This page is brought to you by Brian Golding (Golding@McMaster.CA) and is copied locally here to speed your access. To go to the original page (should you find something interesting or should you wish to follow links) click on

Current Issue of Nature

Current Issue : Nature

Current Issue

Volume 549 Number 7673 pp432-558

28 September 2017

About the cover

Earth was formed through the collisions of countless planetesimals. These building blocks are today represented by meteorites, the elemental compositions of some of which, the carbonaceous chondrites, are thought to reflect the chemistry of the early Solar System. As such, Earth's chemical make-up ought to be similar to these meteorites and in many respects it is. Earth is, however, strongly depleted in moderately volatile elements such as lead, zinc and indium. A potential explanation for these depletions is that these elements evaporated from molten rock during the planet-forming processes and in this week's issue, Ashley Norris and Bernard Wood interrogate this idea further, resolving some of the inconsistencies seen in earlier proposals. By melting basaltic rock in a furnace under controlled conditions, the researchers examined the melting processes that would have occurred during the accretion of Earth and its precursor bodies. They found that the pattern of depletion of volatile elements is consistent with partial melting and vaporization of the early Earth, and suggest that this occurred on small molten precursors or during energetic collisions — such as the violent impact with Earth that formed the Moon. The cover shows one such instance of the proto-Earth and a nearby planetesimal. Heated by collisions and the decay of aluminium-26, the bodies degas volatile elements, forming thick atmospheres, which are ultimately swept to interstellar space by the solar wind, removing the volatile elements from the final composition of the planet. In related work, Remco Hin and his colleagues provide further evidence to support the idea of vaporization by the measuring the ratios of magnesium isotopes in Earth, Mars and some asteroids. Cover image: C. Ashley Norris

This Week



World View


Research Highlights


Seven Days


    News in Focus




    Books and Arts

    • In retrospect: Gulliver's Travels

      Greg Lynall unpeels the science in the satire on the 350th anniversary of Jonathan Swift's birth.

      • Review of Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World
        Jonathan Swift
    • Books in brief

      Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.

    • Public health: Design for living

      Judith Glynn takes in a show that probes the nexus of graphic art, behaviour and public health.

      • Review of Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?





    • United we stand

      Postdoc advocacy is key, say Antoine de Morrée, Forrest Collman, Catherine Gordon and Megan Klabunde.

      • Antoine de Morree
      • Forrest Collman
      • Catherine Gordon
      • Megan Klabunde

    naturejobs job listings and advertising features




    • Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex

      • Helene Schmidt
      • Anjali Gour
      • Jakob Straehle
      • Kevin M. Boergens
      • Michael Brecht
      • Moritz Helmstaedter

      Path-length-dependent axonal synapse sorting of local presynaptic axons of excitatory neurons in the rat medial entorhinal cortex results in sequential targeting of inhibitory and excitatory neurons, which are connected by a cellular feedforward inhibition circuit.

    • Ascorbate regulates haematopoietic stem cell function and leukaemogenesis

      • Michalis Agathocleous
      • Corbin E. Meacham
      • Rebecca J. Burgess
      • Elena Piskounova
      • Zhiyu Zhao
      • Genevieve M. Crane
      • Brianna L. Cowin
      • Emily Bruner
      • Malea M. Murphy
      • Weina Chen
      • Gerald J. Spangrude
      • Zeping Hu
      • Ralph J. DeBerardinis
      • Sean J. Morrison

      Ascorbate depletion in mice increased haematopoietic stem-cell frequency and promoted leukaemogenesis, partly by reducing the function of the Tet2 tumour suppressor enzyme.

      See also
    • Reversing behavioural abnormalities in mice exposed to maternal inflammation

      • Yeong Shin Yim
      • Ashley Park
      • Janet Berrios
      • Mathieu Lafourcade
      • Leila M. Pascual
      • Natalie Soares
      • Joo Yeon Kim
      • Sangdoo Kim
      • Hyunju Kim
      • Ari Waisman
      • Dan R. Littman
      • Ian R. Wickersham
      • Mark T. Harnett
      • Jun R. Huh
      • Gloria B. Choi

      The authors define a specific cortical subregion of the somatosensory cortex as a critical region of dysfunction that is causal to the emergence of abnormal social and repetitive behaviours in mice exposed to maternal inflammation.

      See also
      See also


    • The close environments of accreting massive black holes are shaped by radiative feedback

      • Claudio Ricci
      • Benny Trakhtenbrot
      • Michael J. Koss
      • Yoshihiro Ueda
      • Kevin Schawinski
      • Kyuseok Oh
      • Isabella Lamperti
      • Richard Mushotzky
      • Ezequiel Treister
      • Luis C. Ho
      • Anna Weigel
      • Franz E. Bauer
      • Stephane Paltani
      • Andrew C. Fabian
      • Yanxia Xie
      • Neil Gehrels

      Radiation pressure on dusty gas is the main physical mechanism that regulates the distribution of the circumnuclear material that obscures many supermassive black holes.

