Volume 548 Number 7669



Extreme weather events are the new normal p.499

Hurricane Harvey highlights the struggle to apply climate science.

doi: 10.1038/548499b


Closure of US coal study marks an alarming precedent p.499

The Trump administration has stepped up its assault on environmental protections by halting a US$1-million study on the health risks of coal mining — casting a pall on academic freedom.

doi: 10.1038/548499a


ドイツ・ハンブルグの世界最大のX線自由電子レーザーEuropean XFELが、運用開始へ。

Europe’s X-ray laser fires up p.507

High-speed shooter will help scientists to make molecular movies.

doi: 10.1038/548507a


Legal threat exposes gaps in climate-change planning p.508

Australian lawsuit highlights how difficult it is to turn global warming data into useful advice.

doi: 10.1038/548508a


US science envoy resigns in protest at Trump policies p.509

Energy researcher Daniel Kammen faults US president’s positions on climate change and energy and his failure to condemn white supremacists.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.22510


Dinosaur trio roosted together like birds p.510

The animals seem to have died while huddling together 70 million years ago.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.22508


Scientists solve mystery of US Civil War submarine p.511

Blast from Hunley’s own torpedo probably killed its crew instantly.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.22447

News Features


Cassini’s 13 years of stunning Saturn science — in pictures p.512


doi: 10.1038/548512a

News & Views


Astronomy: Cosmic exhumation p.526


doi: 10.1038/548526a


Microbiology: The case of the mysterious messenger p.527


doi: 10.1038/nature23532


Biogeochemistry: Food for early animal evolution p.528


doi: 10.1038/nature23539


Heart disease: Putative medicines that mimic mutations p.530


doi: 10.1038/nature23544


Palaeoclimate: Volcanism caused ancient global warming p.531


doi: 10.1038/548531a


Biochemistry: A toxin that fuels metabolism p.533


doi: 10.1038/nature23541


In Retrospect: The inflammasome turns 15 p.534


doi: 10.1038/548534a



Identification of essential genes for cancer immunotherapy p.537

The authors describe a two-cell-type CRISPR screen to identify tumour-intrinsic genes that regulate the sensitivity of cancer cells to effector T cell function.

doi: 10.1038/nature23477


Type III CRISPR–Cas systems produce cyclic oligoadenylate second messengers p.543

CRISPR-associated protein Csm6 is activated by a cyclic oligoadenylate second messenger generated by Cas10 activity in the CRISPR type III interference complex, representing a novel mechanism of CRISPR interference.

doi: 10.1038/nature23467


Mammals divert endogenous genotoxic formaldehyde into one-carbon metabolism p.549

The mechanism by which formaldehyde, a potent DNA and protein crosslinking agent, is generated from folate is described, with implications for the treatment of certain cancers.

doi: 10.1038/nature23481



Fast automated analysis of strong gravitational lenses with convolutional neural networks p.555

Estimates of parameters of strong gravitational lenses are obtained in an automated way using convolutional neural networks, with similar accuracy and greatly improved speed compared to previous methods.

doi: 10.1038/nature23463


Proper-motion age dating of the progeny of Nova Scorpii AD 1437 p.558

‘Cataclysmic variables’ are binary star systems in which one star of the pair is a white dwarf, and which often generate bright and energetic stellar outbursts. Classical novae are one type of outburst: when the white dwarf accretes enough matter from its companion, the resulting hydrogen-rich atmospheric envelope can host a runaway thermonuclear reaction that generates a rapid brightening. Achieving peak luminosities of up to one million times that of the Sun, all classical novae are recurrent, on timescales of months to millennia. During the century before and after an eruption, the ‘novalike’ binary systems that give rise to classical novae exhibit high rates of mass transfer to their white dwarfs. Another type of outburst is the dwarf nova: these occur in binaries that have stellar masses and periods indistinguishable from those of novalikes but much lower mass-transfer rates, when accretion-disk instabilities drop matter onto the white dwarfs. The co-existence at the same orbital period of novalike binaries and dwarf novae—which are identical but for their widely varying accretion rates—has been a longstanding puzzle. Here we report the recovery of the binary star underlying the classical nova eruption of 11 March AD 1437 (refs 12, 13), and independently confirm its age by proper-motion dating. We show that, almost 500 years after a classical-nova event, the system exhibited dwarf-nova eruptions. The three other oldest recovered classical novae display nova shells, but lack firm post-eruption ages, and are also dwarf novae at present. We conclude that many old novae become dwarf novae for part of the millennia between successive nova eruptions.

