Researchers, bioethicists and regulators must contribute to transparent disscussions on the risks and ethics of editing human embryos.
The fossil-fuel divestment campaign raises important questions but offers few solutions.
Government’s decision to plunder university funds shows lack of respect for science.
Relationship between traditionally pacifist research community and military is changing.
Unknown satellites pose danger to New Horizons mission as it journeys to the edge of the Solar System.
Portable device offers on-the-spot data to fight disease, catalogue species and more.
Academics suggest other ways to cut carbon emissions on campus and beyond.
High-energy particles at centre of Milky Way now within scope of Large Hadron Collider.
Catalogue of genetic differences between woolly mammoths and elephants reveals how ice-age giants braved the cold.
When and how to exit research has become a charged issue in science.
After years of second-class status in research partnerships, African scientists are calling for change.
News & Views
Experimental work on guppies suggests that variation in light between microhabitats is what makes females prefer different male signal combinations, thus explaining the evolution and persistence of colour variation in males.
Boosting the T cells that mediate anticancer immune responses is a therapeutic goal. But T cells do not work alone — B cells and the antibodies they produce can both trigger and suppress the response. See Letters p.94 & p.99
Tiny circuit elements called memristors have been used as connections in an artificial neural network – enabling the system to learn to recognize letters of the alphabet from imperfect images. See Letter p.61
Two studies provide evidence that bees cannot taste or avoid neonicotinoid pesticides, and that exposure to treated crops affects reproduction in solitary bees as well as bumblebee colony growth and reproduction. See Letters p.74 & p.77
A new feathered dinosaur from China, belonging to an obscure and strange carnivorous group, bears a seemingly bony wrist structure that may have had a role in flight. See Letter p.70
Porous polymers have joined the ranks of light-activated catalysts that split water into hydrogen, a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels. Their properties are easily tuned — a big plus for the development of practically useful catalysts.
Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, up to four frequently occurring colorectal cancer mutations were introduced alone or in combination into stem cell organoids derived from human small intestinal or colon tissue, allowing an in-depth investigation of the contribution of these mutations to cancer progression.
An extremely young star-forming region caught at gravitational collapse in a distant galaxy is shedding new light on the processes driving galaxy growth in the early Universe.
Observations of the south pole of the Saturnian moon Enceladus revealed large rifts in the terrain that were found to be the sources of the observed jets of water vapour; now it is shown that much of the eruptive activity can be explained by broad, curtain-like eruptions, many of which were probably misinterpreted previously as discrete jets.
A transistor-free metal-oxide memristor crossbar with low device variability is realised and trained to perform a simple classification task, opening the way to integrated neuromorphic networks of a complexity comparable to that of the human brain, with high operational speed and manageable power dissipation.
Internal oceanic waves are subsurface gravity waves that can be enormous and travel thousands of kilometres before breaking but they are difficult to study; here observations of such waves in the South China Sea reveal their formation mechanism, extreme turbulence, relationship to the Kuroshio Current and energy budget.
A recently discovered fossil belonging to the Scansoriopterygidae, a group of bizarre dinosaurs closely related to birds, represents a new scansoriopterygid species and preserves evidence of a membranous aerodynamic surface very different from a classic avian wing.
It has been suggested that the negative effects on bees of neonicotinoid pesticides could be averted in field conditions if they chose not to forage on treated nectar; here field-level neonicotinoid doses are used in laboratory experiments to show that honeybees and bumblebees do not avoid neonicotinoid-treated food and instead actually prefer it.
Neonicotinoid seed coating is associated with reduced density of wild bees, as well as reduced nesting of solitary bees and reduced colony growth and reproduction of bumblebees, but appears not to affect honeybees.
An analysis of how regional mutation rates vary across 652 tumours identifies variable DNA mismatch repair as the basis of the characteristic regional variation in mutation rates seen across the human genome; the results show that differential DNA repair, rather than differential mutation supply, is likely to be the primary cause of this variation.
Anatomical and functional analyses reveal the existence of two types of globus pallidus externus neurons that directly control cortex, suggesting a pathway by which dopaminergic drugs used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders may act in the basal ganglia to modulate cortex.
Microbially driven dichotomous faecal immunoglobulin-A levels in wild-type mice within the same facility mimic the effects of chromosomal mutations, indicating that phenotypic comparisons between mice must take into account the non-chromosomal hereditary variation between different breeders.
IgA plasmocytes are shown to promote resistance to the immunogenic chemotherapeutic oxaliplatin in prostate cancer mouse models by inhibiting activation of cytotoxic T cells; immunosuppressive plasma cells, which are also found in human-therapy-resistant prostate cancer, are generated in response to TGFβ, and their functionality depends on PD-L1 expression and IL-10 secretion.
Naturally occurring tumour-binding IgG antibodies are shown to initiate the rejection of allogeneic tumours, whereby Fc-receptor-mediated uptake of tumour immune complexes into dendritic cells activates tumour-reactive T cells, and intra-tumoral injection of allogeneic IgG together with dendritic cell adjuvants induces systemic T-cell-mediated antitumour responses.
Glycopeptide antibiotics are biosynthesized by non-ribosomal peptide synthetases, which contain a previously uncharacterized ‘X-domain’ now shown to recruit three cytochrome P450 oxygenases that are necessary for the antibiotics to achieve their final, active conformation.