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The search for no neutrinos p.38

sign of an elusive nuclear decay that could help to explain why the Universe is dominated by matter, rather than antimatter. An upgraded experiment continues the search with unprecedented sensitivity. See Letter p.47

Phillip S. Barbeau

doi: 10.1038/544038a


Large rise in carbon uptake by land plants p.39

A proxy for the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by plants for photosynthesis has been used to estimate historical global uptake, revealing a large increase that might partly offset the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels. See Letter p.84

Dan Yakir

doi: 10.1038/544039a


The aerodynamics buzz from mosquitoes p.40

Mosquitoes flap their long, thin wings four times faster than similarly sized insects. Imaging and computational analysis of mosquito flight illuminates some aerodynamic mechanisms not seen before in animal flight. See Letter p.92

Laura A. Miller

doi: 10.1038/nature21904


Receptors grease the metabolic wheels p.42

Structural insights into adiponectin receptors provide evidence that these proteins have an inherent enzymatic activity, which gives them the ability to propagate signalling by their ligand, the hormone adiponectin. See Letter p.120

William L. Holland & Philipp E. Scherer

doi: 10.1038/nature21900


Chain mail reverses the Hall effect p.44

The sign of a material's charge carriers is usually reflected in the sign of the 'Hall voltage'. But for a structure inspired by chain mail, altering its geometry inverts the Hall voltage, even if the charge carriers are unchanged.

Masaya Notomi

doi: 10.1038/nature21902


A wine-induced breakdown p.45

A polysaccharide called rhamnogalacturonan II is a major component of some fruits, but humans rely on their gut microbiota to digest it. The microbes and processes responsible for this digestion have now been revealed. See Article p.65

Mirjam Czjzek

doi: 10.1038/nature21901



Myeloid progenitor cluster formation drives emergency and leukaemic myelopoiesis p.53

During emergency myelopoiesis in mice, clusters of self-renewing granulocyte/macrophage progenitors (GMP) are transiently formed in the bone marrow cavity to produce a burst of myeloid cells; in leukaemia, GMP clusters persist and constantly generate myeloid leukaemia cells.

Aurélie Hérault, Mikhail Binnewies, Stephanie Leong, Fernando J. Calero-Nieto, Si Yi Zhang, Yoon-A Kang, Xiaonan Wang, Eric M. Pietras, S. Haihua Chu, Keegan Barry-Holson + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21693

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3D structures of individual mammalian genomes studied by single-cell Hi-C p.59

A chromosome conformation capture method in which single cells are first imaged and then processed enables intact genome folding to be studied at a scale of 100 kb, validated, and analysed to generate hypotheses about 3D genomic interactions and organisation.

Tim J. Stevens, David Lando, Srinjan Basu, Liam P. Atkinson, Yang Cao, Steven F. Lee, Martin Leeb, Kai J. Wohlfahrt, Wayne Boucher, Aoife O’Shaughnessy-Kirwan + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21429

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Complex pectin metabolism by gut bacteria reveals novel catalytic functions p.65

The hierarchical deconstruction of the complex pectic glycan rhamnogalacturonan-II by the human gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron reveals seven new families of glycoside hydrolases and three catalytic functions not previously observed.

Didier Ndeh, Artur Rogowski, Alan Cartmell, Ana S. Luis, Arnaud Baslé, Joseph Gray, Immacolata Venditto, Jonathon Briggs, Xiaoyang Zhang, Aurore Labourel + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21725

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A massive, quiescent galaxy at a redshift of 3.717 p.71

A massive ancient galaxy with minimal star formation is observed spectroscopically at an epoch when the Universe is less than 2 billion years old, posing a challenge to theories.

Karl Glazebrook, Corentin Schreiber, Ivo Labbé, Themiya Nanayakkara, Glenn G. Kacprzak, Pascal A. Oesch, Casey Papovich, Lee R Spitler, Caroline M. S. Straatman, Kim-Vy H. Tran + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21680

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Continuous-wave lasing in colloidal quantum dot solids enabled by facet-selective epitaxy p.75

By switching shell growth on and off on the (0001) facet of wurtzite CdSe cores to produce a built-in biaxial strain that lowers the optical gain threshold, we achieve continuous-wave lasing in colloidal quantum dot films.

