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Nature Volume 557 Issue 7703
This Week  
The ethics of catching criminals using their family's DNA
A high-profile arrest in California shows how the long arm of the law can now extend into DNA databases to check for relatives.
Real-world illness requires medical multitasking
To improve health care, researchers need to study diseases as they occur: in combination.
Announcement: stem-cell policy
Nature journals formalize ethics standards for human-embryo and stem-cell papers.
World View  
To treat pain, study people in all their complexity
Clinical research needs to investigate not simply drugs, but the psychology of why and how individuals experience pain, says Beth Darnall.
Beth Darnall
Research Highlights  
Kids beat elite runners in fitness tests
Children can surpass competitive athletes on assessments of exercise-induced fatigue.
Arctic ice carries heavy freight of plastic
Many of the microplastic particles in northern sea ice originated thousands of kilometres to the south.
Souped-up T cells home in on cancer
Engineered cells offer greater precision and safety than previous versions.
Abandoned fort holds clues to mass slaughter
The dead lay where they fell in their houses and the streets.
Early stick insect was a master of disguise
Species preserved in amber is first known to evolve elaborate structures to improve its look.
Fibre aids fight against nasty gut infection
Well-nourished microbiome can shut out potentially lethal bacteria.
Unconventional? lifestyle found in island bird
Kagu brothers have surprisingly close bonds, with each other and their parents.
Measuring the Milky Way's mind-boggling mass
A combination of telescope data and 87,000 simulated galaxies helps scientists to size up the Galaxy.
More whiplash weather in store for California
Swings from baking drought to extreme downpours will be more common, scientists warn.
Seven Days  
North Korea's nuclear site, Mars rocks and CRISPR arguments
The week in science: 27 April-3 May 2018.
Research Highlights  
This issue's Research Highlights
Selections from the scientific literature.
News in Focus
Mars quakes set to reveal tantalizing clues to planet's early years
NASA's Mars InSight spacecraft will listen for seismic activity to understand the planet's core.
Alexandra Witze
Giving at-risk children pre-emptive antibiotics reduces deaths
Clinical trial in Africa helps kids, but raises fears about drug resistance.
Amy Maxmen
Physicists in Earth's remotest corners race to reproduce 'cosmic dawn' signal
Teams rush to capture radiation from Universe's first stars and to explain puzzling observations.
Davide Castelvecchi
Scientists downsize bold plan to make human genome from scratch
With funding still scarce, GP-write project shifts focus to making virus-resistant human cells.
Elie Dolgin
Brazil's lawmakers renew push to weaken environmental rules
Legislation includes proposals to open up the Amazon rainforest to agriculture.
Jeff Tollefson
Billion-star map of Milky Way set to transform astronomy
European Gaia spacecraft's first major data dump — the most detailed 3D chart yet of our Galaxy — will keep researchers busy for decades.
Davide Castelvecchi
After the violence
Peace efforts in Colombia have ended 50 years of intense conflict. Now, scientists are studying former fighters and victims as they attempt to heal.
Sara Reardon
Nature Podcast 2 May 2018
This week, constructing early embryos, how mice react to danger, and an ancient butchered rhino.
Close the gender gap in Chinese science
Analysis shows that extending the age limit for grants boosts the number awarded to women, but more must be done to achieve parity, say Ying Ma and colleagues.
Ying Ma, Yandong Zhao, Xu Gong et al.
Books and Arts  
The forgotten founder of ornithology
Elizabeth Yale relishes a biography of Francis Willughby, a seventeenth-century polymath with a gift for collaboration.
Elizabeth Yale
Where colour comes from, the secret lives of fish and growth in democracies: Books in brief
Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.
Barbara Kiser
Did Einstein really say that?
As the physicist's collected papers reach volume 15, Andrew Robinson sifts through the quotes attributed to him.
Andrew Robinson
AI surveillance studies need ethics review
Rafael A. Calvo, Dorian Peters
Data reviews quick to produce but open to abuse
Yong Fan
Sea-bed mining — count the true costs
Sebastian Losada, Pierre Terras
Shore up support for climate action using SDGs
Francesco Fuso Nerini
Nobel prize lagged my undergraduate lectures by 20 years
William Bains
Virtual-reality applications give science a new dimension
Virtual- and augmented-reality tools allow researchers to view and share data as never before. But so far, they remain largely the tools of early adopters.
David Matthews
Feeling overwhelmed by academia? You are not alone
Five researchers share their stories and advice on how to maintain good mental health in the hyper-competitive environment of science.
Chris Woolston
Political expatriate
US 'national drama' drives theoretical chemist to move to Canada.
Brian Owens
Piano concerto for new hands
Time for a change.
Andrea Kriz

