Volume 535 Number 7613



News Features

News & Views

Amazon music p.496

The people of a tribe called the Tsimane, who have been isolated from Western music, perceive music differently from Western listeners, raising questions about whether musical preference is innate or cultural. See Letter p. 547

doi: 10.1038/nature18913

Unexpected fix for ocean models p.497

Computational models persistently underestimate strong currents that redistribute ocean heat. This problem is solved in models in which ocean eddies are damped by coupling of the atmosphere with the sea. See Letter p.533

doi: 10.1038/535497a

Mitochondrial DNA in evolution and disease p.498

Cellular organelles called mitochondria contain their own DNA. The discovery that variation in mitochondrial DNA alters physiology and lifespan in mice has implications for evolutionary biology and the origins of disease. See Letter p.561

doi: 10.1038/nature18902

Dynamo theory questioned p.500

Observations of X-ray emission — a diagnostic tool for the mechanisms driving stellar magnetic fields — from four cool stars call into question accepted models of magnetic-field generation in the Sun and stars. See Letter p.526

doi: 10.1038/535500a

Antibiotics right under our nose p.501

Bacteria that are normally resident in the body have many roles in supporting health. Researchers have now identified a bacterial resident of the nose that produces an antibiotic that is active against a pathogen. See Article p.511

doi: 10.1038/535501a

Thirty-five years of endless cell potential p.502

Pluripotent cells have the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body. Their isolation and propagation from mouse embryos was pivotal for advances in understanding human development and disease.

doi: 10.1038/535502a


Human commensals producing a novel antibiotic impair pathogen colonization p.511

The nasal commensal bacterium Staphylococcus lugdunensis produces a novel cyclic peptide antibiotic, lugdunin, that inhibits colonization by S. aureus in animal models and is associated with a significantly reduced S. aureus carriage rate in humans, suggesting that human commensal bacteria could be a valuable resource for the discovery of new antibiotics.

doi: 10.1038/nature18634


Solar-type dynamo behaviour in fully convective stars without a tachocline p.526

The relationship between the X-ray activity and rotation of a star is a well-established proxy for the behaviour of the stellar dynamo; observations of four fully convective stars for which this relationship is similar to that of solar-type stars imply that the same dynamo mechanism is at work despite their structural differences to the Sun.

doi: 10.1038/nature18638

Combinatorial design of textured mechanical metamaterials p.529

Lattices of cubic building blocks that deform anisotropically and that are designed to fit together like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle are 3D printed to create aperiodic, frustration-free, mechanical metamaterials; these metamaterials act as programmable shape-shifters and are able to perform pattern analysis.

doi: 10.1038/nature18960

High-resolution seismic constraints on flow dynamics in the oceanic asthenosphere p.538

Rayleigh waves recorded with an ocean-bottom seismograph array in the central Pacific Ocean constrain the seismic anisotropy within the oceanic lithosphere–asthenosphere system: seafloor-spreading-induced lithospheric fabric generates the strongest anisotropy, while density- and/or pressure-driven flow produces a secondary peak in anisotropy at the base of the asthenosphere.

doi: 10.1038/nature18012

A somitic contribution to the apical ectodermal ridge is essential for fin formation p.542

Invasion of a somite-derived cell population into the apical ectodermal ridge in zebrafish regulates apical fold induction during fin formation; ablation of these cells inhibits formation of the apical fold and increases the size of the underlying fin bud mesenchyme, suggesting that somite-derived cells play a key part in the evolutionary transition from fins to limbs.

doi: 10.1038/nature18953

Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA matching shapes metabolism and healthy ageing p.561

Conplastic mice that share the same nuclear genome but have different mitochondrial DNA were analysed throughout their life — the mitochondrial genome affects many aspects of physiology and results in differences in median lifespan; the authors propose that the interplay of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes may be an important factor influencing this phenomenon.

doi: 10.1038/nature18618

Structural organization of the inactive X chromosome in the mouse p.575

An in-depth analysis of the structure, chromatin accessibility and expression status of the mouse inactive X (Xi) chromosome provides insights into the regulation of Xi chromosome structure, its dependence on the macrosatellite DXZ4 region, the Xist non-coding RNA, as well as the basis for topologically associating domain (TAD) formation on the Xi.

doi: 10.1038/nature18589