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Current Issue of Nature

Current Issue : Nature

Current Issue

Volume 555 Number 7697 pp413-543

22 March 2018

About the cover

The ubiquity of the optical laser means that it is easy to overlook its elder sibling, the maser. Essentially a 'microwave laser', the maser was developed in 1954 some six years before its optical counterpart. But the demanding conditions usually required for masers to function — cryogenic refrigeration and high-vacuum systems — have somewhat restricted their possible applications. Although room-temperature masers have been developed using molecular crystals, these have relatively poor thermal and mechanical properties and can operate only in pulsed mode. In this issue, Jonathan Breeze and his colleagues overcome these problems with a room-temperature maser that can operate in continuous-wave mode. The system uses a diamond (pictured on the cover) that contains defects called nitrogen–vacancy centres. Masers are already exploited for deep-space communications and radio astronomy, but this room-temperature device could expand their applications to medicine, security and quantum technologies. Cover image: Thomas Angus & Jonathan Breeze/Imperial College London; Stuart Penn

This Week



World View

  • Let democracy rule nuclear energy

    In South Korea, hundreds ofwell-informed citizens voted on behalf of their country — a technique that should be used more widely, says Ji-Bum Chung.

Research Highlights


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  • This big

    A ray of hope.

    • John Cooper Hamilton


Technology Feature


Nature Index

Nature Index

  • Stalled ambition

    Continuing decline in Japan’s research performance bodes ill for the country’s ambition to become a ‘super-smart’ society.

    • Catherine Armitage
  • Resistance to reform

    Efforts to improve Japan's scientific status include top-down institutional change, but tradition is hard to break.

    • Ichiko Fuyuno
  • Relative gain

    A graphic representation shows how Japan’s production of natural-science papers has fallen but some institutions shine.

    • Partners in discovery

      Osaka University bets on commercial-academic collaborations to survive.

      • Ichiko Fuyuno
    • Strength from weakness

      Japan's vision of a high-tech, 'super-smart' society relies on sustained investment to arrest scientific decline.

      • Tim Hornyak
    • Pillars of a smart society

      Across the scientific fields, Japanese researchers are bringing together the virtual and real worlds.

      • Smriti Mallapaty
    • Facing down disaster

      An institute's work on warning and mitigation systems for catastrophic events is a national priority.

      • Tim Hornyak
    • Short-term generation

      With permanent academic jobs scarce, young researchers on temporary contracts are nervous about the future. The government wants industry to utilize their talents.

      • Smriti Mallapaty
    • Access granted

      International collaborations are rising, but not enough to put Japan on the international researcher circuit.

      • Daniel Hurst
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      Gakushuin University is the top-ranking institution when assessed on the quality of its research in the natural sciences.

      • Tim Hornyak
    • 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


      Brief Communication Arising

      • Kitcre knock-in mice fail to fate-map cardiac stem cells

        • Carla Vicinanza
        • Iolanda Aquila
        • Eleonora Cianflone
        • Mariangela Scalise
        • Fabiola Marino
        • Teresa Mancuso
        • Francesca Fumagalli
        • Emilia Dora Giovannone
        • Francesca Cristiano
        • Enrico Iaccino
        • Pina Marotta
        • Annalaura Torella
        • Roberto Latini
        • Valter Agosti
        • Pierangelo Veltri
        • Konrad Urbanek
        • Andrea M. Isidori
        • Dieter Saur
        • Ciro Indolfi
        • Bernardo Nadal-Ginard
        • Daniele Torella
      • van Berlo et al. reply

        • Jop H. van Berlo
        • Onur Kanisicak
        • Marjorie Maillet
        • Ronald J. Vagnozzi
        • Jason Karch
        • Suh-Chin J. Lin
        • Ryan C. Middleton
        • Eduardo Marbán
        • Jeffery D. Molkentin

      News & Views



      • Developmental diversification of cortical inhibitory interneurons

        • Christian Mayer
        • Christoph Hafemeister
        • Rachel C. Bandler
        • Robert Machold
        • Renata Batista Brito
        • Xavier Jaglin
        • Kathryn Allaway
        • Andrew Butler
        • Gord Fishell
        • Rahul Satija

        The embryonic emergence of interneuron subtypes in mice is revealed by integrated single-cell transcriptomic analysis along a developmental time course.

