Volume 548 Issue 7666


Drug approval needs a helping hand p.135

It’s time for researchers to lend their expertise to expediting the arrival of cutting-edge therapies that are waiting in the wings.

doi: 10.1038/548135a


News Features

News & Views

Skull secrets of an ancient ape p.160

Fossil evidence is scarce for early stages of evolution in the ape family tree at the time before apes and the ancestors of humans diverged. A 13-million-year-old skull now offers insights into ape development at that time. See Article p.169

doi: 10.1038/548160a

Optical sensing gets exceptional p.161

Conventional sensors based on devices called optical resonators have fundamentally limited sensitivity. Careful engineering has been used to overcome this constraint, opening the door to ultraprecise sensing. See Letters p.187 & p.192

doi: 10.1038/548161a

Click and discover p.162

Details of the activity of promising anticancer drugs known as BET inhibitors remain elusive. An approach called click chemistry enables in-depth analysis of how these drugs modulate the function of a crucial target protein, BRD4.

doi: 10.1038/548162a

Trends in ecosystem recovery from drought p.164

An analysis suggests that the time taken for ecosystems to recover from drought increased during the twentieth century. If the frequency of drought events rises, some ecosystems might never have the chance to fully recover. See Letter p.202

doi: 10.1038/548164a

The cost of perpetual youth p.165

The ability to become nearly any cell type is restricted to eggs, sperm and primitive stem cells in very early embryos. Two studies reveal that maintaining this pluripotent state in vitro comes at a cost. See Letters p.219 & p.224

doi: 10.1038/nature23102

Contests between species aid biodiversity p.166

A modelling approach used to investigate competition between different species provides insight into how contests that have multiple players can help to maintain biodiversity. See Letter p.210

doi: 10.1038/nature23103



Global patterns of drought recovery p.202

A global analysis of gross primary productivity reveals that drought recovery is driven by climate and carbon cycling, with recovery longest in the tropics and high northern latitudes, and with impacts increasing over the twentieth century.

doi: 10.1038/nature23021

Artificial light at night as a new threat to pollination p.206

The pollination service provided by nocturnal flower visitors is disrupted near street lamps, which leads to a reduced reproductive output of the plant that cannot be compensated for by daytime pollinators; in addition, the structure of combined nocturnal and diurnal pollination networks facilitates the spread of the consequences of disrupted night-time pollination to daytime pollinators.

doi: 10.1038/nature23288

Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans p.214

New genome-wide data for ancient, Bronze Age individuals, including Minoans, Mycenaeans, and southwestern Anatolians, show that Minoans and Mycenaeans were genetically very similar yet distinct, supporting the idea of continuity but not isolation in the history of populations of the Aegean.

doi: 10.1038/nature23310