A notable anniversary highlights the progress and benefits of contraceptives, but also the continuing battle for access to them.
The strange and subtle behaviour of B mesons could crack open the standard model.
Four Nature papers describing the receptor structures involved in glucose metabolism hold great promise for finding new ways to treat diabetes.
European Commission reveals widespread delays by the country’s authorities to halt spread of deadly plant disease.
Space agency takes a hard look at plans for its next big space observatory.
United Nations meeting hopes to focus artificial intelligence on sustainable development goals.
Researchers refuse to sit on evaluation panels after government bans international participation.
Withdrawal from global pact may take almost four years — which could give the winner of the 2020 presidential race the final word.
With algorithms in hand, scientists are looking to make elections in the United States more representative.
News & Views
Gaps in the fossil record have limited our understanding of how Homo sapiens evolved. The discovery in Morocco of the earliest known H. sapiens fossils might revise our ideas about human evolution in Africa. See Letters p.289 & p.293
High-speed communication systems that use optical fibres often require hundreds of lasers. An approach that replaces these lasers with a single, ring-shaped optical device offers many technical advantages. See Letter p.274
Droplet-like assemblies of RNA in cell nuclei are associated with certain neurodegenerative diseases. Experiments reveal that these assemblies become 'frozen' gels in cells, potentially explaining their toxicity. See Article p.243
Evolution favours the body form best adapted to the local environment, but it can also favour rare forms. Stickleback experiments reveal how these two selection forces can interact, and how this can limit population divergence. See Letter p.285
The geological record contains evidence of how Earth's climate responded to periodic changes in our planet's orbit and rotation. An investigation reveals how this record can be leveraged to constrain estimates of past climate dynamics.
Nucleotide repeat expansions create templates for multivalent base-pairing, which causes RNA to undergo a sol–gel phase transition and may explain the formation of nuclear RNA foci that are commonly observed in several neurological and neuromuscular diseases.
The structure of the GLP-1 receptor complexed with its ligand offers insight into the mechanism of class B G-protein-coupled receptor activation.
The solved crystal structure of the GLP-1 receptor bound to a truncated agonist enables the design of synthetic agonists that exhibit potent activity in vivo.
The crystal structure of the full-length human glucagon receptor reveals the essential role of the 12-residue ‘stalk’ segment and an extracellular loop in the regulation of ligand binding and receptor activation.
Intrinsic long-range ferromagnetic order is observed in few-layer Cr2Ge2Te6 crystals, with a transition temperature that can be controlled using small magnetic fields.
Magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy is used to show that monolayer chromium triiodide is an Ising ferromagnet with out-of-plane spin orientation.
Frequency combs produced by solitons in silicon-based optical microresonators are used to transmit data streams of more than 50 terabits per second in telecommunication wavelength bands.
A computational tool that combines human-like chemical understanding with ab initio methods guides the compositional choice of complex five-component metallic oxides, yielding two new complex crystal structures.
In a study using stickleback fish, negative frequency-dependent selection favours rare immigrants over common residents, weakening the effect of divergent natural selection.
New human fossils from Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) document the earliest evolutionary stage of Homo sapiens and display modern conditions of the face and mandible combined with more primative features of the neurocranium.
Thermoluminescence dating of fire-heated flint artefacts, and directly associated newly discovered remains of Homo sapiens, indicate that the Middle Stone Age site of Jebel Irhoud in Morocco is 383–247 thousand years old.
In a prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) model of social bonding, a functional circuit from the prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens is dynamically modulated to enhance females’ affiliative behaviour towards a partner.
Similar to resting mature B cells, where the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) controls cellular survival, surface BCR expression is conserved in most mature B-cell lymphomas. The identification of activating BCR mutations and the growth disadvantage upon BCR knockdown of cells of certain lymphoma entities has led to the view that BCR signalling is required for tumour cell survival. Consequently, the BCR signalling machinery has become an established target in the therapy of B-cell malignancies. Here we study the effects of BCR ablation on MYC-driven mouse B-cell lymphomas and compare them with observations in human Burkitt lymphoma. Whereas BCR ablation does not, per se, significantly affect lymphoma growth, BCR-negative (BCR−) tumour cells rapidly disappear in the presence of their BCR-expressing (BCR+) counterparts in vitro and in vivo. This requires neither cellular contact nor factors released by BCR+ tumour cells. Instead, BCR loss induces the rewiring of central carbon metabolism, increasing the sensitivity of receptor-less lymphoma cells to nutrient restriction. The BCR attenuates glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) activity to support MYC-controlled gene expression. BCR− tumour cells exhibit increased GSK3β activity and are rescued from their competitive growth disadvantage by GSK3β inhibition. BCR− lymphoma variants that restore competitive fitness normalize GSK3β activity after constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway, commonly through Ras mutations. Similarly, in Burkitt lymphoma, activating RAS mutations may propagate immunoglobulin-crippled tumour cells, which usually represent a minority of the tumour bulk. Thus, while BCR expression enhances lymphoma cell fitness, BCR-targeted therapies may profit from combinations with drugs targeting BCR− tumour cells.
Random mutagenesis in haploid human cells coupled to quantitative protein measurements with different antibodies is used as a readout for individual cellular phenotypes.
Crystal structures of the human GLP-1 receptor in complex with two negative allosteric modulators reveal a common binding pocket, and, together with mutagenesis and modelling studies, further our understanding of the receptor activation mechanism.