        See also
      • Placentation defects are highly prevalent in embryonic lethal mouse mutants

        • Vicente Perez-Garcia
        • Elena Fineberg
        • Robert Wilson
        • Alexander Murray
        • Cecilia Icoresi Mazzeo
        • Catherine Tudor
        • Arnold Sienerth
        • Jacqueline K. White
        • Elizabeth Tuck
        • Edward J. Ryder
        • Diane Gleeson
        • Emma Siragher
        • Hannah Wardle-Jones
        • Nicole Staudt
        • Neha Wali
        • John Collins
        • Stefan Geyer
        • Elisabeth M. Busch-Nentwich
        • Antonella Galli
        • James C. Smith
        • Elizabeth Robertson
        • David J. Adams
        • Wolfgang J. Weninger
        • Timothy Mohun
        • Myriam Hemberger

        Analysis of embryonic lethal and sub-viable mouse knockout lines reveals that ablation of many genes affects placental development, and that the occurrence of placental defects is co-associated with abnormal brain, heart and vascular system development.

      • DNA methylation-based classification of central nervous system tumours

        • David Capper
        • David T. W. Jones
        • Martin Sill
        • Volker Hovestadt
        • Daniel Schrimpf
        • Dominik Sturm
        • Christian Koelsche
        • Felix Sahm
        • Lukas Chavez
        • David E. Reuss
        • Annekathrin Kratz
        • Annika K. Wefers
        • Kristin Huang
        • Kristian W. Pajtler
        • Leonille Schweizer
        • Damian Stichel
        • Adriana Olar
        • Nils W. Engel
        • Kerstin Lindenberg
        • Patrick N. Harter
        • Anne K. Braczynski
        • Karl H. Plate
        • Hildegard Dohmen
        • Boyan K. Garvalov
        • Roland Coras
        • Annett Hölsken
        • Ekkehard Hewer
        • Melanie Bewerunge-Hudler
        • Matthias Schick
        • Roger Fischer
        • Rudi Beschorner
        • Jens Schittenhelm
        • Ori Staszewski
        • Khalida Wani
        • Pascale Varlet
        • Melanie Pages
        • Petra Temming
        • Dietmar Lohmann
        • Florian Selt
        • Hendrik Witt
        • Till Milde
        • Olaf Witt
        • Eleonora Aronica
        • Felice Giangaspero
        • Elisabeth Rushing
        • Wolfram Scheurlen
        • Christoph Geisenberger
        • Fausto J. Rodriguez
        • Albert Becker
        • Matthias Preusser
        • Christine Haberler
        • Rolf Bjerkvig
        • Jane Cryan
        • Michael Farrell
        • Martina Deckert
        • Jürgen Hench
        • Stephan Frank
        • Jonathan Serrano
        • Kasthuri Kannan
        • Aristotelis Tsirigos
        • Wolfgang Brück
        • Silvia Hofer
        • Stefanie Brehmer
        • Marcel Seiz-Rosenhagen
        • Daniel Hänggi
        • Volkmar Hans
        • Stephanie Rozsnoki
        • Jordan R. Hansford
        • Patricia Kohlhof
        • Bjarne W. Kristensen
        • Matt Lechner
        • Beatriz Lopes
        • Christian Mawrin
        • Ralf Ketter
        • Andreas Kulozik
        • Ziad Khatib
        • Frank Heppner
        • Arend Koch
        • Anne Jouvet
        • Catherine Keohane
        • Helmut Mühleisen
        • Wolf Mueller
        • Ute Pohl
        • Marco Prinz
        • Axel Benner
        • Marc Zapatka
        • Nicholas G. Gottardo
        • Pablo Hernáiz Driever
        • Christof M. Kramm
        • Hermann L. Müller
        • Stefan Rutkowski
        • Katja von Hoff
        • Michael C. Frühwald
        • Astrid Gnekow
        • Gudrun Fleischhack
        • Stephan Tippelt
        • Gabriele Calaminus
        • Camelia-Maria Monoranu
        • Arie Perry
        • Chris Jones
        • Thomas S. Jacques
        • Bernhard Radlwimmer
        • Marco Gessi
        • Torsten Pietsch
        • Johannes Schramm
        • Gabriele Schackert
        • Manfred Westphal
        • Guido Reifenberger
        • Pieter Wesseling
        • Michael Weller
        • Vincent Peter Collins
        • Ingmar Blümcke
        • Martin Bendszus
        • Jürgen Debus
        • Annie Huang
        • Nada Jabado
        • Paul A. Northcott
        • Werner Paulus
        • Amar Gajjar
        • Giles W. Robinson
        • Michael D. Taylor
        • Zane Jaunmuktane
        • Marina Ryzhova
        • Michael Platten
        • Andreas Unterberg
        • Wolfgang Wick
        • Matthias A. Karajannis
        • Michel Mittelbronn
        • Till Acker
        • Christian Hartmann
        • Kenneth Aldape
        • Ulrich Schüller
        • Rolf Buslei
        • Peter Lichter
        • Marcel Kool
        • Christel Herold-Mende
        • David W. Ellison
        • Martin Hasselblatt
        • Matija Snuderl
        • Sebastian Brandner
        • Andrey Korshunov
        • Andreas von Deimling
        • Stefan M. Pfister