doi: 10.1038/nature23644


Magnetic antiskyrmions above room temperature in tetragonal Heusler materials p.561

Antiskyrmions, in which the magnetization rotates both as a transverse helix and as a cycloid, are found in acentric tetragonal Heusler compounds over a wide range of temperatures.

doi: 10.1038/nature23466


Molecular machines open cell membranes p.567

Rotary molecular machines, activated by ultraviolet light, are able to perturb and drill into cell membranes in a controllable manner, and more efficiently than those exhibiting flip-flopping or random motion.

doi: 10.1038/nature23657


Very large release of mostly volcanic carbon during the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum p.573

The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was a global warming event that occurred about 56 million years ago, and is commonly thought to have been driven primarily by the destabilization of carbon from surface sedimentary reservoirs such as methane hydrates. However, it remains controversial whether such reservoirs were indeed the source of the carbon that drove the warming. Resolving this issue is key to understanding the proximal cause of the warming, and to quantifying the roles of triggers versus feedbacks. Here we present boron isotope data—a proxy for seawater pH—that show that the ocean surface pH was persistently low during the PETM. We combine our pH data with a paired carbon isotope record in an Earth system model in order to reconstruct the unfolding carbon-cycle dynamics during the event. We find strong evidence for a much larger (more than 10,000 petagrams)—and, on average, isotopically heavier—carbon source than considered previously. This leads us to identify volcanism associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province, rather than carbon from a surface reservoir, as the main driver of the PETM. This finding implies that climate-driven amplification of organic carbon feedbacks probably played only a minor part in driving the event. However, we find that enhanced burial of organic matter seems to have been important in eventually sequestering the released carbon and accelerating the recovery of the Earth system.

doi: 10.1038/nature23646


The rise of algae in Cryogenian oceans and the emergence of animals p.578

Steroid biomarkers provide evidence for a rapid rise of marine planktonic algae between 659 and 645 million years ago, establishing more efficient energy transfers and driving ecosystems towards larger and increasingly complex organisms.

doi: 10.1038/nature23457


Lhx6-positive GABA-releasing neurons of the zona incerta promote sleep p.582

GABAergic Lhx6+ neurons in the ventral zona incerta promote both rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep and inhibit the activity of wake-promoting GABAergic and Hcrt+ neurons of the lateral hypothalamus.

doi: 10.1038/nature23663


Feedback regulation of steady-state epithelial turnover and organ size p.588

Steady-state turnover of the Drosophila midgut arises through an intercellular, E-cadherin–EGFR relay that couples the death of individual enterocytes to the divisions of nearby stem cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature23678


Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson’s disease model p.592

In a preclinical study, dopaminergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells were implanted into a primate model of Parkinson’s disease, where they were found to exhibit long-term survival, function as mid-brain dopaminergic neurons, and increase spontaneous movements.

doi: 10.1038/nature23664


Public antibodies to malaria antigens generated by two LAIR1 insertion modalities p.597

Up to 10% of individuals in malaria-endemic regions produce antibodies that react to malaria antigens through an additional LAIR1 domain that is inserted by two different insertion modalities.

doi: 10.1038/nature23670


Homeostatic control of metabolic and functional fitness of Treg cells by LKB1 signalling p.602

The tumour suppressor liver kinase B1 (LKB1) regulates the metabolic and functional fitness of regulatory T cells in the control of immune tolerance and homeostasis.

doi: 10.1038/nature23665


ISWI chromatin remodellers sense nucleosome modifications to determine substrate preference p.607

A high-throughput approach using a DNA-barcoded nucleosome library shows that ISWI chromatin remodellers can distinguish between differently modified nucleosomes.

doi: 10.1038/nature23671

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