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Pluto's telltale heart p.42

Studies of a large frost-filled basin on Pluto show that this feature altered the dwarf planet's spin axis, driving tectonic activity on its surface, and hint at the presence of a subsurface ocean. See Letters p.86, p.90, p.94 & p.97

Amy C. Barr

doi: 10.1038/540042a


Double agents for mitochondrial division p.43

Mitochondrial organelles — the energy powerhouses of the cell — must divide and fuse dynamically to function. It emerges that two distinct dynamin enzymes enable mitochondrial division. See Letter p.139

Heidi M. McBride & Adam Frost

doi: 10.1038/nature20482


Efficient fault tolerance p.44

Dealing with errors in a quantum computer typically requires complex programming and many additional quantum bits. A technique for controlling errors has been proposed that alleviates both of these problems.

Daniel Gottesman

doi: 10.1038/nature20479


Sort of unexpected p.45

To reach the cell surface, membrane proteins are first targeted to an organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum. Several targeting pathways are known, but it now emerges that there is yet another pathway. See Letter p.134

Martin R. Pool

doi: 10.1038/540045a


Projections of the soil-carbon deficit p.47

Changes in the amount of carbon stored in soil might be a crucial feedback to climate change. Experimental field studies show that warming-induced soil carbon losses are greatest where carbon stocks are largest. See Letter p.104

Eric A. Davidson

doi: 10.1038/540047a


A black hole changes its feeding habits p.48

In the 1980s, the gas surrounding a black hole in a nearby galaxy began to emit much more radiation than before. This change has unexpectedly reversed in the past five years, questioning our understanding of these extreme phenomena.

Stephanie LaMassa

doi: 10.1038/nature20480


Wild times p.49

Little is known about the biological rhythms that emerge from social behaviours in the wild. A study of shorebird pairs shows that rhythms of nest-incubation duties are mainly governed by strategies to avoid predators. See Letter p.109

C. Loren Buck

doi: 10.1038/nature20481



Stem cells and interspecies chimaeras p.51

A comprehensive review into mammalian interspecies chimaeras, documenting the advances that have occurred alongside developments in stem-cell biology and assessing the future of the field, including any possible ethical and legal issues.

Jun Wu, Henry T. Greely, Rudolf Jaenisch, Hiromitsu Nakauchi, Janet Rossant & Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

doi: 10.1038/nature20573


Organization and functions of mGlu and GABAB receptor complexes p.60

This Review discusses current knowledge of the structure, function and interactions of the metabotropic glutamate and GABAB receptors and the potential to target receptor subunits for future therapeutic intervention in neurological and mental health disorders.

doi: 10.1038/nature20566



The genomic basis of circadian and circalunar timing adaptations in a midge OPEN p.69

Genomic and molecular analyses of Clunio marinus timing strains suggest that modulation of alternative splicing of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II represents a mechanism for evolutionary adaptation of circadian timing.

Tobias S. Kaiser, Birgit Poehn, David Szkiba, Marco Preussner, Fritz J. Sedlazeck, Alexander Zrim, Tobias Neumann, Lam-Tung Nguyen, Andrea J. Betancourt, Thomas Hummel + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20151

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Correcting mitochondrial fusion by manipulating mitofusin conformations p.74

Specific intramolecular interactions of mitofusin 2 amino acid sequences either constrain or permit mitochondrial fusion and the addition of short peptides matching these sequences stabilize the fusion-constrained or fusion-permissive form, thus inhibiting or promoting mitochondrial fusion.

Antonietta Franco, Richard N. Kitsis, Julie A. Fleischer, Evripidis Gavathiotis, Opher S. Kornfeld, Guohua Gong, Nikolaos Biris, Ann Benz, Nir Qvit, Sara K. Donnelly + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20156

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The pathway to GTPase activation of elongation factor SelB on the ribosome p.80

The structures of several states on the pathway of SelB-mediated delivery of selenocysteine-specific tRNA to the ribosome in Escherichia coli reveal the mechanism of UGA stop codon recoding to selenocysteine and show how codon recognition triggers activation of translational GTPases.

Niels Fischer, Piotr Neumann, Lars V. Bock, Cristina Maracci, Zhe Wang, Alena Paleskava, Andrey L. Konevega, Gunnar F Schröder, Helmut Grubmüller, Ralf Ficner + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20560

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The rapid formation of Sputnik Planitia early in Pluto’s history p.97

Modelling suggests that the icy region on Pluto known as Sputnik Planitia formed shortly after Charon did and has since been stable, with its latitude corresponding to a minimum in annual solar illumination and its longitude determined by tidal forces from Charon.