        An online approach for the DNA methylation-based classification of central nervous system tumours across all entities and age groups has been developed to help to improve current diagnostic standards.

        See also
      • Integrative structure and functional anatomy of a nuclear pore complex

        • Seung Joong Kim
        • Javier Fernandez-Martinez
        • Ilona Nudelman
        • Yi Shi
        • Wenzhu Zhang
        • Barak Raveh
        • Thurston Herricks
        • Brian D. Slaughter
        • Joanna A. Hogan
        • Paula Upla
        • Ilan E. Chemmama
        • Riccardo Pellarin
        • Ignacia Echeverria
        • Manjunatha Shivaraju
        • Azraa S. Chaudhury
        • Junjie Wang
        • Rosemary Williams
        • Jay R. Unruh
        • Charles H. Greenberg
        • Erica Y. Jacobs
        • Zhiheng Yu
        • M. Jason de la Cruz
        • Roxana Mironska
        • David L. Stokes
        • John D. Aitchison
        • Martin F. Jarrold
        • Jennifer L. Gerton
        • Steven J. Ludtke
        • Christopher W. Akey
        • Brian T. Chait
        • Andrej Sali
        • Michael P. Rout

        The structure of the yeast nuclear pore complex, determined with sub-nanometre precision using an integrative approach that combines a wide range of data, reveals details of its architecture, transport mechanism and evolutionary origins.


      • Image reconstruction by domain-transform manifold learning

        • Bo Zhu
        • Jeremiah Z. Liu
        • Stephen F. Cauley
        • Bruce R. Rosen
        • Matthew S. Rosen

        Image reconstruction is reformulated using a data-driven, supervised machine learning framework that allows a mapping between sensor and image domains to emerge from even noisy and undersampled data, improving accuracy and reducing image artefacts.

      • Continuous-wave room-temperature diamond maser

        • Jonathan D. Breeze
        • Enrico Salvadori
        • Juna Sathian
        • Neil McN. Alford
        • Christopher W. M. Kay

        A continuous-wave room-temperature maser is demonstrated by combining a cavity with a high Purcell factor with the narrow linewidth of nitrogen–vacancy defect centres in diamond.

        See also
      • Maximizing and stabilizing luminescence from halide perovskites with potassium passivation

        • Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi
        • Zahra Andaji-Garmaroudi
        • Stefania Cacovich
        • Camille Stavrakas
        • Bertrand Philippe
        • Johannes M. Richter
        • Mejd Alsari
        • Edward P. Booker
        • Eline M. Hutter
        • Andrew J. Pearson
        • Samuele Lilliu
        • Tom J. Savenije
        • Håkan Rensmo
        • Giorgio Divitini
        • Caterina Ducati
        • Richard H. Friend
        • Samuel D. Stranks

        Modifying the surfaces and grain boundaries of perovskites with passivating potassium halide layers can mitigate non-radiative losses and photoinduced ion migration, increasing luminescence yields and improving charge transport and interfaces with device electrodes.

