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Double trouble for tumours p.34

When some cancer cells delete a tumour-suppressor gene, they also delete nearby genes. It emerges that one of these latter genes has a key metabolic role, revealing a therapeutic opportunity that might be relevant for many tumours. See Letter p.119

Giulia Biffi & David A. Tuveson

doi: 10.1038/nature21117


Nanoparticle atoms pinpointed p.35

The locations of atoms in a metallic alloy nanoparticle have been determined using a combination of electron microscopy and image simulation, revealing links between the particle's structure and magnetic properties. See Letter p.75

Michael Farle

doi: 10.1038/542035a


The final frontier in cancer diagnosis p.36

A computer, trained to classify skin cancers using image analysis alone, can now identify certain cancers as successfully as can skin-cancer doctors. What are the implications for the future of medical diagnosis? See Letter p.115

Sancy A. Leachman & Glenn Merlino

doi: 10.1038/nature21492


Vast peatlands found in the Congo Basin p.38

The discovery of what is potentially the world's largest continuous tropical peat complex has great implications for global carbon stocks, land management and scientific investment in central Africa. See Letter p.86

Lola Fatoyinbo

doi: 10.1038/542038b


Growth factor rattled out of its cage p.40

The growth factor TGF-ß1 is located inside a protein cage, and is thought to be released by force applied through integrin proteins. A structure of TGF-ß1 in complex with integrin αVß6 sheds light on the uncaging process. See Article p.55

Taekjip Ha

doi: 10.1038/nature21119


Making a mountain out of a plateau p.41

A theory proposed in 2015 suggested that relatively flat surfaces in mountain ranges were formed by the reorganization of river networks. A fresh analysis rebuts this idea, reigniting discussion of a long-standing problem in Earth science.

Hugh Sinclair

doi: 10.1038/542041a



IL-17 is a neuromodulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sensory responses p.43

Interleukin-17 functions as a neuromodulator in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, acting directly on RMG hub interneurons to alter their response properties and contribution to behaviour.

Changchun Chen, Eisuke Itakura, Geoffrey M. Nelson, Ming Sheng, Patrick Laurent, Lorenz A. Fenk, Rebecca A. Butcher, Ramanujan S. Hegde & Mario de Bono

doi: 10.1038/nature20818

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The role of fatty acid β-oxidation in lymphangiogenesis p.49

The lymphangiogenic factor PROX1 transcriptionally upregulates CPT1A, a rate-controlling enzyme in fatty acid β-oxidation, and this co-regulates lymphatic endothelial cell differentiation by epigenetic control of lymphatic gene expression, demonstrating a role for metabolism in developmental biology.

Brian W. Wong, Xingwu Wang, Annalisa Zecchin, Bernard Thienpont, Ivo Cornelissen, Joanna Kalucka, Melissa García-Caballero, Rindert Missiaen, Hongling Huang, Ulrike Brüning + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21028

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Force interacts with macromolecular structure in activation of TGF-β p.55

Integrin αVβ6 binds the transforming growth factor-β1 precursor (pro-TGF-β1) in an orientation that is biologically relevant for force-dependent release of TGF-β from its latent form.

Xianchi Dong, Bo Zhao, Roxana E. Iacob, Jianghai Zhu, Adem C. Koksal, Chafen Lu, John R. Engen & Timothy A. Springer

doi: 10.1038/nature21035

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Structure of a eukaryotic cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel p.60

The first high-resolution (3.5 Å) structure of a full-length cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel, revealing an unconventional, voltage-insensitive voltage-sensor domain and a unique coupling mechanism between cyclic-nucleotide-binding and pore-opening.

Minghui Li, Xiaoyuan Zhou, Shu Wang, Ioannis Michailidis, Ye Gong, Deyuan Su, Huan Li, Xueming Li & Jian Yang

doi: 10.1038/nature20819

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Spin–orbit-coupled fermions in an optical lattice clock p.66

Spin–orbit coupling is implemented in an optical lattice clock using a narrow optical transition in fermionic 87Sr atoms, thus mitigating the heating problems of previous experiments with alkali atoms and offering new prospects for future investigations.

