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The sparrow with four sexes p.482

Elaina Tuttle spent her life trying to understand the bizarre chromosome evolution of a common bird — until tragedy struck.

Carrie Arnold

doi: 10.1038/539482a

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News & Views

Clamping down on copy errors p.498

Repair enzymes must communicate across hundreds of nucleotides to undo errors made during DNA replication. Imaging reveals that the enzymes do this by forming a series of ring-like clamps that diffuse along the DNA. See Letter p.583

Neil M. Kad & Bennett Van Houten

doi: 10.1038/nature20475

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Polymers make charge flow easy p.499

Organic semiconductor devices require good electrical contacts with conducting materials, but such contacts are often inefficient. An approach that tackles this problem will enable a wide range of applications. See Letter p.536

Antonio Facchetti

doi: 10.1038/539499a

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Insect invasions and natural selection p.500

Observations of a real-time invasion of Australia by Asian honeybees demonstrate how natural selection can allow a small founding population to overcome the genetic odds stacked against success.

Amro Zayed

doi: 10.1038/nature20472

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Flexible graphene strengthens friction p.502

Previous observations showed that friction on graphene increases gradually when a probe starts to slide across the material's surface. Simulations now reveal that this effect is related to bending of the graphene sheet. See Letter p.541

Astrid S. de Wijn

doi: 10.1038/539502a

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A mitochondrial brake on vascular repair p.503

Injured blood vessels are repaired by vascular smooth-muscle cells. It emerges that the protein Fat1 regulates the proliferation of these cells by inhibiting the function of mitochondria. See Letter p.575

Charles E. de Bock & Rick F. Thorne

doi: 10.1038/nature20476

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Improving the image of nanoparticles p.505

A biocompatible probe that combines fluorescent nanodiamonds and gold nanoparticles allows cells to be imaged using both optical and electron microscopy techniques, opening up fresh opportunities for biological research.

Christopher S. Wood & Molly M. Stevens

doi: 10.1038/nature20478

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A war over water when bacteria invade leaves p.506

Plants and bacteria battle for control of water during leaf infection, as is demonstrated by a bacterial species that manipulates plant cells to create a water-rich environment that promotes bacterial growth. See Article p. 524

Gwyn A. Beattie

doi: 10.1038/539506a

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Review

Emergent phenomena induced by spin–orbit coupling at surfaces and interfaces p.509

The interplay between spin–orbit coupling and two-dimensionality has led to the emergence of new phases of matter, such as spin-polarized surface states in topological insulators, interfacial chiral spin interactions, and magnetic skyrmions in thin films, with great potential for spin-based devices.

Anjan Soumyanarayanan, Nicolas Reyren, Albert Fert & Christos Panagopoulos

doi: 10.1038/nature19820

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Articles

Developmental mechanisms of stripe patterns in rodents p.518

Alx3-induced modulation of Mitf expression alters melanocyte differentiation and gives rise to the hair colour differences underlying the repeated evolution of dorsal stripes in rodents.

Ricardo Mallarino, Corneliu Henegar, Mercedes Mirasierra, Marie Manceau, Carsten Schradin, Mario Vallejo, Slobodan Beronja, Gregory S. Barsh & Hopi E. Hoekstra

doi: 10.1038/nature20109

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Bacteria establish an aqueous living space in plants crucial for virulence p.524

A combination of high humidity and bacterial effectors, such as Pseudomonas syringae HopM1, creates an aqueous environment in the apoplast of immunodeficient Arabidopsis thaliana that allows non-pathogenic P. syringae strains to become virulent pathogens.

Xiu-Fang Xin, Kinya Nomura, Kyaw Aung, André C. Velásquez, Jian Yao, Freddy Boutrot, Jeff H. Chang, Cyril Zipfel & Sheng Yang He

doi: 10.1038/nature20166

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The mechanism of force transmission at bacterial focal adhesion complexes p.530

The mystery of how bacteria that lack motile structures such as pili or flagella can ‘glide’ along surfaces is solved by a detailed description of the bacterial focal adhesion complex and its associated protein machinery.

