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Zapping viral RNAs p.46

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.

Stephen P. Goff

doi: 10.1038/nature24140


Material change for X-ray detectors p.47

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

John A. Rowlands

doi: 10.1038/550047a


A global plan for nature conservation p.48

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.

James E. M. Watson & Oscar Venter

doi: 10.1038/nature24144


Computational design hits record resolution p.50

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

Matthijs Langelaar

doi: 10.1038/550050a


A matter of time for tropical diversity p.51

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.

Gary G. Mittelbach

doi: 10.1038/nature24142



Expanding and reprogramming the genetic code p.53

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.

Jason W. Chin

doi: 10.1038/nature24031



Strains, functions and dynamics in the expanded Human Microbiome Project p.61

Updates from the Human Microbiome Project analyse the largest known body-wide metagenomic profile of human microbiome personalization.

Jason Lloyd-Price, Anup Mahurkar, Gholamali Rahnavard, Jonathan Crabtree, Joshua Orvis, A. Brantley Hall, Arthur Brady, Heather H. Creasy, Carrie McCracken, Michelle G. Giglio + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature23889

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Massively parallel de novo protein design for targeted therapeutics p.74

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.

Aaron Chevalier, Daniel-Adriano Silva, Gabriel J. Rocklin, Derrick R. Hicks, Renan Vergara, Patience Murapa, Steffen M. Bernard, Lu Zhang, Kwok-Ho Lam, Guorui Yao + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature23912

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A hybrid type Ia supernova with an early flash triggered by helium-shell detonation p.80

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.

Ji-an Jiang, Mamoru Doi, Keiichi Maeda, Toshikazu Shigeyama, Ken’ichi Nomoto, Naoki Yasuda, Saurabh W. Jha, Masaomi Tanaka, Tomoki Morokuma, Nozomu Tominaga + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature23908

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Giga-voxel computational morphogenesis for structural design p.84

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.

Niels Aage, Erik Andreassen, Boyan S. Lazarov & Ole Sigmund

doi: 10.1038/nature23911

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A spin transition mechanism for cooperative adsorption in metal–organic frameworks p.96

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.

Douglas A. Reed, Benjamin K. Keitz, Julia Oktawiec, Jarad A. Mason, Tomče Runčevski, Dianne J. Xiao, Lucy E. Darago, Valentina Crocellà, Silvia Bordiga & Jeffrey R. Long

doi: 10.1038/nature23674

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Temporal coexistence mechanisms contribute to the latitudinal gradient in forest diversity p.105

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.

Jacob Usinowicz, Chia-Hao Chang-Yang, Yu-Yun Chen, James S. Clark, Christine Fletcher, Nancy C. Garwood, Zhanqing Hao, Jill Johnstone, Yiching Lin, Margaret R. Metz + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature24038

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Retrograde semaphorin–plexin signalling drives homeostatic synaptic plasticity p.109

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.

Brian O. Orr, Richard D. Fetter & Graeme W. Davis

doi: 10.1038/nature24017

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A reversible haploid mouse embryonic stem cell biobank resource for functional genomics p.114

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.

Ulrich Elling, Reiner A. Wimmer, Andreas Leibbrandt, Thomas Burkard, Georg Michlits, Alexandra Leopoldi, Thomas Micheler, Dana Abdeen, Sergei Zhuk, Irene M. Aspalter + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature24027

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Inflammasome-driven catecholamine catabolism in macrophages blunts lipolysis during ageing p.119

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.

Christina D. Camell, Jil Sander, Olga Spadaro, Aileen Lee, Kim Y. Nguyen, Allison Wing, Emily L. Goldberg, Yun-Hee Youm, Chester W. Brown, John Elsworth + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature24022

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CG dinucleotide suppression enables antiviral defence targeting non-self RNA p.124

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.

Matthew A. Takata, Daniel Gonçalves-Carneiro, Trinity M. Zang, Steven J. Soll, Ashley York, Daniel Blanco-Melo & Paul D. Bieniasz

doi: 10.1038/nature24039

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Discovery of a selective catalytic p300/CBP inhibitor that targets lineage-specific tumours p.128

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.

Loren M. Lasko, Clarissa G. Jakob, Rohinton P. Edalji, Wei Qiu, Debra Montgomery, Enrico L. Digiammarino, T. Matt Hansen, Roberto M. Risi, Robin Frey, Vlasios Manaves + et al.

doi: 10.1038/nature24028

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PAK signalling drives acquired drug resistance to MAPK inhibitors in BRAF-mutant melanomas p.133

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.

Hezhe Lu, Shujing Liu & Gao Zhang

doi: 10.1038/nature24040

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