Pregnant mice illuminate risk factors that could lead to autism p.131

Studies highlight link between immune response and unusual neural wiring.

doi: 10.1038/549131b


Support Ismail Serageldin p.131

Egypt’s courts must listen to dozens of Nobel prizewinners who have defended the founder of the Alexandria Library.

doi: 10.1038/549131a


Giraffes could have evolved long necks to keep cool p.132

Another explanation offered for one of animal kingdom’s most distinctive features.

doi: 10.1038/549132a



Geneticists pan paper that claims to predict a person's face from their DNA p.139

Reviewers and a co-author of a paper by genomics entrepreneur Craig Venter claim that it misrepresents the risks of public access to genome data.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.22580


Researchers riled by lack of detail in Brexit science plans p.140

UK government document fails to extinguish concerns over funding and migration.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.22566


South Korean researchers lobby government to lift human-embryo restrictions p.141

Regulations are deterring research that could lead to disease treatments, say scientists.

doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.22585


Jordan seeks to become an oasis of water-saving technology p.142

As strains on the desert nation’s supply increase, scientists collaborate on projects to keep water flowing.

doi: 10.1038/549142a


UK gender-equality scheme spreads across the world p.143

The United States is set to trial a version that will also cover race and disability, while other countries have already embraced the voluntary rating system.

doi: 10.1038/549143a

News Features


The new economy of excrement p.146


doi: 10.1038/549146a

News & Views


Microbiology: A fight for scraps of ammonia p.162


doi: 10.1038/549162a


Optical physics: A laser model for cosmology p.163


doi: 10.1038/549163a


Cancer: Division hierarchy leads to cell heterogeneity p.164


doi: 10.1038/nature23546


Climate science: The future of Asia's glaciers p.166


doi: 10.1038/549166a


Palaeontology: Plenty of fish in the tree p.167


doi: 10.1038/549167a


Materials science: Nanomagnets boost thermoelectric output p.169


doi: 10.1038/549169a



Detecting recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer p.211

An overview of the nature and timescales of stratospheric ozone recovery and the extent to which it can currently be detected.

doi: 10.1038/nature23681



The 4D nucleome project p.219

The 4D Nucleome Network aims to develop and apply approaches to map the structure and dynamics of the human and mouse genomes in space and time with the goal of gaining deeper mechanistic insights into how the nucleus is organized and functions. The project will develop and benchmark experimental and computational approaches for measuring genome conformation and nuclear organization, and investigate how these contribute to gene regulation and other genome functions. Validated experimental technologies will be combined with biophysical approaches to generate quantitative models of spatial genome organization in different biological states, both in cell populations and in single cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature23884



Fate mapping of human glioblastoma reveals an invariant stem cell hierarchy p.227

Using unique barcodes for tumour cells, the authors explore the dynamics of human glioblastoma subpopulations, and suggest that clonal heterogeneity emerges through stochastic fate decisions of a neutral proliferative hierarchy.

doi: 10.1038/nature23666


Structural basis of MsbA-mediated lipopolysaccharide transport p.233

Cryo-electron microscopy snapshots of the E. coli flippase MsbA at discrete functional states reveal a ‘trap and flip’ mechanism for lipopolysaccharide flipping and the conformational transitions of MsbA during its substrate transport cycle.

doi: 10.1038/nature23649



Detection of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of a hot Jupiter p.238

Titanium oxide, water, sodium and a strongly scattering haze have been detected in the atmosphere of the hot Jupiter exoplanet WASP-19b.

doi: 10.1038/nature23651


Hardware-efficient variational quantum eigensolver for small molecules and quantum magnets p.242

The ground-state energy of small molecules is determined efficiently using six qubits of a superconducting quantum processor.

doi: 10.1038/nature23879


Superparamagnetic enhancement of thermoelectric performance p.247

By embedding superparamagnetic nanoparticles in a thermoelectric matrix, phonon and electron transport within the material can be controlled simultaneously at nanometre and mesoscopic length scales, thereby improving the thermoelectric performance of the material.

