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Current Issue of Nature


Volume 575 Issue 7782, 14 November 2019

Volume 575 Issue 7782, 14 November 2019

Game plan

StarCraft II is a science-fiction strategy game that is played competitively around the world. In it, players control one of three different alien races and must make strategic and tactical decisions that adapt to their opponents’ actions. The game has emerged as a key challenge for artificial intelligence because its complexity and multi-player challenges echo potential real-world applications. But AI programs have struggled to compete with human players, even in simplified versions of the game. In this week’s issue, Oriol Vinyals at DeepMind and his colleagues report that an AI program called AlphaStar has attained the level of Grandmaster for all three alien races in StarCraft II after competing against human players using the full online version of the game. AlphaStar now ranks among the top 0.2% of players in the game. The program achieved its success thanks to a multi-agent reinforcement learning algorithm in which several deep neural network agents compete against each other, generating a set of continually adapting strategies and counter-strategies.

Cover image: DeepMind Technologies Ltd with thanks to Blizzard Entertainment

This Week

News in Focus

Books & Arts

Opinion

Work

    Feature

  • Career Feature |

    Nature’s survey of more than 6,000 graduate students reveals the turbulent nature of doctoral research.

    • Chris Woolston
  • Where I Work

  • Where I Work |

    Noam Shomron includes antiques and his own paintings of wildlife in the decor for his genomics lab.

    • Virginia Gewin

Research

    News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A multi-nozzle system has been devised that allows the 3D printing of objects using several viscous materials, thereby allowing control over the material properties of objects at the submillimetre scale.

    • Johannes T. B. Overvelde
  • News & Views |

    The ability of birds to learn a song depends not on their genes alone, but also on whether their genetic make-up is well matched to that of their singing teacher. This discovery sheds light on how gene–environment interactions affect learning.

    • Ofer Tchernichovski
    •  & Dalton Conley
  • News & Views |

    Distant DNA regions are juxtaposed and joined to form diverse immune-system genes encoding antibodies and T-cell receptors. It seems that both types of gene form by relying on DNA extrusion through a protein ring called cohesin.

    • Ferenc Livak
    •  & André Nussenzweig
  • News & Views |

    Ultrasensitive experiments on trapped antiprotons provide a window onto possible differences between matter and antimatter. Now they could also shed light on the identity of dark matter — the ‘missing’ mass in the Universe.

    • Gianpaolo Carosi
  • News & Views |

    A tracer molecule has been used to analyse tumours in vivo in mice and to group cancers according to their metabolic characteristics. Such information could have implications for determining how different malignancies are treated.

    • Aparna D. Rao
    •  & Ralph J. DeBerardinis
  • Reviews

  • Review Article |

    A review of drug resistance in cancer analyses each biological determinant of resistance separately and discusses existing and new therapeutic strategies to combat the problem as a whole.

    • Neil Vasan
    • , José Baselga
    •  & David M. Hyman
  • Articles

  • Article |

    Spin-flip resonance data are used to place direct constraints on the interaction of ultralight axion-like particles with antiprotons, improving the sensitivity to the corresponding coupling coefficient by five orders of magnitude.

    • C. Smorra
    • , Y. V. Stadnik
    • , P. E. Blessing
    • , M. Bohman
    • , M. J. Borchert
    • , J. A. Devlin
    • , S. Erlewein
    • , J. A. Harrington
    • , T. Higuchi
    • , A. Mooser
    • , G. Schneider
    • , M. Wiesinger
    • , E. Wursten
    • , K. Blaum
    • , Y. Matsuda
    • , C. Ospelkaus
    • , W. Quint
    • , J. Walz
    • , Y. Yamazaki
    • , D. Budker
    •  & S. Ulmer
  • Article |

    In the charge-density-wave Weyl semimetal (TaSe4)2I, an axion is observed and identified as a sliding mode in the charge-density-wave phase characterized by anomalous magnetoelectric transport effects.

    • J. Gooth
    • , B. Bradlyn
    • , S. Honnali
    • , C. Schindler
    • , N. Kumar
    • , J. Noky
    • , Y. Qi
    • , C. Shekhar
    • , Y. Sun
    • , Z. Wang
    • , B. A. Bernevig
    •  & C. Felser
  • Article |

    Heavier-than-air insect-scale aerial robots powered by soft artificial muscles can hover and also recover from in-flight collisions, illustrating the potential for developing next-generation agile soft robots.