Douglas P. Hamilton, S. A. Stern, J. M. Moore & L. A. Young

doi: 10.1038/nature20586

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Ghost imaging with atoms p.100

Ghost imaging is demonstrated using beams of correlated pairs of ultracold helium atoms, rather than photons, yielding a reconstructed image with submillimetre resolution.

R. I. Khakimov, B. M. Henson, D. K. Shin, S. S. Hodgman, R. G. Dall, K. G. H. Baldwin & A. G. Truscott

doi: 10.1038/nature20154

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Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming p.104

A compilation of global soil carbon data from field experiments provides empirical evidence that warming-induced net losses of soil carbon could accelerate climate change.

T. W. Crowther, K. E. O. Todd-Brown, C. W. Rowe, W. R. Wieder, J. C. Carey, M. B. Machmuller, B. L. Snoek, S. Fang, G. Zhou, S. D. Allison + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20150

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Unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds p.109

Socially synchronized rhythms in shorebirds were assessed during biparental incubation under natural circumstances and were exceptionally diverse, often not following the 24-h day, whereby risk of predation, not starvation, determined some of the variation in incubation rhythms.

Martin Bulla, Mihai Valcu, Adriaan M. Dokter, Alexei G. Dondua, András Kosztolányi, Anne L. Rutten, Barbara Helm, Brett K. Sandercock, Bruce Casler, Bruno J. Ens + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20563

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Genomic evolution and chemoresistance in germ-cell tumours p.114

Genomic analyses show that primary germ-cell tumours are highly enriched for chromosomal reciprocal loss of heterozygosity, mutations in KRAS and have high mitochondrial priming, providing insight into chemosensitivity and the evolution of chemoresistance in this disease.

Amaro Taylor-Weiner, Travis Zack, Elizabeth O’Donnell, Jennifer L. Guerriero, Brandon Bernard, Anita Reddy, G. Celine Han, Saud AlDubayan, Ali Amin-Mansour, Steven E. Schumacher + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20596

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Inhibition of mTOR induces a paused pluripotent state p.119

Inhibition of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) suspends mouse blastocyst development and the cells remain ‘paused’ in a reversible pluripotent state, allowing prolonged culture.

Aydan Bulut-Karslioglu, Steffen Biechele, Hu Jin, Trisha A. Macrae, Miroslav Hejna, Marina Gertsenstein, Jun S. Song & Miguel Ramalho-Santos

doi: 10.1038/nature20578

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RIPK1 counteracts ZBP1-mediated necroptosis to inhibit inflammation p.124

The enzyme RIPK1 functions through its RHIM domain to prevent ZBP1-mediated activation of RIPK3–MLKL-dependent necroptosis, thus preventing perinatal lethality and skin inflammation in adult mice.

Juan Lin, Snehlata Kumari, Chun Kim, Trieu-My Van, Laurens Wachsmuth, Apostolos Polykratis & Manolis Pasparakis

doi: 10.1038/nature20558

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RIPK1 inhibits ZBP1-driven necroptosis during development p.129

In the absence of RIPK1, ZBP1 engages RIPK3 in a RHIM-dependent manner and acts as a critical activator of RIPK3/MLKL-dependent necroptosis.

Kim Newton, Katherine E. Wickliffe, Allie Maltzman, Debra L. Dugger, Andreas Strasser, Victoria C. Pham, Jennie R. Lill, Merone Roose-Girma, Søren Warming, Margaret Solon + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20559

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The SND proteins constitute an alternative targeting route to the endoplasmic reticulum p.134

Experiments in yeast cells show that three proteins—Snd1, Snd2 and Snd3—provide an alternative pathway for targeting of cellular proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum.

Naama Aviram, Tslil Ast, Elizabeth A. Costa, Eric C. Arakel, Silvia G. Chuartzman, Calvin H. Jan, Sarah Haßdenteufel, Johanna Dudek, Martin Jung, Stefan Schorr + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20169

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In vivo genome editing via CRISPR/Cas9 mediated homology-independent targeted integration p.144

A method for CRISPR-based genome editing that harnesses cellular non-homologous end joining activity to achieve targeted DNA knock-in in non-dividing tissues.

Keiichiro Suzuki, Yuji Tsunekawa, Reyna Hernandez-Benitez, Jun Wu, Jie Zhu, Euiseok J. Kim, Fumiyuki Hatanaka, Mako Yamamoto, Toshikazu Araoka, Zhe Li + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20565

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