The successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket was a stunning moment that opens the way for commercial exploration of deep space.
Many studies that link global warming to civil unrest are biased and exacerbate stigma about the developing world.
Researchers have hidden secret notes in their manuscripts for decades, but there are risks.
Historical record of wildfires points to climate patterns that could prime the region for an intense fire season.
US president makes last-minute decision to abandon proposal for major cuts to National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Department of Energy’s science office.
Efforts to combat disfiguring skin disease fail to account for primate hosts.
The expansion of a telescope network creates a thirst for more data-handling expertise and infrastructure.
The National Science Foundation says institutions it supports must disclose when researchers are found to have violated policies or are put on leave pending investigation.
Networks that harness entanglement and teleportation could enable leaps in security, computing and science.
News & Views
Spectacular light shows in Earth’s atmosphere called pulsating auroras are directly linked to processes in space. After
decades of research, the full chain of events that creates such auroras has been observed.
Whether intelligence is selected for in species that have a complex social life is debated and hard to test. Cognitive performance and associated reproductive success are now linked to group size in wild magpies.
Salvos of neuronal activity in the brain’s lateral habenula, regulated by astrocyte cells, drive depression-like behaviours in rodents. The finding might help us to understand one antidepressant and to develop more.
Working memory is influenced by past experiences. An area of the rat brain has now been identified that represents recent history — silencing this area can remove biases from working memory and decision-making.
Quantum spin liquids are long-sought exotic states of matter that could transform quantum computing. Signatures of such a state have now been observed in a compound comprising iridium ions on a honeycomb lattice.
During breast-cancer progression, tumour cells that arise in the milk duct spread elsewhere in the breast. The origin of these invasive tumour cells is now revealed by an analysis of spatially defined single cells.
The origin, evolution and domestication of Citrus and the genealogy of the most important wild and cultivated citrus varieties.
The rapid antidepressant activity of ketamine results from reversal of increased burst firing and synchronization in the lateral habenula in rat and mouse models of depression.
Increased expression of the potassium channel Kir4.1 on astrocytes in the lateral habenula drives neuronal bursting in rodent models of depression.
The transmembrane protein teneurin-3 is expressed in multiple topographically interconnected areas of the hippocampal region and acts in both projection and target neurons to control wiring specificity from CA1 to the subiculum.
Observations of a highly collimated, parsec-scale jet emitted from a massive young stellar object in the Large Magellanic Cloud indicate that jet launching and collimation are independent of stellar mass.
High-angular-resolution measurements allow the direct observation of the scattering of energetic electrons by chorus waves in the magnetosphere, which causes quasiperiodic electron precipitation that gives rise to pulsating aurorae.
A quantum-liquid state of spin–orbital-entangled magnetic moments is observed in the 5d-electron honeycomb iridate H3LiIr2O6, evidenced by the absence of magnetic ordering down to 0.05 kelvin.
Freezing on a spherical surface is shown to proceed by the sequestration of defects into 12 icosahedrally coordinated ‘seas’ that enable the formation of a crystalline ‘continent’ with long-range orientational order.
An Antarctic ice core reveals that, during the last ice age, the topography of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets shifted tropical Pacific convection eastward, increasing climate variability in the high southern latitudes.
Temperature variability decreased globally by a factor of four between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene epoch, as a result of changes in the meridional temperature gradient.
A method for modelling time-varying dynamic stability in a natural marine fish community finds that seasonal patterns in community stability are driven by species diversity and interspecific interactions.
Wild Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis) living in large groups show increased cognitive performance, which is associated with increased reproductive success.
Many models of cognition and of neural computations posit the use and estimation of prior stimulus statistics: it has long been known that working memory and perception are strongly impacted by previous sensory experience, even when that sensory history is not relevant to the current task at hand. Nevertheless, the neural mechanisms and regions of the brain that are necessary for computing and using such prior experience are unknown. Here we report that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is a critical locus for the representation and use of prior stimulus information. We trained rats in an auditory parametric working memory task, and found that they displayed substantial and readily quantifiable behavioural effects of sensory-stimulus history, similar to those observed in humans and monkeys. Earlier proposals that the PPC supports working memory predict that optogenetic silencing of this region would impair behaviour in our working memory task. Contrary to this prediction, we found that silencing the PPC significantly improved performance. Quantitative analyses of behaviour revealed that this improvement was due to the selective reduction of the effects of prior sensory stimuli. Electrophysiological recordings showed that PPC neurons carried far more information about the sensory stimuli of previous trials than about the stimuli of the current trial. Furthermore, for a given rat, the more information about previous trial sensory history in the neural firing rates of the PPC, the greater the behavioural effect of sensory history, suggesting a tight link between behaviour and PPC representations of stimulus history. Our results indicate that the PPC is a central component in the processing of sensory-stimulus history, and could enable further neurobiological investigation of long-standing questions regarding how perception and working memory are affected by prior sensory information.
The transcription factor c-MAF is required for the generation of Helicobacter-specific regulatory T cells that selectively restrain pro-inflammatory TH17 cells; the absence of c-MAF in mouse regulatory T cells results in pathobiont-dependent inflammatory bowel disease.
In a mouse model of breast cancer, asparagine bioavailability strongly influences metastasis and this is correlated with the production of proteins that regulate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, which provides at least one potential mechanism for how a single amino acid could regulate metastatic progression.
Formation of inter-organelle contacts between mitochondria and lysosomes, regulated by lysosomal RAB7 GTP hydrolysis, allows for bidirectional regulation of mitochondrial and lysosomal dynamics.
A crystal structure of DNMT3A and its regulatory partner DNMT3L bound to DNA reveals the mechanistic basis for DNMT3A-mediated DNA methylation and establishes its aetiological link to human disease.