      • A lithium–oxygen battery with a long cycle life in an air-like atmosphere

        • Mohammad Asadi
        • Baharak Sayahpour
        • Pedram Abbasi
        • Anh T. Ngo
        • Klas Karis
        • Jacob R. Jokisaari
        • Cong Liu
        • Badri Narayanan
        • Marc Gerard
        • Poya Yasaei
        • Xuan Hu
        • Arijita Mukherjee
        • Kah Chun Lau
        • Rajeev S. Assary
        • Fatemeh Khalili-Araghi
        • Robert F. Klie
        • Larry A. Curtiss
        • Amin Salehi-Khojin

        A lithium–oxygen battery, comprising a lithium carbonate-based protected anode, a molybdenum disulfide cathode and an ionic liquid/dimethyl sulfoxide electrolyte, operates in a simulated air atmosphere with a long cycle life of up to 700 cycles.

      • Humans thrived in South Africa through the Toba eruption about 74,000 years ago

        • Eugene I. Smith
        • Zenobia Jacobs
        • Racheal Johnsen
        • Minghua Ren
        • Erich C. Fisher
        • Simen Oestmo
        • Jayne Wilkins
        • Jacob A. Harris
        • Panagiotis Karkanas
        • Shelby Fitch
        • Amber Ciravolo
        • Deborah Keenan
        • Naomi Cleghorn
        • Christine S. Lane
        • Thalassa Matthews
        • Curtis W. Marean

        Youngest Toba Tuff glass shards found together with evidence of human occupation at two archaeological sites from the southern coast of South Africa indicate that early modern humans thrived in this region despite the eruption of the Toba supervolcano about 74,000 years ago.

      • Carbon dioxide addition to coral reef waters suppresses net community calcification

        • Rebecca Albright
        • Yuichiro Takeshita
        • David A. Koweek
        • Aaron Ninokawa
        • Kennedy Wolfe
        • Tanya Rivlin
        • Yana Nebuchina
        • Jordan Young
        • Ken Caldeira

        In situ carbon dioxide enrichment experiments show that ocean acidification poses a threat to coral reefs by reducing the saturation state of aragonite and the concentration of carbonate ions and that this impairs community calcification.

      • Dysregulation of expression correlates with rare-allele burden and fitness loss in maize

        • Karl A. G. Kremling
        • Shu-Yun Chen
        • Mei-Hsiu Su
        • Nicholas K. Lepak
        • M. Cinta Romay
        • Kelly L. Swarts
        • Fei Lu
        • Anne Lorant
        • Peter J. Bradbury
        • Edward S. Buckler

        A multi-tissue gene expression resource representative of the genotypic and phenotypic diversity of modern inbred maize reveals the effect of rare alleles and evolutionary history on the regulation of gene expression.

      • A single-cell RNA-seq survey of the developmental landscape of the human prefrontal cortex

        • Suijuan Zhong
        • Shu Zhang
        • Xiaoying Fan
        • Qian Wu
        • Liying Yan
        • Ji Dong
        • Haofeng Zhang
        • Long Li
        • Le Sun
        • Na Pan
        • Xiaohui Xu
        • Fuchou Tang
        • Jun Zhang
        • Jie Qiao
        • Xiaoqun Wang

        Analysis of gene expression at single-cell resolution in the developing prefrontal cortex of the human embryo reveals a diversity of cell types, elucidates cell lineages and identifies signalling pathways that regulate development.

      • Carbonate-sensitive phytotransferrin controls high-affinity iron uptake in diatoms

        • Jeffrey B. McQuaid
        • Adam B. Kustka
        • Miroslav Oborník
        • Aleš Horák
        • John P. McCrow
        • Bogumil J. Karas
        • Hong Zheng
        • Theodor Kindeberg
        • Andreas J. Andersson
        • Katherine A. Barbeau
        • Andrew E. Allen

        Phytotransferrin, a functional analogue of transferrin, has an obligate requirement for carbonate to bind iron, which suggests that acidification-driven declines in the concentration of seawater carbonate ions may negatively affect diatom iron acquisition.

      • The cis-regulatory dynamics of embryonic development at single-cell resolution

        • Darren A. Cusanovich
        • James P. Reddington
        • David A. Garfield
        • Riza M. Daza
        • Delasa Aghamirzaie
        • Raquel Marco-Ferreres
        • Hannah A. Pliner
        • Lena Christiansen
        • Xiaojie Qiu
        • Frank J. Steemers
        • Cole Trapnell
        • Jay Shendure
        • Eileen E. M. Furlong

        An improved assay for chromatin accessibility at single-cell resolution in Drosophila melanogaster embryos enables identification of developmental-stage- and cell-lineage-specific patterns of chromatin-level transcriptional regulation.