doi: 10.1038/nature23667


Real-space imaging of non-collinear antiferromagnetic order with a single-spin magnetometer p.252

A non-invasive scanning magnetometer, based on a single nitrogen–vacancy defect in diamond, visualizes antiferromagnetic order at the nanometre scale in thin films of bismuth ferrite at room temperature.

doi: 10.1038/nature23656


Impact of a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius on Asia’s glaciers p.257

Models show that even if global temperature rise can be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, only about 65 per cent of glacier mass will remain in the high mountains of Asia by the end of this century, and if temperatures rise by more than this the effects will be much more extreme.

doi: 10.1038/nature23878


Biodiversity effects in the wild are common and as strong as key drivers of productivity p.261

A synthesis of 67 biodiversity studies shows that, after controlling for environmental covariates, the effects of biodiversity on biomass are stronger in nature than in experiments and are comparable to the effects of other drivers of productivity.

doi: 10.1038/nature23886


Early members of ‘living fossil’ lineage imply later origin of modern ray-finned fishes p.265

High-resolution scans of fossilized fish skulls suggest that modern ray-finned fishes originated later than previously thought and necessitate reconsideration of the evolution of this major vertebrate group.

doi: 10.1038/nature23654


Kinetic analysis of a complete nitrifier reveals an oligotrophic lifestyle p.269

A pure culture of the complete nitrifier Nitrospira inopinata shows a high affinity for ammonia, low maximum rate of ammonia oxidation, high growth yield compared to canonical nitrifiers and genomic potential for alternative metabolisms, probably reflecting an important role in nitrification in oligotrophic environments.

doi: 10.1038/nature23679


m6A modulates haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell specification p.273

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been identified as the most abundant modification on eukaryote messenger RNA (mRNA) 1. Although the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing technologies has enabled insight into the biological functions of m6A modification2–13, the function of m6A during vertebrate embryogenesis remains poorly understood. Here we show that m6A determines cell fate during the endothelial-to-haematopoietic transition (EHT) to specify the earliest haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) during zebrafish embryogenesis. m6Aspecific methylated RNA immunoprecipitation combined with high-throughput sequencing (MeRIP–seq) and m6A individualnucleotide-resolution cross-linking and immunoprecipitation with sequencing (miCLIP–seq) analyses reveal conserved features on zebrafish m6A methylome and preferential distribution of m6A peaks near the stop codon with a consensus RRACH motif. In mettl3-deficient embryos, levels of m6A are significantly decreased and emergence of HSPCs is blocked. Mechanistically, we identify that the delayed YTHDF2-mediated mRNA decay of the arterial endothelial genes notch1a and rhoca contributes to this deleterious effect. The continuous activation of Notch signalling in arterial endothelial cells of mettl3-deficient embryos blocks EHT, thereby repressing the generation of the earliest HSPCs. Furthermore, knockdown of Mettl3 in mice confers a similar phenotype. Collectively, our findings demonstrate the critical function of m6A modification in the fate determination of HSPCs during vertebrate embryogenesis.

doi: 10.1038/nature23883


Neuronal regulation of type 2 innate lymphoid cells via neuromedin U p.277

Group 2 innate lymphoid cells express the neuromedin U receptor 1 (NMUR1) and respond to neuromedin U (NMU) released by adjacent enteric neurons, and this interaction results in an enhanced immediate early response to the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.

doi: 10.1038/nature23469


The neuropeptide neuromedin U stimulates innate lymphoid cells and type 2 inflammation p.282

Intestinal type 2 innate lymphoid cells express the neuropeptide receptor NMUR1, which makes them responsive to neuronal neuromedin U, thereby promoting a type 2 cytokine response and accelerated expulsion of the gastro-intestinal nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.

doi: 10.1038/nature23676


Polycomb-like proteins link the PRC2 complex to CpG islands p.287

Crystal structures of the Polycomb-like proteins PHF1 and MTF2 with bound DNA and histone peptides show that extended homologous regions of the two proteins form a winged-helix structure that has an unexpected mechanism of binding to unmethylated CpG-containing DNA motifs.

doi: 10.1038/nature23881

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