The European Research Council has begun to evaluate the impact of its grants; others should do the same.
US lawmakers should give drug firms the confidence to test paediatric cancer therapies.
Nature and the Nature journals are diversifying their presentation of performance indicators.
Presidential candidates begin to make clear their stark differences on climate change, energy production and stem-cell research.
Astrobiologists debate which chemical signatures would hint at life on other worlds.
Puzzling distribution of cases suggests Zika is not the only factor in reported microcephaly surge.
Gene-editing technique to treat lung cancer is due to be tested in people in August.
European Research Council embarks on an unusual evaluation that could inspire others.
Craft due to launch in August is first in a wave of planned quantum space experiments.
To tell whether Greenland’s glacial cap will melt away any time soon, researchers are poring over old photographs and drawings for clues to its past behaviour.
A Belgian lab aims to turn the brewing world on its head with new strains of yeast.
News & Views
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Fast phasic signals in dopaminergic axons in the dorsal striatum occur during, and can induce, motor accelerations in mice, and these signals are transmitted by a largely distinct population of dopaminergic axons from those that signal reward.
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.
Structural studies show that the activity of the G-protein-coupled receptor Smoothened is modulated by ligand-regulated interactions between its extracellular and transmembrane domains.
Simulations of dwarf galaxies that include photoelectric grain heating and supernovae indicate that the former is the dominant means by which these galaxies regulate their star formation rate, because the latter are unable to account for the observed large gas depletion times.
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.
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.
In coupled climate model simulations the strength of major oceanic fronts associated with western boundary currents—tremendous conveyors of ocean heat towards the poles—is systematically underestimated, but this can be addressed by resolving not only ocean mesoscale eddies but, more importantly, their feedback with the atmosphere.
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.
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.
A native Amazonian society rated consonant and dissonant chords and vocal harmonies as equally pleasant, whereas Bolivian city- and town-dwellers preferred consonance, indicating that preference for consonance over dissonance is not universal and probably develops from exposure to particular types of polyphonic music.
In a mouse model of ischaemia, mitochondrial particles released from astroctyes are taken up by adjacent neurons, leading to enhanced cell survival signalling; disruption of this release mechanism resulted in worsened neurological outcomes.
A phase IIa clinical trial shows that the administration of the broadly neutralizing antibody 3BNC117 delays viral rebound following the discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy in patients who were chronically infected with HIV-1.
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.
A combination of single-molecule techniques shows that the repair proteins XRCC4 and XLF form heteromeric mobile sleeve-like complexes that can bridge and hold together fragments of broken DNA.
A translation complex sequencing approach has been developed enabling intermediates of all mRNA-associated processes of translation to be isolated and localized across the transcriptome; the results support longstanding models of initiation and termination and offer new mechanistic insights.
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.