugs.

doi: 10.1038/nature19318

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HER2 expression identifies dynamic functional states within circulating breast cancer cells p.102

Patient-derived circulating tumour cells are used to characterize the dynamics and underlying plasticity of HER2 expression in non-HER2-amplified breast tumours.

doi: 10.1038/nature19328

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An endosomal tether undergoes an entropic collapse to bring vesicles together p.107

A new endosomal tethering mechanism involving a mechanochemical cycle of the dimeric coiled-coil protein EEA1 regulated by Rab5:GTP binding and GTP hydrolysis.

doi: 10.1038/nature19326

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Small molecule stabilization of the KSR inactive state antagonizes oncogenic Ras signalling p.112

A class of small molecules that stabilize a previously unrecognized inactive state of KSR is reported; the agonists synergize with MEK inhibitors to prevent growth of Ras mutant cell lines.

doi: 10.1038/nature19327

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Structural basis for inhibition of a voltage-gated Ca2+ channel by Ca2+ antagonist drugs p.117

Ca2+ antagonist drugs are widely used in therapy of cardiovascular disorders. Three chemical classes of drugs bind to three separate, but allosterically interacting, receptor sites on CaV1.2 channels, the most prominent voltage-gated Ca2+ (CaV) channel type in myocytes in cardiac and vascular smooth muscle. The 1,4-dihydropyridines are used primarily for treatment of hypertension and angina pectoris and are thought to act as allosteric modulators of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel activation, whereas phenylalkylamines and benzothiazepines are used primarily for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and are thought to physically block the pore. The structural basis for the different binding, action, and therapeutic uses of these drugs remains unknown. Here we present crystallographic and functional analyses of drug binding to the bacterial homotetrameric model CaV channel CaVAb, which is inhibited by dihydropyridines and phenylalkylamines with nanomolar affinity in a state-dependent manner. The binding site for amlodipine and other dihydropyridines is located on the external, lipid-facing surface of the pore module, positioned at the interface of two subunits. Dihydropyridine binding allosterically induces an asymmetric conformation of the selectivity filter, in which partially dehydrated Ca2+ interacts directly with one subunit and blocks the pore. In contrast, the phenylalkylamine Br-verapamil binds in the central cavity of the pore on the intracellular side of the selectivity filter, physically blocking the ion-conducting pathway. Structure-based mutations of key amino-acid residues confirm drug binding at both sites. Our results define the structural basis for binding of dihydropyridines and phenylalkylamines at their distinct receptor sites on CaV channels and offer key insights into their fundamental mechanisms of action and differential therapeutic uses in cardiovascular diseases.

doi: 10.1038/nature19102

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