Nature is the international weekly journal of science: a magazine style journal that publishes full-length research papers in all disciplines of science, as well as News and Views, reviews, news, features, commentaries, web focuses and more, covering all branches of science and how science impacts upon all aspects of society and life.
Members of an isolated Amazon tribe in Venezuela (pictured) have the most diverse gut bacteria ever documented in humans.Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello at New York University School of Medicine analysed oral, faecal and skin bacteria from 34 Yanomami villagers who had never met anyone from
The sweet-potato genome contains genes from bacteria, so is an example of a naturally occurring genetically modified (GM) plant.While combing through the genome of the domesticated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), Jan Kreuze of the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, and his
The remains of an ice shelf that collapsed spectacularly in 2002 may be headed for total disintegration.The break-up of the Larsen B ice shelf was one of the largest and fastest melting events ever seen by glaciologists. Ala Khazendar of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Subpopulations of tumour cells can harbour unique mutations that crop up later in a tumour's lifetime, and these could lead to treatment resistance.Tumours contain cells with distinct mutations. Charles Swanton of University College London and his colleagues analysed DNA sequence data from more than
Bone-eating worms devour dead whales in today's oceans, but their ancient relatives might have emerged millions of years before their modern food source.Modern Osedax worms drill distinctive holes in bone, with the oldest examples found in whale and fish bones from around 30
Hawk-moths are better at finding nectar in flowers shaped like the bell of a trumpet than in those that resemble a flat disc.Eric Octavio Campos and his colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle used a 3D printer to create flowers that were
Octopuses can move quickly in any direction, regardless of which way the eyes and body are facing.Binyamin Hochner of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his colleagues studied the animal's movement by analysing videos of crawling octopuses (Octopus vulgaris; pictured). They
Exploding stars grouped in one family because of their similarities actually form two distinct groups. This may have important cosmic implications because the explosions, called supernovae, are the primary evidence that the Universe's expansion is accelerating.Half of type Ia supernovae seem to have similar
Many animals have coloration that shifts depending on the angle from which they are viewed, and this may help them to avoid predators.This 'interference coloration' has evolved several times in beetles, birds, fish and other creatures, but it is not clear why. Thomas Pike,
Isaac Newton was among the great scientists who took inspiration from music (see Nature519, 262;10.1038/519262a2015). In fact, music drove him to add two new colours to the rainbow.The medieval rainbow had just five colours: red, yellow, green, blue
As members of the Anthropocene Working Group, we contend that the proposed new geological epoch should reflect a unique stratigraphic unit that is characterized by unambiguous, widespread and essentially permanent anthropogenic signatures in rock, glacial ice or marine sediments. We therefore find the two dates
Never before have scientists had the ability to generate and collect so much data — recent estimates suggest that the global scientific output is doubling roughly every decade (see L.Bornmann and R.Mutz, preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.4578v3; 2014, and go.nature.com/nzejwh).
There are more than one billion mobile devices in China, offering huge potential for citizen scientists to contribute to a cleaner and safer environment. The scientific community should rapidly develop mobile apps to collect and monitor environmental and biodiversity data.In one example of how
To celebrate the golden jubilee of On the Origin of Species, in 1909, the Linnean Society of London held a special meeting on a hot biological topic of the day — the origin of the vertebrates. Such was the lack of consensus that one
Over the past 200 years, almost every invertebrate phylum has been proposed as a starting point for evolving vertebrates. Most of these scenarios are outdated, but several are still seriously considered. The short-range transition from ancestral invertebrate chordates (similar to amphioxus and tunicates) to vertebrates
Our understanding of vertebrate origins is powerfully informed by comparative morphology, embryology and genomics of chordates, hemichordates and echinoderms, which together make up the deuterostome clade. Striking body-plan differences among these phyla have historically hindered the identification of ancestral morphological features, but recent progress in
It has been more than 30 years since the publication of the new head hypothesis, which proposed that the vertebrate head is an evolutionary novelty resulting from the emergence of neural crest and cranial placodes. Neural crest generates the skull and associated connective tissues, whereas
The origin of vertebrates was accompanied by the advent of a novel cell type: the neural crest. Emerging from the central nervous system, these cells migrate to diverse locations and differentiate into numerous derivatives. By coupling morphological and gene regulatory information from vertebrates and other
The interrelationships between major living vertebrate, and even chordate, groups are now reasonably well resolved thanks to a large amount of generally congruent data derived from molecular sequences, anatomy and physiology. But fossils provide unexpected combinations of characters that help us to understand how the
Fossils of early gnathostomes (or jawed vertebrates) have been the focus of study for nearly two centuries. They yield key clues about the evolutionary assembly of the group's common body plan, as well the divergence of the two living gnathostome lineages: the cartilaginous and bony
The News story ‘Hope for science in fallout of nuclear deal’ (Nature520, 274–275; 2015) wrongly stated that Iran found a bank willing to accept its payment of dues to CERN. It was CERN, not Iran, that found the bank. In addition,
The technique of optical dating was first reported 30 years ago, and has since revolutionized studies of events that occurred during the past 500,000 years. Here, two practitioners of optical dating assess its impact and consider its future.
An optomechanical device has allowed quanta, or 'grains', of mechanical vibration to be counted by optical means. The system may open up new possibilities in acoustics and thermal engineering. See Letter p.522
A model suggests that active deformation in mountains causes river networks to constantly reorganize, providing an explanation for the paradoxical formation of almost flat surfaces high in craggy mountain ranges. See Letter p.526
50 Years AgoWith sympathy and understanding, the Editor of Nature publishes the following communication from Prof. H. Newton Barber, professor of botany in the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia ... “I recently had to read an account of the VII SCOR
Female mice can learn to respond to distress calls from young mice — an ability that has now been found to be improved through signalling by the hormone oxytocin in the left auditory cortex of the brain. See Article p.499
Three studies reveal that augmentation of a signalling pathway involving the growth factor neuregulin 1 and its receptor protein ERBB2 can promote the generation of muscle cells in zebrafish, mice and infant heart tissue.
Ecological factors such as host density are important predictors of disease incidence. But another key determinant may be the evolutionary history and relatedness of the host community. See Letter p.542
Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behaviour. However, little is known about when, where and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition. Here we show how oxytocin enables pup retrieval behaviour in female mice by enhancing auditory cortical pup call responses.
CRISPR–Cas (clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats coupled with CRISPR-associated proteins) is a bacterial immunity system that protects against invading phages or plasmids. In the process of CRISPR adaptation, short pieces of DNA (‘spacers’) are acquired from foreign elements and integrated into the CRISPR array.