Volume 528 Issue 7582

Editorials

Crop conundrum p.307

The EU should decide definitively whether gene-edited plants are covered by GM laws.

doi: 10.1038/528307b

A seismic shift p.307

After 25 years of divisive debate, the governments of the world unite in Paris to fight global warming. But the hard work must start now.

doi: 10.1038/528307a

Science for peace p.308

The German research community can benefit from the influx of migrants.

doi: 10.1038/528308a

News

News Features

News & Views

Recovery as nitrogen declines p.336

Pollution from atmospheric nitrogen deposition is a major threat to biodiversity. The 160-year-old Park Grass experiment has uniquely documented this threat and demonstrated how nitrogen reductions lead to recovery. See Letter p.401

doi: 10.1038/nature16320

Entanglement beyond identical ions p.337

Control of quantum particles has been extended to enable different types of ion to be entangled — correlated in a non-classical way. This opens up opportunities for the development of new quantum technologies. See Letters p.380 & p.384

doi: 10.1038/528337a

Experimental mismatch in neural circuits p.338

The finding that acute and chronic manipulations of the same neural circuit can produce different behavioural outcomes poses new questions about how best to analyse these circuits. See Article p.358

doi: 10.1038/nature16323

Curating communities from plants p.340

Large-scale cultivation and genome sequencing of the bacteria that inhabit the leaves and roots of Arabidopsis plants have paved the way for probing how microbial communities assemble and function. See Article p.364

doi: 10.1038/nature16319

A history of Greenland's ice loss p.341

Aerial photographs, remote-sensing observations and geological evidence together provide a reconstruction of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since 1900 — a great resource for climate scientists. See Letter p.396

doi: 10.1038/528341a

Twenty-five years of thesex-determining gene p.343

The discovery that the gene SRY on the mammalian Y chromosome drives testis development marked a turning point in the decades-long quest to understand the genetic underpinnings and evolution of sex determination.

doi: 10.1038/528343a

Review

Rarity in mass extinctions and the future of ecosystems p.345

The fossil record provides a nuanced view of ecosystem collapse over intervals of mass extinction, with abundant, biomineralizing and widespread species preferentially preserved; here the authors collate evidence for ‘mass rarity’ during these intervals, and suggest that the increasing rarity of modern species, rather than their outright extinction, may be a better metric for comparing the current biodiversity crisis to the ‘Big Five’ mass extinctions in the Earth’s history.

doi: 10.1038/nature16160

Articles

Acute off-target effects of neural circuit manipulations p.358

Transient manipulation of neural activity is widely used to probe the function of specific circuits, yet such targeted perturbations could also have indirect effects on downstream circuits that implement separate and independent functions; a study to test this reveals that transient perturbations of specific circuits in mammals and songbirds severely impair learned skills that recover spontaneously after permanent lesions of the same brain areas.

doi: 10.1038/nature16442

Functional overlap of the Arabidopsis leaf and root microbiota p.364

The microbiota of the rhizosphere (roots) and phyllosphere (leaves) of healthy plants consist of taxonomically structured bacterial communities; here the majority of species representing the main bacterial phyla from these two organs were isolated and genomes of about 400 representative bacteria were sequenced; the resources of cultured bacteria, corresponding genomes and a gnotobiotic plant system enabled an examination of the taxonomic overlap and functional specialization between the rhizosphere and phyllosphere bacterial microbiota.

doi: 10.1038/nature16192

Letters

Multi-element logic gates for trapped-ion qubits p.380

Harnessing the entanglement of different ionic species could bring new flexibility in quantum computing, and now two groups independently demonstrate entanglement between different atomic species; Tan et al. achieve entanglement between different elements, whereas the related paper by Ballance et al. shows entanglement between different atomic isotopes, together demonstrating a first step towards mixed-species quantum logic.

doi: 10.1038/nature16186

Hybrid quantum logic and a test of Bell’s inequality using two different atomic isotopes p.384

Harnessing the entanglement of different ionic species could bring new flexibility in quantum computing, and now two groups independently demonstrate entanglement between different atomic species; Ballance et al. achieve entanglement between different atomic isotopes, whereas the related paper by Tan et al. shows entanglement between different elements, together demonstrating a first step towards mixed-species quantum logic.

doi: 10.1038/nature16184

Radiative heat transfer in the extreme near field p.387

Nanoscale radiative heat transfer between both dielectric and metal surfaces separated by gaps as small as two nanometres is characterized by large gap-dependent heat transfer enhancements that are accurately modelled by the theoretical framework of fluctuational electrodynamics and has important implications for technological design.

doi: 10.1038/nature16070

Spatial and temporal distribution of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since AD 1900 p.396

The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to changes in temperature during the twentieth century remains contentious, largely owing to difficulties in estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of ice mass changes before 1992, when Greenland-wide observations first became available. The only previous estimates of change during the twentieth century are based on empirical modelling and energy balance modelling. Consequently, no observation-based estimates of the contribution from the GIS to the global-mean sea level budget before 1990 are included in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here we calculate spatial ice mass loss around the entire GIS from 1900 to the present using aerial imagery from the 1980s. This allows accurate high-resolution mapping of geomorphic features related to the maximum extent of the GIS during the Little Ice Age at the end of the nineteenth century. We estimate the total ice mass loss and its spatial distribution for three periods: 1900–1983 (75.1 ± 29.4 gigatonnes per year), 1983–2003 (73.8 ± 40.5 gigatonnes per year), and 2003–2010 (186.4 ± 18.9 gigatonnes per year). Furthermore, using two surface mass balance models we partition the mass balance into a term for surface mass balance (that is, total precipitation minus total sublimation minus runoff) and a dynamic term. We find that many areas currently undergoing change are identical to those that experienced considerable thinning throughout the twentieth century. We also reveal that the surface mass balance term shows a considerable decrease since 2003, whereas the dynamic term is constant over the past 110 years. Overall, our observation-based findings show that during the twentieth century the GIS contributed at least 25.0 ± 9.4 millimetres of global-mean sea level rise. Our result will help to close the twentieth-century sea level budget, which remains crucial for evaluating the reliability of models used to predict global sea level rise.

doi: 10.1038/nature16183

Neutrophils support lung colonization of metastasis-initiating breast cancer cells p.413

Despite progress in the development of drugs that efficiently target cancer cells, treatments for metastatic tumours are often ineffective. The now well-established dependency of cancer cells on their microenvironment suggests that targeting the non-cancer-cell component of the tumour might form a basis for the development of novel therapeutic approaches. However, the as-yet poorly characterized contribution of host responses during tumour growth and metastatic progression represents a limitation to exploiting this approach. Here we identify neutrophils as the main component and driver of metastatic establishment within the (pre-)metastatic lung microenvironment in mouse breast cancer models. Neutrophils have a fundamental role in inflammatory responses and their contribution to tumorigenesis is still controversial. Using various strategies to block neutrophil recruitment to the pre-metastatic site, we demonstrate that neutrophils specifically support metastatic initiation. Importantly, we find that neutrophil-derived leukotrienes aid the colonization of distant tissues by selectively expanding the sub-pool of cancer cells that retain high tumorigenic potential. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of the leukotriene-generating enzyme arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase (Alox5) abrogates neutrophil pro-metastatic activity and consequently reduces metastasis. Our results reveal the efficacy of using targeted therapy against a specific tumour microenvironment component and indicate that neutrophil Alox5 inhibition may limit metastatic progression.

doi: 10.1038/nature16140