News & Views
An experiment studying bacterial populations over thousands of generations shows that a novel trait can evolve through rearrangement and amplification of a few pre-existing genes. See Article
Silicon devices form the backbone of modern computers. It turns out that they might also be a natural hardware platform for a new era of computing technology that uses the principles of quantum physics. See Letter
The concept of preferential attachment is behind the hubs and power laws seen in many networks. New results fuel an old debate about its origin, and beg the question of whether it is based on randomness or optimization. See Letter
Simply grabbing an African spiny mouse can cause it to lose up to 60% of the skin on its back. Analysis of the mouse's astounding shedding and healing capacity provides insight into the biomechanics of tissue regeneration. See Letter
Ion gels are composites of ionic liquids and polymers. Free-standing forms of ion gels have now been made that can be neatly cut with a razor blade and stuck onto semiconductor materials to make transistors.
A tightly regulated enzyme balances energy production and the synthesis of macromolecules from glucose in cancer cells. Upsetting this balance by stimulating the enzyme's activity can suppress tumour growth in mice.
Evolutionary novelties have been important in the history of life, but their origins are usually difficult to examine in detail. We previously described the evolution of a novel trait, aerobic citrate utilization (Cit
Lung squamous cell carcinoma is a common type of lung cancer, causing approximately 400,000 deaths per year worldwide. Genomic alterations in squamous cell lung cancers have not been comprehensively characterized, and no molecularly targeted agents have been specifically developed for its treatment. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas, here we profile 178 lung squamous cell carcinomas to provide a comprehensive landscape of genomic and epigenomic alterations. We show that the tumour type is characterized by complex genomic alterations, with a mean of 360 exonic mutations, 165 genomic rearrangements, and 323 segments of copy number alteration per tumour. We find statistically recurrent mutations in 11 genes, including mutation of TP53 in nearly all specimens. Previously unreported loss-of-function mutations are seen in the HLA-A class I major histocompatibility gene. Significantly altered pathways included NFE2L2 and KEAP1 in 34%, squamous differentiation genes in 44%, phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase pathway genes in 47%, and CDKN2A and RB1 in 72% of tumours. We identified a potential therapeutic target in most tumours, offering new avenues of investigation for the treatment of squamous cell lung cancers.
Immune recognition of protein antigens relies on the combined interaction of multiple antibody loops, which provide a fairly large footprint and constrain the size and shape of protein surfaces that can be targeted. Single protein loops can mediate extremely high-affinity binding, but it is unclear whether such a mechanism is available to antibodies. Here we report the isolation and characterization of an antibody called C05, which neutralizes strains from multiple subtypes of influenza A virus, including H1, H2 and H3. X-ray and electron microscopy structures show that C05 recognizes conserved elements of the receptor-binding site on the haemagglutinin surface glycoprotein. Recognition of the haemagglutinin receptor-binding site is dominated by a single heavy-chain complementarity-determining region 3 loop, with minor contacts from heavy-chain complementarity-determining region 1, and is sufficient to achieve nanomolar binding with a minimal footprint. Thus, binding predominantly with a single loop can allow antibodies to target small, conserved functional sites on otherwise hypervariable antigens.