Laura M. Faure, Jean-Bernard Fiche, Leon Espinosa, Adrien Ducret, Vivek Anantharaman, Jennifer Luciano, Sébastien Lhospice, Salim T. Islam, Julie Tréguier, Mélanie Sotes + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20121

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Letters

Doped polymer semiconductors with ultrahigh and ultralow work functions for ohmic contacts p.536

A general strategy for producing solution-processed doped polymers with the extreme work functions that are required to make good ohmic contacts to semiconductors is demonstrated in high-performance light-emitting diodes, transistors and solar cells.

Cindy G. Tang, Mervin C. Y. Ang, Kim-Kian Choo, Venu Keerthi, Jun-Kai Tan, Mazlan Nur Syafiqah, Thomas Kugler, Jeremy H. Burroughes, Rui-Qi Png, Lay-Lay Chua + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20133

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The evolving quality of frictional contact with graphene p.541

Atomistic simulations reproduce experimental observations of transient frictional strengthening of graphene on an amorphous silicon substrate, an effect which diminishes as the number of graphene layers increases.

Suzhi Li, Qunyang Li, Robert W. Carpick, Peter Gumbsch, Xin Z. Liu, Xiangdong Ding, Jun Sun & Ju Li

doi: 10.1038/nature20135

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Catalytic activation of carbon–carbon bonds in cyclopentanones p.546

In the chemical industry, it is often necessary to activate carbon–carbon bonds in order to synthesize complex organic molecules, but this is challenging when starting with simple five- or six-membered carbon rings; a new method uses a rhodium pre-catalyst and an amino-pyridine co-catalyst, enabling an overall energetically favourable reaction that involves activation of carbon–carbon bonds plus activation of carbon–hydrogen bonds.

Ying Xia, Gang Lu, Peng Liu & Guangbin Dong

doi: 10.1038/nature19849

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Magnetic reversals from planetary dynamo waves p.551

Polarity reversals caused by dynamo waves are demonstrated in a magnetohydrodynamic model that is relevant to planetary cores, suggesting a possible mechanism of geomagnetic reversals.

Andrey Sheyko, Christopher C. Finlay & Andrew Jackson

doi: 10.1038/nature19842

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A cannabinoid link between mitochondria and memory p.555

Cannabinoids affect CB1 receptors on the mitochondrial membranes in the brain, triggering a decrease in downstream cAMP-dependent signalling; this leads to a decrease in brain mitochondrial activity and to cannabinoid-induced amnesia.

Etienne Hebert-Chatelain, Tifany Desprez, Román Serrat, Luigi Bellocchio, Edgar Soria-Gomez, Arnau Busquets-Garcia, Antonio Christian Pagano Zottola, Anna Delamarre, Astrid Cannich, Peggy Vincent + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20127

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Designer matrices for intestinal stem cell and organoid culture p.560

The authors have designed modular synthetic hydrogel networks for mouse and human intestinal stem cell cultures that support intestinal organoid formation.

Nikolce Gjorevski, Norman Sachs, Andrea Manfrin, Sonja Giger, Maiia E. Bragina, Paloma Ordóñez-Morán, Hans Clevers & Matthias P. Lutolf

doi: 10.1038/nature20168

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Different tissue phagocytes sample apoptotic cells to direct distinct homeostasis programs p.565

Apoptotic intestinal epithelial cells can be sampled by lamina propria phagocytes, leading to distinct phagocyte-type-specific anti-inflammatory gene signatures and dendritic-cell-mediated induction of regulatory T cells.

Ryan J. Cummings, Gaetan Barbet, Gerold Bongers, Boris M. Hartmann, Kyle Gettler, Luciana Muniz, Glaucia C. Furtado, Judy Cho, Sergio A. Lira & J. Magarian Blander

doi: 10.1038/nature20138

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Macrophages redirect phagocytosis by non-professional phagocytes and influence inflammation p.570

Macrophage-derived insulin-like growth factor enhances the uptake of microvesicles by non-professional phagocytes, such as airway epithelial cells and fibroblasts, thereby dampening tissue inflammation.