Nature Index 2018 Japan

Some of Japan's smallest institutions are among the most efficient in the production of high quality scientific research, though the decline in Japan's high quality scientific research output continues. This supplement examines reform efforts in light of the country's aim to become a "super-smart" society

Read the full supplement


Chromatin analysis in human early development reveals epigenetic transition during ZGA
By applying an optimized ATAC-seq protocol to human early embryos, distinct accessible chromatin landscapes are found before and after zygotic genome activation, revealing a marked epigenetic transition during zygotic genome activation and putative regulatory elements wiring human early development.
Structural basis for dual-mode inhibition of the ABC transporter MsbA
Crystal structures of the ABC transporter MsbA in complex with two selective small-molecule antagonists reveal an unprecedented allosteric mechanism of inhibition.
Catalytic activation of β-arrestin by GPCRs
Transient engagement of the G protein-coupled receptor core can act as a catalyst to activate cellular β-arrestin function after dissociation from the receptor.
Diametric neural ensemble dynamics in parkinsonian and dyskinetic states
In mouse models of Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia, striatal spiny projection neurons of the direct and indirect pathways have abnormal, imbalanced levels of spontaneous and locomotor-related activity, with the two different disease states characterized by opposite abnormalities.
Male-killing toxin in a bacterial symbiont of Drosophila
The Spaid protein is identified and shown to be responsible for the male-killing effects of Spiroplasma poulsonii in Drosophila.
Structural principles of distinct assemblies of the human α4β2 nicotinic receptor
Cryo-electron microscopy structures of two stoichiometries of heteromeric acetylcholine receptors in complex with nicotine reveal principles of subunit assembly and the structural basis of the distinctive biophysical and pharmacological properties of the different stoichiometries.
Molecular mechanism of GPCR-mediated arrestin activation
Molecular dynamics simulations and site-directed fluorescence spectroscopy show that the transmembrane core and cytoplasmic tail of G-protein-coupled receptors independently and cooperatively activate arrestin.
Subepithelial telocytes are an important source of Wnts that supports intestinal crypts
Subepithelial telocytes are identified as a source of Wnt signals that enable proliferation and differentiation of intestinal stem cells, an essential function for maintenance of the intestinal epithelium.
Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709 thousand years ago
Stone tools and a disarticulated and butchered skeleton of Rhinoceros philippinensis, found in a securely dated stratigraphic context, indicate the presence of an unknown hominin population in the Philippines as early as 709 thousand years ago.
De novo formation of the biliary system by TGFβ-mediated hepatocyte transdifferentiation
In a mouse model of a human cholestatic liver disease caused by impaired NOTCH signalling, hepatocytes transdifferentiate into cholangiocytes and form a therapeutically effective biliary system, driven by TGFβ signalling.
A midline thalamic circuit determines reactions to visual threat
Separate outputs of the ventral midline thalamus comprise neural circuits that determine avoidance-based or confrontational responses to visual threat.
Overcoming the rate–distance limit of quantum key distribution without quantum repeaters
Twin optical fields enable a form of quantum key distribution that can exceed the secret-key capacity without using quantum repeaters and that has security independent of the measuring devices.
News & Views  
Faulty replication can sting
Madzia P. Crossley, Karlene A. Cimprich
Helium discovered in the tail of an exoplanet
Drake Deming
Evolutionary insights from an ancient bird
Kevin Padian

