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In peril from a perfect pathogen p.300

It emerges that a fungal infection killing salamanders has many potential reservoirs, and that environmentally resistant spores transmit disease. Urgent interventions are needed to save susceptible populations from extinction. See Letter p.353

Matthew C. Fisher

doi: 10.1038/544300a


Crystals aligned through graphene p.301

Graphene has been used as a 'transparent' layer that allows single crystals of a material to be grown on a substrate, and then lifted off — in much the same way that baking paper lets cakes be removed easily from tins. See Letter p.340

Minjoo Larry Lee

doi: 10.1038/544301a


Two–for–one on potential therapies p.302

Molecules that inhibit the synthesis of the ataxin 2 protein can ameliorate the effects of two neurodegenerative diseases in mouse models, raising hopes for the success of this approach in clinical trials. See Letters p.362 & p.367

Ke Zhang & Jeffrey D. Rothstein

doi: 10.1038/nature21911


Gut microbes augment neurodegeneration p.304

Bacterial residents of the human body often provide beneficial effects, but some can be harmful. The action of gut bacteria has been found to be tightly linked to neurodegeneration in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

Daniel Erny & Marco Prinz

doi: 10.1038/nature21910


Ice-shelf stability questioned p.306

Surface lakes and streams are forming on Antarctica's ice shelves, making them susceptible to instability and possible collapse. But rivers could mitigate this effect by efficiently exporting meltwater to the ocean. See Letters p.344 & p.349

Alison Banwell

doi: 10.1038/544306a


A receptor that might block itself p.307

The structure of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor reveals a potential mode of self-blocking action. This might explain its lack of signalling, and opens up avenues of investigation into its function and role in disease. See Article p.327

Christopher G. Tate

doi: 10.1038/nature21907



Virus genomes reveal factors that spread and sustained the Ebola epidemic p.309

Frequent dispersal and short-lived local transmission clusters fuelled the 2013–2016 Ebola virus epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Gytis Dudas, Luiz Max Carvalho, Trevor Bedford, Andrew J. Tatem, Guy Baele, Nuno R. Faria, Daniel J. Park, Jason T. Ladner, Armando Arias, Danny Asogun + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22040

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Structural basis for selectivity and diversity in angiotensin II receptors p.327

Crystal structures of two complexes of the angiotensin II receptor AT2R with distinct tightly bound ligands reveal an active-like state of the receptor, in which helix VIII adopts a non-canonical position that blocks binding of G proteins and β-arrestins.

Haitao Zhang, Gye Won Han, Alexander Batyuk, Andrii Ishchenko, Kate L. White, Nilkanth Patel, Anastasiia Sadybekov, Beata Zamlynny, Michael T. Rudd, Kaspar Hollenstein + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22035

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A temperate rocky super-Earth transiting a nearby cool star p.333

An Earth-sized planet is observed orbiting a nearby star within the liquid-water, habitable zone, the atmospheric composition of which could be determined from future observations.

Jason A. Dittmann, Jonathan M. Irwin, David Charbonneau, Xavier Bonfils, Nicola Astudillo-Defru, Raphaëlle D. Haywood, Zachory K. Berta-Thompson, Elisabeth R. Newton, Joseph E. Rodriguez, Jennifer G. Winters + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22055

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Three-dimensional printing of transparent fused silica glass p.337

Using stereolithography 3D printers, a silica nanocomposite is shaped and then fused to produce non-porous, very smooth, highly transparent fused silica glass components.

Frederik Kotz, Karl Arnold, Werner Bauer, Dieter Schild, Nico Keller, Kai Sachsenheimer, Tobias M. Nargang, Christiane Richter, Dorothea Helmer & Bastian E. Rapp

doi: 10.1038/nature22061

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Remote epitaxy through graphene enables two-dimensional material-based layer transfer p.340

Conventional epitaxy is of limited application, but by placing a monolayer of graphene between the substrate and the so-called epilayer grown on top, its scope can be substantially extended.

Yunjo Kim, Samuel S. Cruz, Kyusang Lee, Babatunde O. Alawode, Chanyeol Choi, Yi Song, Jared M. Johnson, Christopher Heidelberger, Wei Kong, Shinhyun Choi + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22053

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Antarctic ice shelf potentially stabilized by export of meltwater in surface river p.344

On the Nansen Ice Shelf in Antarctica, a surface river that terminates in a waterfall can drain the ice shelf’s entire annual meltwater in just one week, potentially preventing the meltwater from hastening the catastrophic collapse of the shelf.

Robin E. Bell, Winnie Chu, Jonathan Kingslake, Indrani Das, Marco Tedesco, Kirsty J. Tinto, Christopher J. Zappa, Massimo Frezzotti, Alexandra Boghosian & Won Sang Lee

doi: 10.1038/nature22048

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Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans p.353

The authors investigated the disease ecology of the fast-spreading fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in fire salamanders; on the basis of their research, they call for Europe-wide monitoring systems and conservation strategies for threatened species.

Gwij Stegen, Frank Pasmans, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Lieze O. Rouffaer, Sarah Van Praet, Michael Schaub, Stefano Canessa, Arnaud Laudelout, Thierry Kinet, Connie Adriaensen + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22059

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Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus p.357

Analysis of calcified dental plaque (calculus) specimens from Neanderthals shows marked regional differences in diet and microbiota and evidence of self-medication in one individual, and identifies prevalent microorganisms and their divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans.

Laura S. Weyrich, Sebastian Duchene, Julien Soubrier, Luis Arriola, Bastien Llamas, James Breen, Alan G. Morris, Kurt W. Alt, David Caramelli, Veit Dresely + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature21674

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Antisense oligonucleotide therapy for spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 p.362

Antisense oligonucleotides against ATXN2 improved motor neuron function and restored firing frequency in cerebellar Purkinje cells in mouse models of spinocerebellar ataxia type 2.

Daniel R. Scoles, Pratap Meera, Matthew D. Schneider, Sharan Paul, Warunee Dansithong, Karla P. Figueroa, Gene Hung, Frank Rigo, C. Frank Bennett, Thomas S. Otis + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22044

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Therapeutic reduction of ataxin-2 extends lifespan and reduces pathology in TDP-43 mice p.367

A decrease in ataxin-2 levels leads to a reduction in the aggregation of TDP-43, markedly increased lifespan and improved motor function in a transgenic mouse model of TDP-43 proteinopathy.

Lindsay A. Becker, Brenda Huang, Gregor Bieri, Rosanna Ma, David A. Knowles, Paymaan Jafar-Nejad, James Messing, Hong Joo Kim, Armand Soriano, Georg Auburger + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22038

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Modulating the therapeutic response of tumours to dietary serine and glycine starvation p.372

Dependence on exogenous serine means that tumour growth is restricted in mice on a low-serine diet; this effect on tumour growth can be amplified by antagonizing the antioxidant response.

Oliver D. K. Maddocks, Dimitris Athineos, Eric C. Cheung, Pearl Lee, Tong Zhang, Niels J. F. van den Broek, Gillian M. Mackay, Christiaan F. Labuschagne, David Gay, Flore Kruiswijk + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature22056

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Rad51-mediated double-strand break repair and mismatch correction of divergent substrates p.377

DNA repair by break-induced replication begins with the Rad51-mediated invasion of single-stranded DNA into a double-stranded donor template; this study shows that successful recombination between highly mismatched substrates can occur when only five consecutive bases can be paired and that mismatch correction is most efficient near the invading end of the recipient strand.

Ranjith Anand, Annette Beach, Kevin Li & James Haber

doi: 10.1038/nature22046

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