Volume 535 Number 7610



News Features

Back to the thesis p.22

Late nights, typos, self-doubt and despair. Three leading scientists dust off their theses, and reflect on what the PhD was like for them.

doi: 10.1038/535022a

News & Views

Rare data from a lost satellite p.40

The Hitomi astronomical satellite observed gas motions in the Perseus galaxy cluster shortly before losing contact with Earth. Its findings are invaluable to studies of cluster physics and cosmology. See Letter p.117

doi: 10.1038/535040a

In search of the memory molecule p.41

The protein PKM-ζ has been proposed to regulate the maintenance of memory in rodents, but this theory has been questioned. The finding that another isoform of the protein acts as a backup if PKM-ζ is lacking will influence this debate.

doi: 10.1038/nature18903

Quantum control of light-induced reactions p.42

An investigation of how ultracold molecules are broken apart by light reveals surprising, previously unobserved quantum effects. The work opens up avenues of research in quantum optics. See Letter p.122

doi: 10.1038/535042a

The rainforest's 'do not disturb' signs p.44

A study reveals that human-driven disturbances in previously undisturbed Amazon rainforest can cause biodiversity losses as severe as those of deforestation. Urgent policy interventions are needed to preserve forest quality. See Letter p.144

doi: 10.1038/nature18901

Species-specific motion detectors p.45

A range of neuronal mechanisms can enable animals to detect the direction of visual motion. Computational models now indicate that a factor as simple as eye size might explain some of this diversity. See Article p.105

doi: 10.1038/nature18454


Species-specific wiring for direction selectivity in the mammalian retina p.105

Directional selectivity in the detection of moving visual stimuli critically depends on starburst amacrine cells, which have been studied primarily in rabbit retina; a large-scale reconstruction of the mouse retina at a single-synapse level, along with experimental and theoretical analysis, shows that mouse retinal circuitry is adapted to the smaller eye size of mice.

doi: 10.1038/nature18609


The quiescent intracluster medium in the core of the Perseus cluster p.117

X-ray observations of the core of the Perseus cluster reveal a remarkably quiescent atmosphere in which the gas has a line-of-sight velocity dispersion of about 164 kilometres per second in the region 30–60 kiloparsecs from the central nucleus; turbulent pressure support in the gas is four per cent of the thermodynamic pressure, necessitating only a small correction to the total cluster mass determined from hydrostatic equilibrium.

doi: 10.1038/nature18627

Single-molecule strong coupling at room temperature in plasmonic nanocavities p.127

Placing a light emitter in an ultra-small optical cavity results in coupling between matter and light, generating new forms of emission that can be exploited in practical or fundamental applications; here, a system is described in which strong light–matter coupling occurs at room temperature and in ambient conditions by aligning single dye molecules in the optical cavities between gold nanoparticles and surfaces.

doi: 10.1038/nature17974

Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates p.140

Computer models of mantle convection with plate-like behaviour are used to demonstrate that the size–frequency distribution of tectonic plates on Earth is controlled by subduction geometry—the spacing between subducting slabs controls the layout of large plates, and the stresses caused by the bending of trenches break plates into smaller fragments.

doi: 10.1038/nature17992

Genetic dissection of Flaviviridae host factors through genome-scale CRISPR screens p.159

A CRISPR screening approach shows that endoplasmic-reticulum (ER)-associated protein complexes, including the oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) protein complex, are important for infection by dengue virus and other related mosquito-borne flaviviruses, whereas hepatitis C virus is dependent on distinct entry factors, RNA binding proteins and FAD biosynthesis.

doi: 10.1038/nature18631

The nature of mutations induced by replication–transcription collisions p.178

When transcription and replication machineries collide on DNA, they can cause mutations to occur in the area near the collision; these mutations are now shown to include two types—duplications/deletions within the transcription unit and base substitutions in the cis-regulatory element of gene expression.

doi: 10.1038/nature18316

Allosteric coupling from G protein to the agonist-binding pocket in GPCRs p.182

Here, pharmacological and biochemical evidence is provided that shows that G-protein coupling to the β2-adrenergic receptor stabilizes a ‘closed’ conformation of the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and that that the effects of the G protein on the ligand-binding site of the GPCR are observed even in the absence of a bound agonist.

doi: 10.1038/nature18324