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Current Issue of Nature

Current Issue : Nature

Current Issue

Volume 552 Number 7683 pp5-136

7 December 2017

About the cover

The cover shows a representation of the Mona Lisa on a 8,704-pixel canvas, created by the self-assembly of DNA. The use of such two-dimensional DNA nanostructures to produce surface patterns with nanometre precision is not new, but their size has until now been limited to around 0.05 square micrometres — too small for many potential applications. In this issue, Lulu Qian and her colleagues reveal that when applying simple assembly rules recursively throughout a multi-stage process, a small set of unique DNA strands can be used to create 2D arrays of up to 0.5 µm2. In similar work, the size of 3D DNA nanostructures has been boosted: Peng Yin and his colleagues use a new generation of DNA bricks to form nanostructures of more than 10,000 components that can be sculpted into objects such as letters and a teddy bear; and Hendrik Dietz and his colleagues show that large objects can be efficiently assembled in a multi-stage process when using DNA building blocks with optimized shape and interaction patterns. The Dietz team also demonstrates a scalable, cost-efficient method for making the required DNA strands. A News & Views by Fei Zhang and Hao Yan puts these developments into context. Cover image: Grigory Tikhomirov, Philip Petersen & Lulu Qian/Caltech

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Nature Index Science Inc. 2017

Nature Index

  • Papers to patents

    The withdrawal of large US corporations from research is narrowing the scope of innovation.

    • Ashish Arora
    • Sharon Belenzon
    • Andrea Patacconi
  • Lost opportunities

    Life science companies are missing out on the benefits of open innovation.

    • Phillip Phan
    • Dean Wong
  • In good company

    Academic life isn’t for everyone. Here we profile scientists who have made the switch from academia to industry, all motivated by a desire to see their discoveries translated into real-world solutions.

    • Elie Dolgin
  • First among equals

    Exploring complementary strengths is the key to success in industry–academia science partnerships.

    • Mark Zastrow
  • Corporates make reluctant partners

    The Japanese government wants to lure more industry funding into universities, but companies need to be convinced they’ll get value.

    • Ichiko Fuyuno
  • A guide to the Nature Index

    A description of the terminology and methodology used in this supplement, and a guide to the functionality available free online at

    spotlight on India


    spotlight on Nanocarbon in Japan




    • Structure of PINK1 in complex with its substrate ubiquitin

      • Alexander F. Schubert
      • Christina Gladkova
      • Els Pardon
      • Jane L. Wagstaff
      • Stefan M. V. Freund
      • Jan Steyaert
      • Sarah L. Maslen
      • David Komander

      Stabilization of a transient protein kinase–substrate complex using a nanobody provides molecular details about how the Parkinson’s disease-linked protein kinase PINK1 phosphorylates ubiquitin, and suggests new pharmacological strategies.

      See also
    • A transfer-RNA-derived small RNA regulates ribosome biogenesis

      • Hak Kyun Kim
      • Gabriele Fuchs
      • Shengchun Wang
      • Wei Wei
      • Yue Zhang
      • Hyesuk Park
      • Biswajoy Roy-Chaudhuri
      • Pan Li
      • Jianpeng Xu
      • Kirk Chu
      • Feijie Zhang
      • Mei-Sze Chua
      • Samuel So
      • Qiangfeng Cliff Zhang
      • Peter Sarnow
      • Mark A. Kay

      A 22-nucleotide fragment of a transfer RNA regulates translation by binding to the mRNA of a ribosomal protein and increasing its expression, and downregulation of the fragment in patient-derived liver tumour cells reduces tumour growth in mice.


    • Programmable self-assembly of three-dimensional nanostructures from 10,000 unique components

      • Luvena L. Ong
      • Nikita Hanikel
      • Omar K. Yaghi
      • Casey Grun
      • Maximilian T. Strauss
      • Patrick Bron
      • Josephine Lai-Kee-Him
      • Florian Schueder
      • Bei Wang
      • Pengfei Wang
      • Jocelyn Y. Kishi
      • Cameron Myhrvold
      • Allen Zhu
      • Ralf Jungmann
      • Gaetan Bellot
      • Yonggang Ke
      • Peng Yin

      DNA bricks with binding domains of 13 nucleotides instead of the typical 8 make it possible to self-assemble gigadalton-scale, three-dimensional nanostructures consisting of tens of thousands of unique components.

      See also
      See also
      See also
      See also
    • Reconciling taxon senescence with the Red Queen’s hypothesis

      • Indrė Žliobaitė
      • Mikael Fortelius
      • Nils C. Stenseth

      Focusing attention on the expansion of taxa, rather than their survival, resolves the apparent contradiction between seemingly deterministic patterns of waxing and waning of taxa over time and the randomness of extinction implied by the Red Queen’s hypothesis.

      See also
    • Genetic diversity of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae

      • The Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genomes Consortium

      Genome sequencing analyses from 765 specimens of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii from 15 locations across Africa characterize patterns of gene flow and variations in population size, and provide a resource for studying the evolution of natural malaria vector populations.