    • Yufeng Chen
    • , Huichan Zhao
    • , Jie Mao
    • , Pakpong Chirarattananon
    • , E. Farrell Helbling
    • , Nak-seung Patrick Hyun
    • , David R. Clarke
    •  & Robert J. Wood
  • Article |

    Voxelated soft matter is designed and fabricated using multimaterial multinozzle three-dimensional printing, which switches between different viscoelastic inks along the same print filament to print multiple materials simultaneously.

    • Mark A. Skylar-Scott
    • , Jochen Mueller
    • , Claas W. Visser
    •  & Jennifer A. Lewis
  • Article |

    A method for the site-selective C–H borylation of arenes and heteroarenes is described, in which BBr3 acts as both a reagent and a catalyst.

    • Jiahang Lv
    • , Xiangyang Chen
    • , Xiao-Song Xue
    • , Binlin Zhao
    • , Yong Liang
    • , Minyan Wang
    • , Liqun Jin
    • , Yu Yuan
    • , Ying Han
    • , Yue Zhao
    • , Yi Lu
    • , Jing Zhao
    • , Wei-Yin Sun
    • , Kendall. N. Houk
    •  & Zhuangzhi Shi
  • Article |

    Glacierized regions that are projected to become ice-free in this century could provide substantial water storage and hydroelectric power, according to this worldwide theoretical assessment.

    • Daniel Farinotti
    • , Vanessa Round
    • , Matthias Huss
    • , Loris Compagno
    •  & Harry Zekollari
  • Article |

    In contrast to a previous study in which only bankers showed increased dishonesty when reminded of their profession, this study found that such reminders induced some dishonesty in bankers, although the effect was not significant, and that this effect was not unique to bankers.

    • Zoe Rahwan
    • , Erez Yoeli
    •  & Barbara Fasolo
  • Article |

    AlphaStar uses a multi-agent reinforcement learning algorithm and has reached Grandmaster level, ranking among the top 0.2% of human players for the real-time strategy game StarCraft II.

    • Oriol Vinyals
    • , Igor Babuschkin
    • , Wojciech M. Czarnecki
    • , Michaël Mathieu
    • , Andrew Dudzik
    • , Junyoung Chung
    • , David H. Choi
    • , Richard Powell
    • , Timo Ewalds
    • , Petko Georgiev
    • , Junhyuk Oh
    • , Dan Horgan
    • , Manuel Kroiss
    • , Ivo Danihelka
    • , Aja Huang
    • , Laurent Sifre
    • , Trevor Cai
    • , John P. Agapiou
    • , Max Jaderberg
    • , Alexander S. Vezhnevets
    • , Rémi Leblond
    • , Tobias Pohlen
    • , Valentin Dalibard
    • , David Budden
    • , Yury Sulsky
    • , James Molloy
    • , Tom L. Paine
    • , Caglar Gulcehre
    • , Ziyu Wang
    • , Tobias Pfaff
    • , Yuhuai Wu
    • , Roman Ring
    • , Dani Yogatama
    • , Dario Wünsch
    • , Katrina McKinney
    • , Oliver Smith
    • , Tom Schaul
    • , Timothy Lillicrap
    • , Koray Kavukcuoglu
    • , Demis Hassabis
    • , Chris Apps
    •  & David Silver
  • Article |

    ERK reversibly regulates embryonic stem cell transcription via selective redistribution of co-factors and RNA polymerase from pluripotency to early differentiation enhancers, while leaving transcription factors bound to their enhancers, thus preserving plasticity.

    • William B. Hamilton
    • , Yaron Mosesson
    • , Rita S. Monteiro
    • , Kristina B. Emdal
    • , Teresa E. Knudsen
    • , Chiara Francavilla
    • , Naama Barkai
    • , Jesper V. Olsen
    •  & Joshua M. Brickman
  • Article |

    Under conditions such as hypoxia or starvation, an mTORC1-lipid signalling pathway initiates mitochondrial proteolysis by YME1L.

    • Thomas MacVicar
    • , Yohsuke Ohba
    • , Hendrik Nolte
    • , Fiona Carola Mayer
    • , Takashi Tatsuta
    • , Hans-Georg Sprenger
    • , Barbara Lindner
    • , Yue Zhao
    • , Jiahui Li
    • , Christiane Bruns
    • , Marcus Krüger
    • , Markus Habich
    • , Jan Riemer
    • , Robin Schwarzer
    • , Manolis Pasparakis
    • , Sinika Henschke
    • , Jens C. Brüning
    • , Nicola Zamboni
    •  & Thomas Langer
  • Article |

    The interaction of UNC93B1 with syntenin-1 facilitates the sorting of TLR7–UNC93B1 complexes into intraluminal vesicles of multivesicular bodies, and mutations in UNC93B1 that disrupt such interactions lead to enhanced TLR7 signalling and autoimmunity.