Claudia Z. Han, Ignacio J. Juncadella, Jason M. Kinchen, Monica W. Buckley, Alexander L. Klibanov, Kelly Dryden, Suna Onengut-Gumuscu, Uta Erdbrügger, Stephen D. Turner, Yun M. Shim + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20141

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Control of mitochondrial function and cell growth by the atypical cadherin Fat1 p.575

Fragments of the atypical cadherin Fat1 accumulate in the mitochondria of vascular smooth muscle cells where they reduce respiration, leading to a regulated proliferative response to arterial injury.

Longyue L. Cao, Dario F. Riascos-Bernal, Prameladevi Chinnasamy, Charlene M. Dunaway, Rong Hou, Mario A. Pujato, Brian P. O’Rourke, Veronika Miskolci, Liang Guo, Louis Hodgson + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20170

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Mechanism of super-assembly of respiratory complexes III and IV p.579

SCAF1 is always required for the interaction between the respiratory chain complexes III and IV, and in animals carrying only the short isoform of SCAF1, the respirasome is absent in most tissues, with the exception of heart and skeletal muscle, where COX7A2 is present instead of SCAF1.

Sara Cogliati, Enrique Calvo, Marta Loureiro, Adela M. Guaras, Rocio Nieto-Arellano, Carolina Garcia-Poyatos, Iakes Ezkurdia, Nadia Mercader, Jesús Vázquez & José Antonio Enriquez

doi: 10.1038/nature20157

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Cascading MutS and MutL sliding clamps control DNA diffusion to activate mismatch repair p.583

MutS and MutL—the highly conserved core proteins responsible for the repair of mismatched DNA—form sequential stable sliding clamps that together modulate one-dimensional diffusion along the DNA and, with MutH, facilitate the search for a distant excision initiation site.

Jiaquan Liu, Jeungphill Hanne, Brooke M. Britton, Jared Bennett, Daehyung Kim, Jong-Bong Lee & Richard Fishel

doi: 10.1038/nature20562

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Genetic and mechanistic diversity of piRNA 3′-end formation p.588

Small regulatory RNAs guide Argonaute (Ago) proteins in a sequence-specific manner to their targets and therefore have important roles in eukaryotic gene silencing. Of the three small RNA classes, microRNAs and short interfering RNAs are processed from double-stranded precursors into defined 21- to 23-mers by Dicer, an endoribonuclease with intrinsic ruler function. PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs)—the 22–30-nt-long guides for PIWI-clade Ago proteins that silence transposons in animal gonads—are generated independently of Dicer from single-stranded precursors. piRNA 5′ ends are defined either by Zucchini, the Drosophila homologue of mitoPLD—a mitochondria-anchored endonuclease, or by piRNA-guided target cleavage. Formation of piRNA 3′ ends is poorly understood. Here we report that two genetically and mechanistically distinct pathways generate piRNA 3′ ends in Drosophila. The initiating nucleases are either Zucchini or the PIWI-clade proteins Aubergine (Aub) or Ago3. While Zucchini-mediated cleavages directly define mature piRNA 3′ ends, Aub/Ago3-mediated cleavages liberate pre-piRNAs that require extensive resection by the 3′-to-5′ exoribonuclease Nibbler (Drosophila homologue of Mut-7). The relative activity of these two pathways dictates the extent to which piRNAs are directed to cytoplasmic or nuclear PIWI-clade proteins and thereby sets the balance between post-transcriptional and transcriptional silencing. Notably, loss of both Zucchini and Nibbler reveals a minimal, Argonaute-driven small RNA biogenesis pathway in which piRNA 5′ and 3′ ends are directly produced by closely spaced Aub/Ago3-mediated cleavage events. Our data reveal a coherent model for piRNA biogenesis, and should aid the mechanistic dissection of the processes that govern piRNA 3′-end formation.

Rippei Hayashi, Jakob Schnabl, Dominik Handler, Fabio Mohn, Stefan L. Ameres & Julius Brennecke

doi: 10.1038/nature20162

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