Volume 550 Issue 7675



News Features

News & Views

Cracking the regulatory code p.190

A collection of papers catalogues the associations between genetic variation and gene expression in healthy tissues – the largest analysis of this kind so far. See Article p.204 & Letters p.239, p.244 & p.249

doi: 10.1038/550190a

A pariah finds a home p.191

Pariahs are fundamental building blocks in a branch of mathematics called group theory, but seem to be unconnected from both physics and other areas of mathematics. Such a connection has now been identified.

doi: 10.1038/nature24147

Tumours addicted to drugs are vulnerable p.192

Cancer cells can develop an 'addiction' to the drugs they are treated with, so that they need the drugs to survive. Analysis of the underlying mechanism reveals a potential clinical strategy for harnessing this phenomenon. See Letter p.270

doi: 10.1038/nature24148

Liquid metal pumped at a record temperature p.194

Although liquid metals are effective fluids for heat transfer, pumping them at high temperatures is limited by their corrosiveness to solid metals. A clever pump design addresses this challenge using only ceramics. See Article p.199

doi: 10.1038/550194b

Receptors identified for a weight regulator p.195

The discovery of the receptors for the protein GDF15 suggests that it regulates food uptake through the emergency pathway — a neuronal circuit that causes weight loss in response to cancer, tissue damage and stress. See Letter p.255

doi: 10.1038/nature24143

Ring detected around a dwarf planet p.197

Observations of the distant dwarf planet Haumea constrain its size, shape and density, and reveal an encircling planetary ring. The discovery suggests that rings are not as rare in the Solar System as previously thought. See Letter p.219

doi: 10.1038/550197a



Light-field-driven currents in graphene p.224

Light-field-driven control of electrons in a conductor is demonstrated by inducing a current by laser pulses in graphene that is sensitive to the carrier-envelope phase.

doi: 10.1038/nature23900

Layer-by-layer assembly of two-dimensional materials into wafer-scale heterostructures p.229

High-performance semiconductor films with vertical compositions that are designed to atomic-scale precision provide the foundation for modern integrated circuitry and novel materials discovery. One approach to realizing such films is sequential layer-by-layer assembly, whereby atomically thin two-dimensional building blocks are vertically stacked, and held together by van der Waals interactions. With this approach, graphene and transition-metal dichalcogenides—which represent one- and three-atom-thick two-dimensional building blocks, respectively—have been used to realize previously inaccessible heterostructures with interesting physical properties. However, no large-scale assembly method exists at present that maintains the intrinsic properties of these two-dimensional building blocks while producing pristine interlayer interfaces, thus limiting the layer-by-layer assembly method to small-scale proof-of-concept demonstrations. Here we report the generation of wafer-scale semiconductor films with a very high level of spatial uniformity and pristine interfaces. The vertical composition and properties of these films are designed at the atomic scale using layer-by-layer assembly of two-dimensional building blocks under vacuum. We fabricate several large-scale, high-quality heterostructure films and devices, including superlattice films with vertical compositions designed layer-by-layer, batch-fabricated tunnel device arrays with resistances that can be tuned over four orders of magnitude, band-engineered heterostructure tunnel diodes, and millimetre-scale ultrathin membranes and windows. The stacked films are detachable, suspendable and compatible with water or plastic surfaces, which will enable their integration with advanced optical and mechanical systems.

doi: 10.1038/nature23905

Patchy particles made by colloidal fusion p.234

By exploiting geometric constraints and interfacial forces instead of chemistry, colloidal clusters can be controllably coalesced into particles with uniformly distributed surface patches.

doi: 10.1038/nature23901

Landscape of X chromosome inactivation across human tissues OPEN p.244

Multiple transcriptome approaches, including single-cell sequencing, demonstrate that escape from X chromosome inactivation is widespread and occasionally variable between cells, chromosomes, and tissues, resulting in sex-biased expression of at least 60 genes and potentially contributing to sex-specific differences in health and disease.

doi: 10.1038/nature24265

RNA targeting with CRISPR–Cas13 p.280

The class 2 type VI RNA-guided RNA-targeting CRISPR–Cas effector Cas13 can be engineered for RNA knockdown and binding, expanding the CRISPR toolset with a flexible platform for studying RNA in mammalian cells and therapeutic development.

doi: 10.1038/nature24049