Volume 542 Number 7639

Editorials

News

News Features

News & Views

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

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

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

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

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

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.

doi: 10.1038/542041a

Articles

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature21028

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature20819

Letters

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature20811

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature21027

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature21038