    • Immune evasion of Plasmodium falciparum by RIFIN via inhibitory receptors

      • Fumiji Saito
      • Kouyuki Hirayasu
      • Takeshi Satoh
      • Christian W. Wang
      • John Lusingu
      • Takao Arimori
      • Kyoko Shida
      • Nirianne Marie Q. Palacpac
      • Sawako Itagaki
      • Shiroh Iwanaga
      • Eizo Takashima
      • Takafumi Tsuboi
      • Masako Kohyama
      • Tadahiro Suenaga
      • Marco Colonna
      • Junichi Takagi
      • Thomas Lavstsen
      • Toshihiro Horii
      • Hisashi Arase

      Proteins expressed on the surfaces of erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum help the parasite to evade the host immune system by acting as ligands for immune inhibitory receptors and thereby downregulating the immune response.

    • Maternal age generates phenotypic variation in Caenorhabditis elegans

      • Marcos Francisco Perez
      • Mirko Francesconi
      • Cristina Hidalgo-Carcedo
      • Ben Lehner

      Maternal age is found to be a major source of phenotypic variation in isogenic C. elegans populations living in a controlled environment, with the progeny of young mothers impaired for multiple fitness traits.

    • IL-11 is a crucial determinant of cardiovascular fibrosis

      • Sebastian Schafer
      • Sivakumar Viswanathan
      • Anissa A. Widjaja
      • Wei-Wen Lim
      • Aida Moreno-Moral
      • Daniel M. DeLaughter
      • Benjamin Ng
      • Giannino Patone
      • Kingsley Chow
      • Ester Khin
      • Jessie Tan
      • Sonia P. Chothani
      • Lei Ye
      • Owen J. L. Rackham
      • Nicole S. J. Ko
      • Norliza E. Sahib
      • Chee Jian Pua
      • Nicole T. G. Zhen
      • Chen Xie
      • Mao Wang
      • Henrike Maatz
      • Shiqi Lim
      • Kathrin Saar
      • Susanne Blachut
      • Enrico Petretto
      • Sabine Schmidt
      • Tracy Putoczki
      • Nuno Guimarães-Camboa
      • Hiroko Wakimoto
      • Sebastiaan van Heesch
      • Kristmundur Sigmundsson
      • See L. Lim
      • Jia L. Soon
      • Victor T. T. Chao
      • Yeow L. Chua
      • Teing E. Tan
      • Sylvia M. Evans
      • Yee J. Loh
      • Muhammad H. Jamal
      • Kim K. Ong
      • Kim C. Chua
      • Boon-Hean Ong
      • Mathew J. Chakaramakkil
      • Jonathan G. Seidman
      • Christine E. Seidman
      • Norbert Hubner
      • Kenny Y. K. Sin
      • Stuart A. Cook

      Fibroblast-specific IL-11 expression causes heart and kidney fibrosis and organ failure, whereas IL-11 inhibition prevents fibroblast activation and organ fibrosis, indicating that IL-11 inhibition is a potential therapeutic strategy to treat fibrotic diseases.

    • Inactivation of DNA repair triggers neoantigen generation and impairs tumour growth

      • Giovanni Germano
      • Simona Lamba
      • Giuseppe Rospo
      • Ludovic Barault
      • Alessandro Magrì
      • Federica Maione
      • Mariangela Russo
      • Giovanni Crisafulli
      • Alice Bartolini
      • Giulia Lerda
      • Giulia Siravegna
      • Benedetta Mussolin
      • Roberta Frapolli
      • Monica Montone
      • Federica Morano
      • Filippo de Braud
      • Nabil Amirouchene-Angelozzi
      • Silvia Marsoni
      • Maurizio D’Incalci
      • Armando Orlandi
      • Enrico Giraudo
      • Andrea Sartore-Bianchi
      • Salvatore Siena
      • Filippo Pietrantonio
      • Federica Di Nicolantonio
      • Alberto Bardelli

      The inactivation of DNA mismatch repair in cancer cells produces dynamic mutational profiles and generates neoantigens, which result in improved immune surveillance against these cells.

    • Promoter-bound METTL3 maintains myeloid leukaemia by m6A-dependent translation control

      • Isaia Barbieri
      • Konstantinos Tzelepis
      • Luca Pandolfini
      • Junwei Shi
      • Gonzalo Millán-Zambrano
      • Samuel C. Robson
      • Demetrios Aspris
      • Valentina Migliori
      • Andrew J. Bannister
      • Namshik Han
      • Etienne De Braekeleer
      • Hannes Ponstingl
      • Alan Hendrick
      • Christopher R. Vakoc
      • George S. Vassiliou
      • Tony Kouzarides

      The methyltransferase METTL3 promotes the leukaemic state in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) by catalysing the m6A RNA modification through its recruitment on the transcription start sites of AML-associated genes.

    • Genetically programmed chiral organoborane synthesis

      • S. B. Jennifer Kan
      • Xiongyi Huang
      • Yosephine Gumulya
      • Kai Chen
      • Frances H. Arnold

      A genetically encoded platform can produce chiral organoboranes in bacteria with high turnover, enantioselectivity and chemoselectivity, and can be tuned and configured through DNA manipulation.