Nature Outlook: Energy transitions 

Fossil fuels are on the way out, but slowly. Their exit has massive ramifications for many sectors and is causing ripples in both politics and society.
Produced with support from:
Protein and gel combined to make hyperexpandable crystals
François Baneyx
50 & 100 years ago
Molecular machines swap rings
Steve Goldup
Life of a liver awaiting transplantation
Stefan Schneeberger
Genomic variation in 3,010 diverse accessions of Asian cultivated rice
Analyses of genetic variation and population structure based on over 3,000 cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) genomes reveal subpopulations that correlate with geographic location and patterns of introgression consistent with multiple rice domestication events.
Wensheng Wang, Ramil Mauleon, Zhiqiang Hu et al.
A randomized trial of normothermic preservation in liver transplantation
Normothermic machine perfusion of the liver improved early graft function, demonstrated by reduced peak serum aspartate transaminase levels and early allograft dysfunction rates, and improved organ utilization and preservation times, although no differences were seen in graft or patient survival.
David Nasralla, Constantin C. Coussios, Hynek Mergental et al.
SAMHD1 acts at stalled replication forks to prevent interferon induction
SAMHD1 has an essential role in the replication stress response and prevents inflammation by activating the MRE11 nuclease to degrade nascent DNA strands at stalled replication forks, thus enabling replication.
Flavie Coquel, Maria-Joao Silva, Hervé Técher et al.
Cryo-EM structure of the gasdermin A3 membrane pore
High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structures of the membrane-pore-forming domain of the mouse gasdermin GSDMA3 show that it forms pores with 26-, 27- or 28-fold symmetry and indicate that it may also form a parallel, soluble, pre-pore ring structure.
Jianbin Ruan, Shiyu Xia, Xing Liu et al.
Helium in the eroding atmosphere of an exoplanet
A detection of helium absorption at 10,833 Å on the exoplanet WASP-107b reveals that its atmosphere is extended and eroding, and demonstrates a new way to study upper exoplanetary atmospheres.
J. J. Spake, D. K. Sing, T. M. Evans et al.
Characterization of the 1S–2S transition in antihydrogen
The shape of the spectral line and the resonance frequency of the 1S–2S transition in antihydrogen agree very well with those of hydrogen.
M. Ahmadi, B. X. R. Alves, C. J. Baker et al.
Lightwave valleytronics in a monolayer of tungsten diselenide
A strong lightwave in a monolayer of tungsten diselenide drives changes in the valley pseudospin, making valley pseudospin an information carrier that is switchable faster than a single light cycle.
F. Langer, C. P. Schmid, S. Schlauderer et al.
An optical-frequency synthesizer using integrated photonics
An optical-frequency synthesizer based on stabilized frequency combs has been developed utilizing chip-scale devices as key components, in a move towards using integrated photonics technology for ultrafast science and metrology.
Daryl T. Spencer, Tara Drake, Travis C. Briles et al.
Hyperexpandable, self-healing macromolecular crystals with integrated polymer networks
The integration of macromolecular ferritin protein crystals with hydrogel polymers gives a composite material that expands isotropically and reversibly to twice its size while maintaining periodicity, resists fragmentation and self-heals efficiently.
Ling Zhang, Jake B. Bailey, Rohit H. Subramanian et al.
Synthesis, structure and reaction chemistry of a nucleophilic aluminyl anion
An aluminium compound is synthesized in which the aluminium is formally anionic; reactions with various substrates suggest that this compound acts as the nucleophilic partner in both metal-carbon and metal-metal bond-forming reactions.
Jamie Hicks, Petra Vasko, Jose M. Goicoechea et al.
Complete Ichthyornis skull illuminates mosaic assembly of the avian head
High-resolution computed tomography of three-dimensionally preserved specimens of Ichthyornis dispar clarifies the mosaic evolution of the avian head, revealing a kinetic feeding apparatus reminiscent of modern birds, a transitional beak and a dinosaurian temporal region.
Daniel J. Field, Michael Hanson, David Burnham et al.
Deep mitochondrial origin outside the sampled alphaproteobacteria
Genome data for thirteen alphaproteobacteria-related clades expand the coverage of alphaproteobacterial diversity and suggest that mitochondria diverged from Alphaproteobacteria before the diversification of all currently known alphaproteobacterial lineages.
Joran Martijn, Julian Vosseberg, Lionel Guy et al.
Blastocyst-like structures generated solely from stem cells
Trophoblast and embryonic stem cells interact in vitro to form structures that resemble early blastocysts, and the embryo provides signals that drive early trophectoderm development and implantation.
Nicolas C. Rivron, Javier Frias-Aldeguer, Erik J. Vrij et al.
LUBAC is essential for embryogenesis by preventing cell death and enabling haematopoiesis
The HOIL-1 component of the LUBAC ubiquitin ligase complex is required for LUBAC activity, which prevents lethality during embryogenesis by preventing aberrant TNFR1-mediated endothelial cell death and RIPK1-mediated defects in haematopoiesis.
Nieves Peltzer, Maurice Darding, Antonella Montinaro et al.
Architecture of an HIV-1 reverse transcriptase initiation complex
A cryo-EM structure of an initiation complex of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase sheds light on the initiation of reverse transcription of viral RNA.
Kevin P. Larsen, Yamuna Kalyani Mathiharan, Kalli Kappel et al.
Structure of the alternative complex III in a supercomplex with cytochrome oxidase
The structure of alternative complex III, a key enzyme in the bacterial electron transport chain, is reported both alone and as a supercomplex with an aa3-type cytochrome c oxidase.
Chang Sun, Samir Benlekbir, Padmaja Venkatakrishnan et al.


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