Fengjia Fan, Oleksandr Voznyy, Randy P. Sabatini, Kristopher T. Bicanic, Michael M. Adachi, James R. McBride, Kemar R. Reid, Young-Shin Park, Xiyan Li, Ankit Jain + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21424

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Low-temperature hydrogen production from water and methanol using Pt/α-MoC catalysts p.80

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) running on hydrogen are attractive alternative power supplies for a range of applications, with in situ release of the required hydrogen from a stable liquid offering one way of ensuring its safe storage and transportation before use. The use of methanol is particularly interesting in this regard, because it is inexpensive and can reform itself with water to release hydrogen with a high gravimetric density of 18.8 per cent by weight. But traditional reforming of methanol steam operates at relatively high temperatures (200–350 degrees Celsius), so the focus for vehicle and portable PEMFC applications has been on aqueous-phase reforming of methanol (APRM). This method requires less energy, and the simpler and more compact device design allows direct integration into PEMFC stacks. There remains, however, the need for an efficient APRM catalyst. Here we report that platinum (Pt) atomically dispersed on α-molybdenum carbide (α-MoC) enables low-temperature (150–190 degrees Celsius), base-free hydrogen production through APRM, with an average turnover frequency reaching 18,046 moles of hydrogen per mole of platinum per hour. We attribute this exceptional hydrogen production—which far exceeds that of previously reported low-temperature APRM catalysts—to the outstanding ability of α-MoC to induce water dissociation, and to the fact that platinum and α-MoC act in synergy to activate methanol and then to reform it.

Lili Lin, Wu Zhou, Rui Gao, Siyu Yao, Xiao Zhang, Wenqian Xu, Shijian Zheng, Zheng Jiang, Qiaolin Yu, Yong-Wang Li + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21672

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Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production p.84

Long-term records of global carbonyl sulfide levels reveal that terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) increased by around 30% during the twentieth century—a finding that may aid understanding of the connection between GPP growth and climate change.

J. E. Campbell, J. A. Berry, U. Seibt, S. J. Smith, S. A. Montzka, T. Launois, S. Belviso, L. Bopp & M. Laine

doi: 10.1038/nature22030

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The lung is a site of platelet biogenesis and a reservoir for haematopoietic progenitors p.105

Direct imaging of the lung microcirculation in mice indicates that it is a major site of mature platelet production from megakaryocytes.

Emma Lefrançais, Guadalupe Ortiz-Muñoz, Axelle Caudrillier, Beñat Mallavia, Fengchun Liu, David M. Sayah, Emily E. Thornton, Mark B. Headley, Tovo David, Shaun R. Coughlin + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21706

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Single-nucleus Hi-C reveals unique chromatin reorganization at oocyte-to-zygote transition p.110

Using a single-nucleus Hi-C protocol, the authors find that spatial organization of chromatin during oocyte-to-zygote transition differs between paternal and maternal nuclei within a single-cell zygote.

Ilya M. Flyamer, Johanna Gassler, Maxim Imakaev, Hugo B. Brandão, Sergey V. Ulianov, Nezar Abdennur, Sergey V. Razin, Leonid A. Mirny & Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski

doi: 10.1038/nature21711

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Structural insights into adiponectin receptors suggest ceramidase activity p.120

Structures of the adiponectin receptors ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2 combined with molecular dynamics simulations and enzymatic assays suggest that both receptors have intrinsic ceramidase activity.

Ieva Vasiliauskaité-Brooks, Remy Sounier, Pascal Rochaix, Gaëtan Bellot, Mathieu Fortier, François Hoh, Luigi De Colibus, Chérine Bechara, Essa M. Saied, Christoph Arenz + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21714

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