With high numbers of postdocs emerging from universities, prospective PhD students must be prepared for the fact that they will probably not end up with a career in research.
A new section of Nature examines the software and websites that make research easier.
The discovery of our Galaxy’s place in the Universe adds detail to our address.
Testing drugs in the middle of deadly disease outbreak is challenging but can be done.
Studies of brewing weather event test understanding of past and future climate.
Authorities in Swiss canton blaze a trail by factoring the risk into hazard planning.
Scientists, politicians and business leaders will discuss practicalities of a regional network.
Sometimes, the brightest stars in science decide to leave. Nature finds out where they go.
In the haze of incomplete data, scientists are divided over the risks and benefits of electronic cigarettes.
News & Views
Computer models show how hot material that rises from Earth's interior is affected by plate tectonics, producing unexpected irregularities in Earth's topography and assisting in the break-up of continental plates. See Letter p.85
Ambitious experimental and morphological studies of a modern fish show how developmental flexibility may have helped early 'fishapods' to make the transition from finned aquatic animals to tetrapods that walk on land. See Article p.54
The finding that RIPK1, an integral protein in cell-death pathways, also functions to preserve the body's epithelial-cell barriers challenges the idea that cell death and survival are regulated by distinct factors. See Letters p.90 & p.95
Genome editing followed by sequencing has now been used to engineer and analyse every variation of several stretches of human DNA in living cells, providing insight into the function of each constituent nucleotide molecule. See Letter p.120
An analysis of a three-dimensional map of galaxies and their velocities reveals the hitherto unknown edges of the large system of galaxies in which we live — dubbed the Laniakea supercluster. See Letter p.71
Fluorescent tags are proving invaluable for tracking RNA molecules in cells. Two sets of crystal structures for one such tag — an RNA motif that fluoresces when bound to a dye — will aid the development of even better markers.
The intertropical convergence zone, where global rainfall is greatest, is a narrow belt of clouds usually centred about six degrees north of the Equator; this Review links its migrations on various timescales to the atmospheric energy balance.
The most primitive extant bony fish, Polypterus, exhibits adaptive plasticity for life on land when raised on land rather than in water, suggesting that environmentally induced phenotypic plasticity might have facilitated the macroevolutionary transition to life on land.
Invasion of the gut by oral bacteria in liver cirrhosis.
The translation of many messenger RNAs that encode important oncogenes and transcription factors depends on the eIF4A RNA helicase to resolve G-quadruplex structures, implying eIF4A inhibition as an effective cancer therapy.
Examination of a three-dimensional map of galaxies and their velocities shows a surface bounding the motions of galaxies that are inward after removal of the mean cosmic expansion and long-range flows; the galaxies within this surface lie within our home supercluster.
The discovery of two stable peaks at frequencies with a ratio of 3:2 in the power spectrum of X-ray emission from the brightest X-ray source in galaxy M82 suggests that, if the relationship between frequency and mass that holds for stellar-mass black holes can be extended to intermediate masses, the black hole believed to be the source of the emission has a mass approximately 400 times that of the Sun.
Inclusions dissolved in a colloidal membrane assemble into highly uniform finite-sized liquid droplets or rafts consisting of thousands of molecules.
Microbial community responses in soils from the Arctic to the Amazon often enhance the longer-term temperature sensitivity of respiration, particularly in soils with high carbon-to-nitrogen ratios and in soils from cold regions, suggesting that carbon stored in Arctic and boreal soils could be more vulnerable to climate warming than currently predicted.
Three-dimensional numerical models of the interaction of a mantle plume with a rheologically realistic lithosphere predict complex surface evolution very different from the smooth, radially symmetric patterns usually assumed to be the signature of a mantle upwelling, with strongly asymmetric small-scale three-dimensional features such as rifts and linear fault structures.
RIPK1 is shown to have a crucial role—independent of its known kinase function—in suppressing epithelial cell apoptosis and necroptosis in mice, thereby regulating homeostasis and preventing inflammation in barrier tissues.
This study provides evidence for a critical role of RIPK1 in suppressing caspase-8-mediated cell death and maintaining intestinal homeostasis independently of its kinase activity.
Many patients with cancer experience cachexia, a wasting disorder of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle that leads to weight loss and frailty; now, tumour-derived parathyroid-hormone-related protein has been shown to stimulate the expression of genes involved in heat production in adipose tissues and to have an important role in tissue wasting.
BRAF mutations occur frequently in melanomas, but patients generally develop resistance to agents targeting mutant BRAF; now, the persistent formation of the translation initiation complex eIF4F has been described as an indicator of multiple mechanisms of resistance that arise in BRAF-mutated tumours and as a promising therapeutic target.
Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and IDH2 are among the most common genetic alterations in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IHCC), a deadly liver cancer. Mutant IDH proteins in IHCC and other malignancies acquire an abnormal enzymatic activity allowing them to convert α-ketoglutarate (αKG) to 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), which inhibits the activity of multiple αKG-dependent dioxygenases, and results in alterations in cell differentiation, survival, and extracellular matrix maturation. However, the molecular pathways by which IDH mutations lead to tumour formation remain unclear. Here we show that mutant IDH blocks liver progenitor cells from undergoing hepatocyte differentiation through the production of 2HG and suppression of HNF-4α, a master regulator of hepatocyte identity and quiescence. Correspondingly, genetically engineered mouse models expressing mutant IDH in the adult liver show an aberrant response to hepatic injury, characterized by HNF-4α silencing, impaired hepatocyte differentiation, and markedly elevated levels of cell proliferation. Moreover, IDH and Kras mutations, genetic alterations that co-exist in a subset of human IHCCs, cooperate to drive the expansion of liver progenitor cells, development of premalignant biliary lesions, and progression to metastatic IHCC. These studies provide a functional link between IDH mutations, hepatic cell fate, and IHCC pathogenesis, and present a novel genetically engineered mouse model of IDH-driven malignancy.
Using a new method to estimate DNA methylation turnover rate, embryonic stem cells are shown to lack clonal transmission of methylation but still maintain a stable epigenetic state, whereas somatic cells transmit methylation clonally but lose epigenetic state coherence owing to the persistence of accumulated methylation errors.
The authors perform saturation mutagenesis of genomic regions in their native endogenous chromosomal context by using CRISPR/Cas9 RNA-guided cleavage and multiplex homology-directed repair; its utility is demonstrated by measuring the effects of hundreds to thousands of genomic edits to BRCA1 and DBR1 on splicing and cellular fitness, respectively.
The X-ray crystal structure of human GPR40 receptor in the presence of TAK-875, an orally available, potent and selective human GPR40 agonist.