      • Erratum: The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe

        • Iñigo Olalde
        • Selina Brace
        • Morten E. Allentoft
        • Ian Armit
        • Kristian Kristiansen
        • Thomas Booth
        • Nadin Rohland
        • Swapan Mallick
        • Anna Szécsényi-Nagy
        • Alissa Mittnik
        • Eveline Altena
        • Mark Lipson
        • Iosif Lazaridis
        • Thomas K. Harper
        • Nick Patterson
        • Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht
        • Yoan Diekmann
        • Zuzana Faltyskova
        • Daniel Fernandes
        • Matthew Ferry
        • Eadaoin Harney
        • Peter de Knijff
        • Megan Michel
        • Jonas Oppenheimer
        • Kristin Stewardson
        • Alistair Barclay
        • Kurt Werner Alt
        • Corina Liesau
        • Patricia Ríos
        • Concepción Blasco
        • Jorge Vega Miguel
        • Roberto Menduiña García
        • Azucena Avilés Fernández
        • Eszter Bánffy
        • Maria Bernabò-Brea
        • David Billoin
        • Clive Bonsall
        • Laura Bonsall
        • Tim Allen
        • Lindsey Büster
        • Sophie Carver
        • Laura Castells Navarro
        • Oliver E. Craig
        • Gordon T. Cook
        • Barry Cunliffe
        • Anthony Denaire
        • Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy
        • Natasha Dodwell
        • Michal Ernée
        • Christopher Evans
        • Milan Kuchařík
        • Joan Francès Farré
        • Chris Fowler
        • Michiel Gazenbeek
        • Rafael Garrido Pena
        • María Haber-Uriarte
        • Elżbieta Haduch
        • Gill Hey
        • Nick Jowett
        • Timothy Knowles
        • Ken Massy
        • Saskia Pfrengle
        • Philippe Lefranc
        • Olivier Lemercier
        • Arnaud Lefebvre
        • César Heras Martínez
        • Virginia Galera Olmo
        • Ana Bastida Ramírez
        • Joaquín Lomba Maurandi
        • Tona Majó
        • Jacqueline I. McKinley
        • Kathleen McSweeney
        • Balázs Gusztáv Mende
        • Alessandra Modi
        • Gabriella Kulcsár
        • Viktória Kiss
        • András Czene
        • Róbert Patay
        • Anna Endrődi
        • Kitti Köhler
        • Tamás Hajdu
        • Tamás Szeniczey
        • János Dani
        • Zsolt Bernert
        • Maya Hoole
        • Olivia Cheronet
        • Denise Keating
        • Petr Velemínský
        • Miroslav Dobeš
        • Francesca Candilio
        • Fraser Brown
        • Raúl Flores Fernández
        • Ana-Mercedes Herrero-Corral
        • Sebastiano Tusa
        • Emiliano Carnieri
        • Luigi Lentini
        • Antonella Valenti
        • Alessandro Zanini
        • Clive Waddington
        • Germán Delibes
        • Elisa Guerra-Doce
        • Benjamin Neil
        • Marcus Brittain
        • Mike Luke
        • Richard Mortimer
        • Jocelyne Desideri
        • Marie Besse
        • Günter Brücken
        • Mirosław Furmanek
        • Agata Hałuszko
        • Maksym Mackiewicz
        • Artur Rapiński
        • Stephany Leach
        • Ignacio Soriano
        • Katina T. Lillios
        • João Luís Cardoso
        • Michael Parker Pearson
        • Piotr Włodarczak
        • T. Douglas Price
        • Pilar Prieto
        • Pierre-Jérôme Rey
        • Roberto Risch
        • Manuel A. Rojo Guerra
        • Aurore Schmitt
        • Joël Serralongue
        • Ana Maria Silva
        • Václav Smrčka
        • Luc Vergnaud
        • João Zilhão
        • David Caramelli
        • Thomas Higham
        • Mark G. Thomas
        • Douglas J. Kennett
        • Harry Fokkens
        • Volker Heyd
        • Alison Sheridan
        • Karl-Göran Sjögren
        • Philipp W. Stockhammer
        • Johannes Krause
        • Ron Pinhasi
        • Wolfgang Haak
        • Ian Barnes
        • Carles Lalueza-Fox
        • David Reich