Fuzzy timings over a plate-tectonics anniversary highlight the rolling nature of scientific discovery.
International mobility and collaboration are linked to stronger research.
External report criticizes lack of exploratory research.
A method for precisely editing genes in human embryos hints at a cure for a blood disease.
Concern over the use of public data spurs guideline update.
Short-term travel and meeting attendance could become harder for researchers from eight countries, including Iran.
Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young unpicked molecular workings of cells' daily rhythms.
Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne share the 2017 prize for their work at LIGO to detect ripples in space-time.
State board issues construction permit for project, but legal fight over telescope continues.
The seasteading movement is getting close to building its first prototype, an artificial archipelago where people will live, play and do research.
As shale-gas compounds flood the market, chemists are working out the best ways to convert them into the ingredients of modern life.
News & Views
The discovery that the host defence protein ZAP specifically targets viral RNAs that are rich in a particular pair of adjacent bases — cytosine followed by guanine — sheds light on the evolution of viral RNA genomes.
The X-ray sensitivity of radiology instruments is limited by the materials used in their detectors. A material from the perovskite family of semiconductors could allow lower doses of X-rays to be used for medical imaging. See Letter p.87
An international movement is calling for at least half of the Earth to be allocated for conservation. A global study now reveals that, in many ecoregions, enough habitat exists to reach this goal, and ideas are proposed for the next steps needed.
A supercomputer-powered design technique enables the discovery of efficient mechanical structures that have an unprecedented level of detail. The findings provide insights into both physical and biological structures. See Letter p.84
There is a species-diversity gradient on Earth, with the greatest diversity found near the Equator. Analysis of forest data now reveals a mechanism aiding species coexistence in the tropics that might underlie this phenomenon.
A review of the recent developments in reprogramming the genetic code of cells and organisms to include non-canonical amino acids in precisely engineered proteins.
Updates from the Human Microbiome Project analyse the largest known body-wide metagenomic profile of human microbiome personalization.
Genome editing in human zygotes shows that OCT4 is required for normal development at an earlier stage in humans than in mice.
A massively parallel computational and experimental approach for de novo designing and screening small hyperstable proteins targeting influenza haemagglutinin and botulinum neurotoxin B identifies new therapeutic candidates more robust than traditional antibody therapies.
The detection and simulation of a type Ia supernova with an early, red flash suggests that it formed through detonation of the helium shell of a white dwarf, rather than by collision of the ejecta with a companion star or by merging with another white dwarf.
Giga-voxel-resolution computational morphogenesis is used to optimize the internal structure of a full-scale aeroplane wing, yielding light-weight designs with more similarities to animal bone structures than to current aeroplane wing designs.
Highly sensitive all-solution-based detectors based on printable polycrystalline organometallic perovskite thick films enable X-ray imaging at low radiation doses and over large areas.
A new deposition method for solar-panel polycrystalline perovskite thin films enables the production of large-area uniform films and avoids the need for common solvents or vacuum.
Metal–organic frameworks that undergo a cooperative spin transition at neighbouring metal centres upon coordination to CO exhibit large CO separation capacities with only small changes in temperature.
Climate change has the potential to erode coastlines, but a rediscovered archive of aerial photographs from the Second World War shows that in southern Greenland, deltas have recently extended seaward.
High tree species diversity in tropical forests is driven by reduced interspecific competition relative to intraspecific competition, as a result of the asynchronous timing of tree recruitment permitted by long and stable growing seasons.
Homeostatic signalling systems ensure stable but flexible neural activity and animal behaviour. Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity is a conserved form of neuronal homeostatic signalling that is observed in organisms ranging from Drosophila to human. Defining the underlying molecular mechanisms of neuronal homeostatic signalling will be essential in order to establish clear connections to the causes and progression of neurological disease. During neural development, semaphorin–plexin signalling instructs axon guidance and neuronal morphogenesis. However, semaphorins and plexins are also expressed in the adult brain. Here we show that semaphorin 2b (Sema2b) is a target-derived signal that acts upon presynaptic plexin B (PlexB) receptors to mediate the retrograde, homeostatic control of presynaptic neurotransmitter release at the neuromuscular junction in Drosophila. Further, we show that Sema2b–PlexB signalling regulates presynaptic homeostatic plasticity through the cytoplasmic protein Mical and the oxoreductase-dependent control of presynaptic actin. We propose that semaphorin–plexin signalling is an essential platform for the stabilization of synaptic transmission throughout the developing and mature nervous system. These findings may be relevant to the aetiology and treatment of diverse neurological and psychiatric diseases that are characterized by altered or inappropriate neural function and behaviour.
The Haplobank contains over 100,000 individually reversibly mutagenized, barcoded, mouse embryonic cell lines; proof-of-principle experiments were used to search for genes that are required for rhinovirus infection and angiogenesis using forward and reverse genetic screens, respectively.
Lipolysis declines with age because NLRP3 inflammasome-activated adipose tissue macrophages reduce levels of noradrenaline by upregulating genes that control its degradation, such as GDF3 and MAOA.
Vertebrate genomes contain fewer CG dinucleotides than would be expected by chance, and this pattern is mimicked by many viruses; HIV-1 derivatives mutated to contain more CG dinucleotides are targeted by the human antiviral protein ZAP, suggesting that CG suppression has evolved in viruses to evade recognition.
A potent and selective catalytic inhibitor of p300/CBP histone acetyltransferases suppresses tumour proliferation across multiple cell lineages, illustrating the therapeutic potential of drug-like small molecules that target histone acetyltransferases.
BRAF-inhibition resistance in metastatic melanoma occurs through p21-activated kinase-mediated reactivation of ERK, whereas resistance to combined BRAF and MEK inhibition occurs through p21-activated kinase-mediated regulation of JNK and β-catenin phosphorylation, mTOR pathway activation and apoptosis inhibition in many patients.
Several structures of the Enteroccocus faecalis Cas1–Cas2 proteins are solved, and help to define the spacer integration mechanisms of type II CRISPR systems.