    • Olivia Majer
    • , Bo Liu
    • , Lieselotte S. M. Kreuk
    • , Nevan Krogan
    •  & Gregory M. Barton
  • Article |

    The Toll-like receptor TLR9 is activated only after regulated release from its trafficking chaperone UNC93B1, which occurs within endosomes and is required for ligand binding and signal transduction.

    • Olivia Majer
    • , Bo Liu
    • , Brian J. Woo
    • , Lieselotte S. M. Kreuk
    • , Erik Van Dis
    •  & Gregory M. Barton
  • Article |

    A CRISPR–Cas9 genetic screen shows that the adenine nucleotide translocator is required for mitophagy and that this role is independent of its nucleotide translocase activity.

    • Atsushi Hoshino
    • , Wei-jia Wang
    • , Shogo Wada
    • , Chris McDermott-Roe
    • , Chantell S. Evans
    • , Bridget Gosis
    • , Michael P. Morley
    • , Komal S. Rathi
    • , Jian Li
    • , Kristina Li
    • , Steven Yang
    • , Meagan J. McManus
    • , Caitlyn Bowman
    • , Prasanth Potluri
    • , Michael Levin
    • , Scott Damrauer
    • , Douglas C. Wallace
    • , Erika L. F. Holzbaur
    •  & Zoltan Arany
  • Article |

    A positron emission tomography imaging tracer is developed to image mitochondrial function in vivo, and application of this tracer to a mouse model of lung cancer identifies distinct functional mitochondrial heterogeneity between tumour cells.

    • Milica Momcilovic
    • , Anthony Jones
    • , Sean T. Bailey
    • , Christopher M. Waldmann
    • , Rui Li
    • , Jason T. Lee
    • , Gihad Abdelhady
    • , Adrian Gomez
    • , Travis Holloway
    • , Ernst Schmid
    • , David Stout
    • , Michael C. Fishbein
    • , Linsey Stiles
    • , Deepa V. Dabir
    • , Steven M. Dubinett
    • , Heather Christofk
    • , Orian Shirihai
    • , Carla M. Koehler
    • , Saman Sadeghi
    •  & David B. Shackelford
  • Article |

    The S. pombe HP1 protein Swi6 couples chromatin compaction to phase separation by dynamically exposing buried histone residues within nucleosomes.

    • S. Sanulli
    • , M. J. Trnka
    • , V. Dharmarajan
    • , R. W. Tibble
    • , B. D. Pascal
    • , A. L. Burlingame
    • , P. R. Griffin
    • , J. D. Gross
    •  & G. J. Narlikar
  • Article |

    The high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the yeast translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane reveals key features of mitochondrial protein import that are conserved in all eukaryotes.

    • Yuhei Araiso
    • , Akihisa Tsutsumi
    • , Jian Qiu
    • , Kenichiro Imai
    • , Takuya Shiota
    • , Jiyao Song
    • , Caroline Lindau
    • , Lena-Sophie Wenz
    • , Haruka Sakaue
    • , Kaori Yunoki
    • , Shin Kawano
    • , Junko Suzuki
    • , Marilena Wischnewski
    • , Conny Schütze
    • , Hirotaka Ariyama
    • , Toshio Ando
    • , Thomas Becker
    • , Trevor Lithgow
    • , Nils Wiedemann
    • , Nikolaus Pfanner
    • , Masahide Kikkawa
    •  & Toshiya Endo
  • Matters Arising

Amendments & Corrections

  • Author Correction |

    • Michal Levin
    • , Leon Anavy
    • , Alison G. Cole
    • , Eitan Winter
    • , Natalia Mostov
    • , Sally Khair
    • , Naftalie Senderovich
    • , Ekaterina Kovalev
    • , David H. Silver
    • , Martin Feder
    • , Selene L. Fernandez-Valverde
    • , Nagayasu Nakanishi
    • , David Simmons
    • , Oleg Simakov
    • , Tomas Larsson
    • , Shang-Yun Liu
    • , Ayelet Jerafi-Vider
    • , Karina Yaniv
    • , Joseph F. Ryan
    • , Mark Q. Martindale
    • , Jochen C. Rink
    • , Detlev Arendt
    • , Sandie M. Degnan
    • , Bernard M. Degnan
    • , Tamar Hashimshony
    •  & Itai Yanai

Nature Outlook

  • Nature Outlook |

    Physical oceanography

    The ocean is an integral element of our planet’s climate system. Understanding the physical processes at work within the ocean is therefore crucial to making accurate predictions about where climate change is likely to lead.

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