Volume 538 Number 7626
Academia is more difficult than ever for young scientists. That’s bad for them, and bad for science
Failure of ExoMars lander will pave the way for the next mission.
Genetic analysis of historical virus samples proves the epidemic arrived by another route.
Researchers sift through clues after Schiaparelli crash in hopes of averting mistakes in 2020 mission.
Justin Trudeau draws praise for boosting budgets and unmuzzling scientists, but tough challenges lie ahead.
Florida ecologist uses a parody Twitter account as a way of highlighting issues in science and academia.
NASA’s New Horizons mission plumbs complex interplay between the dwarf planet's surface and its sky.
EMA becomes first major drugs agency to publish clinical-study reports online.
Protests over rising tuition fees have stopped classes, closed institutions and slowed research.
A special issue explores how the research enterprise keeps early-career scientists from pursuing the most important work, and what can be done to help.
Young researchers are having to fight harder than past generations for a smaller share of the academic pie.
Scientists starting labs say that they are under historically high pressure to publish, secure funding and earn permanent positions — leaving precious little time for actual research.
News & Views
A 16-year-old synthetic genetic circuit that produces gene-expression oscillations in bacterial cells has been given an upgrade, making it an exceptionally precise biological clock. See Letter p.514
In 1991, an energy-efficient solar cell was reported that was both simple in design and relatively inexpensive. This invention has since inspired the development of solar cells that have even higher efficiencies.
Variations in opinion between members of a community can be exploited to facilitate desirable changes in attitude, as exemplified by films that explore different beliefs about female genital cutting. See Letter p.506
Binary and multiple star systems result from the fragmentation of dense material in young molecular clouds. Observations reveal that this can occur on small scales, supporting a previous model of star formation. See Letter p.483
The human brain can solve highly abstract reasoning problems using a neural network that is entirely physical. The underlying mechanisms are only partially understood, but an artificial network provides valuable insight. See Article p.471
A discovery of the sound-producing vocal organ known as the syrinx in a bird fossil from the end of the 'age of dinosaurs' highlights the anatomical basis for myriad aspects of avian social and behavioural evolution. See Letter p.502
A ‘differentiable neural computer’ is introduced that combines the learning capabilities of a neural network with an external memory analogous to the random-access memory in a conventional computer.
S63845 specifically inhibits MCL1 and induces tumour cell death in vitro and in vivo in diverse cancer-derived cell lines with an acceptable safety margin.
Observations of the triple protostar system L1448 IRS3B support the hypothesis that companion stars can form because of gravitational instability in a protostellar disk.
The potassium isotope signature of lunar rocks supports the model of a high-energy giant impact as the origin of the Moon.
Simultaneous measurement of two incompatible observables in a superconducting qubit placed in a cavity shows that the quantum dynamics of the system is governed by the uncertainty principle and that the wavefunction collapse is replaced by persistent diffusion.
Resonance ionization spectroscopy of nobelium (atomic number 102) reveals its ground-state transition and an upper limit for its ionization potential, paving the way to characterizing even heavier elements via optical spectroscopy.
Analysis of observations and model projections provides large-scale emergent constraints on the extent of CO2 fertilization, with estimated increases in gross primary productivity for both high-latitude and extratropical ecosystems under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
Birds make sound in the syrinx, a unique vocal organ situated deep in the chest, but little is known about the evolution of this structure; a fossilized Cretaceous age syrinx from Antarctica is described from a species that might have been capable of making a goose-like honking sound.
Entertaining movies addressing both individual values and marriageability can provide a way to change cultural attitudes towards female genital cutting within certain cultures.
Analysis of ancient DNA from four individuals who lived in Vanuatu and Tonga between 2,300 and 3,100 years ago suggests that the Papuan ancestry seen in present-day occupants of this region was introduced at a later date.
The first synthetic genetic oscillator or ‘repressilator’ is simplified using insights from stochastic theory, thus achieving remarkably precise and robust oscillations and informing current debates about the next generation of synthetic circuits and their potential applications in cell-based therapies.
Here, leukaemia cells are followed by intravital microscopy as they infiltrate mouse bone marrow and respond to chemotherapy, revealing that at all stages analysed they are highly motile and do not display any associations with particular bone marrow sub-compartments.
High-resolution three-dimensional maps of chromatin contacts in the developing human brain help to identify enhancer–promoter contacts, many of which are associated with human cognitive function and disease.
Inactivation of three Tet genes in mice leads to gastrulation phenotypes similar to those in embryos with increased Nodal signalling, revealing a functional redundancy of Tet genes and showing balanced and dynamic DNA methylation and demethylation is crucial to regulate key signalling pathways in early body plan formation.
The observations that introns are acquired in bursts and that exons are often nucleosome-sized can be explained by the generation of introns from DNA transposons, which insert between nucleosomes.
X-ray structures of C. elegans TRIC-B subtype channels reveal that the membrane proteins form a symmetrical homotrimeric complex, and a mechanistic model to explain the complex gating mechanism of TRIC channels is proposed.