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Pulsating ice sheet p.298

During the last ice age, huge numbers of icebergs were episodically discharged from an ice sheet that covered North America. Numerical modelling suggests that these events resulted from a conceptually simple feedback cycle. See Letter p.332

Andreas Vieli

doi: 10.1038/542298a


An atypical switch for metabolism and ageing p.299

The enzyme S6K1 phosphorylates the enzyme glutamyl-prolyl tRNA synthetase to modulate metabolic activity and lifespan, revealing an atypical role for this synthetase as a target of a key metabolic signalling pathway. See Letter p.357

Colin Selman & Dominic J. Withers

doi: 10.1038/nature21500


Keen insights from quinoa p.300

Technological advances have allowed scientists to sequence the complex quinoa genome. This highlights the ongoing expansion of genomics beyond major crops to other plants that have relevance for global food security. See Article p.307

Andrew H. Paterson & Alan L. Kolata

doi: 10.1038/nature21495


Gut feeling for food choice p.302

One effect of weight-loss surgery is a change in food preferences. An analysis in rats shows that this is caused by altered nutrient signals in the intestine. These activate the vagus nerve to increase signalling in the brain by the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Darleen A. Sandoval & Randy J. Seeley

doi: 10.1038/nature21499


Oceans lose oxygen p.303

Oxygen is essential to most life in the ocean. An analysis shows that oxygen levels have declined by 2% in the global ocean over the past five decades, probably causing habitat loss for many fish and invertebrate species. See Letter p.335

Denis Gilbert

doi: 10.1038/542303a


Catastrophe triggers diversification p.304

An analysis of more than 2,000 species of bird provides insight into how the animals' diverse beak shapes evolved, and points to a single rare event as a trigger for the rapid initial divergence of avian lineages. See Letter p.344

Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

doi: 10.1038/nature21494



The genome of Chenopodium quinoa OPEN p.307

Constructing a reference genome for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) allows for genetic diversity during the evolution of sub-genomes in quinoa to be characterized and markers that may be used to develop sweet commercial varieties are identified.

David E. Jarvis, Yung Shwen Ho, Damien J. Lightfoot, Sandra M. Schmöckel, Bo Li, Theo J. A. Borm, Hajime Ohyanagi, Katsuhiko Mineta, Craig T. Michell, Noha Saber + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21370

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Identity and dynamics of mammary stem cells during branching morphogenesis p.313

The formation of the branched epithelial network of the mouse mammary gland during puberty is driven by a heterogeneous population of stem cells at the terminal end buds of the epithelium.

Colinda L. G. J. Scheele, Edouard Hannezo, Mauro J. Muraro, Anoek Zomer, Nathalia S. M. Langedijk, Alexander van Oudenaarden, Benjamin D. Simons & Jacco van Rheenen

doi: 10.1038/nature21046

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Stable colloids in molten inorganic salts p.328

A class of colloids is reported in which inorganic solute particles—such as metals and semiconductors—are dispersed in molten inorganic salts.

Hao Zhang, Kinjal Dasbiswas, Nicholas B. Ludwig, Gang Han, Byeongdu Lee, Suri Vaikuntanathan & Dmitri V. Talapin

doi: 10.1038/nature21041

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Primordial helium entrained by the hottest mantle plumes p.340

Analysis of helium isotope ratios in volcanic hotspot lavas suggests that hotter, more buoyant plumes upwelling from the deep mantle entrain high-3He/4He material, unlike cooler, less buoyant plumes, implying the existence of a dense, relatively undisturbed primordial reservoir in the deep mantle.

M. G. Jackson, J. G. Konter & T.W. Becker

doi: 10.1038/nature21023

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Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds p.344

A study of more than 2,000 bird species shows that diversity in bill shape expands towards extreme morphologies early in avian evolution in a series of major jumps, before switching to a second phase in which bills repeatedly evolve similar shapes by subdividing increasingly tight regions of already occupied niche space.

Christopher R. Cooney, Jen A. Bright, Elliot J. R. Capp, Angela M. Chira, Emma C. Hughes, Christopher J. A. Moody, Lara O. Nouri, Zoë K. Varley & Gavin H. Thomas

doi: 10.1038/nature21074

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Early brain development in infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorder p.348

Surface area expansion from 6–12 months precedes brain overgrowth in high risk infants diagnosed with autism at 24 months and cortical features in the first year predict individual diagnostic outcomes.

Heather Cody Hazlett, Hongbin Gu, Brent C. Munsell, Sun Hyung Kim, Martin Styner, Jason J. Wolff, Jed T. Elison, Meghan R. Swanson, Hongtu Zhu, Kelly N. Botteron + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21369

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Single-cell spatial reconstruction reveals global division of labour in the mammalian liver p.352

Single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization is performed to identify several landmark genes in the liver and their level of expression in single-cell RNA sequencing is used to spatially reconstruct the zonation of all liver genes.

Keren Bahar Halpern, Rom Shenhav, Orit Matcovitch-Natan, Beáta Tóth, Doron Lemze, Matan Golan, Efi E. Massasa, Shaked Baydatch, Shanie Landen, Andreas E. Moor + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21065

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Synthetic vulnerabilities of mesenchymal subpopulations in pancreatic cancer p.362

Depletion of Smarcb1 activates the Myc network of signalling cascades, increasing protein metabolism and activation of survival pathways allowing highly aggressive Kras-independent pancreatic cancer cells to develop.

Giannicola Genovese, Alessandro Carugo, James Tepper, Frederick Scott Robinson, Liren Li, Maria Svelto, Luigi Nezi, Denise Corti, Rosalba Minelli, Piergiorgio Pettazzoni + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21064

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C. elegans neurons jettison protein aggregates and mitochondria under neurotoxic stress p.367

Adult neurons from Caenorhabditis elegans can extrude large membrane-surrounded vesicles, known as exophers, containing protein aggregates and dysfunctional organelles that threaten neuronal homeostasis.

Ilija Melentijevic, Marton L. Toth, Meghan L. Arnold, Ryan J. Guasp, Girish Harinath, Ken C. Nguyen, Daniel Taub, J. Alex Parker, Christian Neri, Christopher V. Gabel + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21362

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MFN1 structures reveal nucleotide-triggered dimerization critical for mitochondrial fusion p.372

Crystal structures of engineered human MFN1 in different stages of GTP hydrolysis provide insights into the GTP-induced conformational changes that promote MFN1 dimerization to bring about mitochondrial fusion.

Yu-Lu Cao, Shuxia Meng, Yang Chen, Jian-Xiong Feng, Dong-Dong Gu, Bing Yu, Yu-Jie Li, Jin-Yu Yang, Shuang Liao, David C. Chan + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21077

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Structure of a spliceosome remodelled for exon ligation p.377

The cryo-electron microscopy structure of a yeast spliceosome stalled before mature RNA formation provides insight into the mechanism of exon ligation.

Sebastian M. Fica, Chris Oubridge, Wojciech P. Galej, Max E. Wilkinson, Xiao-Chen Bai, Andrew J. Newman & Kiyoshi Nagai

doi: 10.1038/nature21078

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