S. Kolkowitz, S. L. Bromley, T. Bothwell, M. L. Wall, G. E. Marti, A. P. Koller, X. Zhang, A. M. Rey & J. Ye

doi: 10.1038/nature20811

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Deciphering chemical order/disorder and material properties at the single-atom level p.75

The three-dimensional coordinates of more than 23,000 atoms in an iron-platinum nanoparticle are determined with 22 picometre precision to correlate chemical order/disorder and crystal defects with magnetic properties.

Yongsoo Yang, Chien-Chun Chen, M. C. Scott, Colin Ophus, Rui Xu, Alan Pryor, Li Wu, Fan Sun, Wolfgang Theis, Jihan Zhou + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21042

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Age, extent and carbon storage of the central Congo Basin peatland complex p.86

Field measurements combined with remotely sensed data reveal the Cuvette Centrale in the central Congo Basin to contain the most extensive peatland complex in the tropics, increasing the best estimate of global tropical peatland carbon stocks by approximately one-third.

Greta C. Dargie, Simon L. Lewis, Ian T. Lawson, Edward T. A. Mitchard, Susan E. Page, Yannick E. Bocko & Suspense A. Ifo

doi: 10.1038/nature21048

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Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally p.91

Examination of the ecosystem properties of treeline ecotones in seven temperate regions of the world shows that the reduction in temperature with increasing elevation does not affect tree leaf nutrient concentrations, but does reduce ground-layer community-weighted plant nitrogen levels, leading to a strong stoichiometric convergence of ground-layer plant community nitrogen to phosphorus ratios across all regions.

Jordan R. Mayor, Nathan J. Sanders, Aimée T. Classen, Richard D. Bardgett, Jean-Christophe Clément, Alex Fajardo, Sandra Lavorel, Maja K. Sundqvist, Michael Bahn, Chelsea Chisholm + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21027

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Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution OPEN p.101

Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri). These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic and are often undetectable by light microscopy, rendering their study in human populations difficult. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole.

Gavin G. Rutledge, Ulrike Böhme, Mandy Sanders, Adam J. Reid, James A. Cotton, Oumou Maiga-Ascofare, Abdoulaye A. Djimdé, Tobias O. Apinjoh, Lucas Amenga-Etego, Magnus Manske + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21038

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MATRILINEAL, a sperm-specific phospholipase, triggers maize haploid induction p.105

A frame-shift mutation in MATRILINEAL, a pollen-specific phospholipase, triggers haploid induction in maize, which may be useful in developing improved haploid induction systems for crop breeding.

Timothy Kelliher, Dakota Starr, Lee Richbourg, Satya Chintamanani, Brent Delzer, Michael L. Nuccio, Julie Green, Zhongying Chen, Jamie McCuiston, Wenling Wang + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20827

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Pathologically expanded peripheral T helper cell subset drives B cells in rheumatoid arthritis p.110

The authors identify in patients with rheumatoid arthritis a pathogenic subset of CD4+ T cells that augments B cell responses within inflamed tissues.

Deepak A. Rao, Michael F. Gurish, Jennifer L. Marshall, Kamil Slowikowski, Chamith Y. Fonseka, Yanyan Liu, Laura T. Donlin, Lauren A. Henderson, Kevin Wei, Fumitaka Mizoguchi + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature20810

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Genomic deletion of malic enzyme 2 confers collateral lethality in pancreatic cancer p.119

Depletion of malic enzyme 3 in pancreatic cancer cells that have a deletion of the gene for malic enzyme 2 selectively kills the cells, suggesting that the enzyme might represent a therapeutic target for this subset of cancers.

Prasenjit Dey, Joelle Baddour, Florian Muller, Chia Chin Wu, Huamin Wang, Wen-Ting Liao, Zangdao Lan, Alina Chen, Tony Gutschner, Yaan Kang + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21052

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