    • Mimicking biological stress–strain behaviour with synthetic elastomers

      • Mohammad Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani
      • William F. M. Daniel
      • Matthew H. Everhart
      • Ashish A. Pandya
      • Heyi Liang
      • Krzysztof Matyjaszewski
      • Andrey V. Dobrynin
      • Sergei S. Sheiko

      A polymer code based on a triplet of parameters—network strand length, side-chain length and grafting density—enables materials to be designed with specific combinations of mechanical properties to mimic biological materials.

    • Magnesium isotope evidence that accretional vapour loss shapes planetary compositions

      • Remco C. Hin
      • Christopher D. Coath
      • Philip J. Carter
      • Francis Nimmo
      • Yi-Jen Lai
      • Philip A. E. Pogge von Strandmann
      • Matthias Willbold
      • Zoë M. Leinhardt
      • Michael J. Walter
      • Tim Elliott

      The measurement of magnesium isotope ratios at improved accuracy suggests that planetary compositions result from fractionation between liquid and vapour, followed by vapour escape during accretionary growth.

      See also
      See also
    • Early trace of life from 3.95 Ga sedimentary rocks in Labrador, Canada

      • Takayuki Tashiro
      • Akizumi Ishida
      • Masako Hori
      • Motoko Igisu
      • Mizuho Koike
      • Pauline Méjean
      • Naoto Takahata
      • Yuji Sano
      • Tsuyoshi Komiya

      The authors provide evidence for the existence of life on Earth in the earliest known sedimentary rocks and suggest that the presence of organic carbon, and low stable-isotope values of graphite from sedimentary rocks in Labrador pushes back the existence of organic life to beyond 3.95 billion years.

    • Parental influence on human germline de novo mutations in 1,548 trios from Iceland

      • Hákon Jónsson
      • Patrick Sulem
      • Birte Kehr
      • Snaedis Kristmundsdottir
      • Florian Zink
      • Eirikur Hjartarson
      • Marteinn T. Hardarson
      • Kristjan E. Hjorleifsson
      • Hannes P. Eggertsson
      • Sigurjon Axel Gudjonsson
      • Lucas D. Ward
      • Gudny A. Arnadottir
      • Einar A. Helgason
      • Hannes Helgason
      • Arnaldur Gylfason
      • Adalbjorg Jonasdottir
      • Aslaug Jonasdottir
      • Thorunn Rafnar
      • Mike Frigge
      • Simon N. Stacey
      • Olafur Th. Magnusson
      • Unnur Thorsteinsdottir
      • Gisli Masson
      • Augustine Kong
      • Bjarni V. Halldorsson
      • Agnar Helgason
      • Daniel F. Gudbjartsson
      • Kari Stefansson

      Whole-genome sequencing data of 14,688 Icelanders, including 1,548 parent–offspring trios, show how the age and sex of parents affect the rate and spectrum of de novo mutations.

    • ApoE4 markedly exacerbates tau-mediated neurodegeneration in a mouse model of tauopathy

      • Yang Shi
      • Kaoru Yamada
      • Shane Antony Liddelow
      • Scott T. Smith
      • Lingzhi Zhao
      • Wenjie Luo
      • Richard M. Tsai
      • Salvatore Spina
      • Lea T. Grinberg
      • Julio C. Rojas
      • Gilbert Gallardo
      • Kairuo Wang
      • Joseph Roh
      • Grace Robinson
      • Mary Beth Finn
      • Hong Jiang
      • Patrick M. Sullivan
      • Caroline Baufeld
      • Michael W. Wood
      • Courtney Sutphen
      • Lena McCue
      • Chengjie Xiong
      • Jorge L. Del-Aguila
      • John C. Morris
      • Carlos Cruchaga
      • Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
      • Anne M. Fagan
      • Bruce L. Miller
      • Adam L. Boxer
      • William W. Seeley
      • Oleg Butovsky
      • Ben A. Barres
      • Steven M. Paul
      • David M. Holtzman

      ApoE4 exacerbates tau pathogenesis, neuroinflammation and tau-mediated neurodegeneration independently of brain amyloid-β pathology, and exerts a ‘toxic’ gain of function whereas its absence is protective.

    • Targeting neuronal activity-regulated neuroligin-3 dependency in high-grade glioma

      • Humsa S. Venkatesh
      • Lydia T. Tam
      • Pamelyn J. Woo
      • James Lennon
      • Surya Nagaraja
      • Shawn M. Gillespie
      • Jing Ni
      • Damien Y. Duveau
      • Patrick J. Morris
      • Jean J. Zhao
      • Craig J. Thomas
      • Michelle Monje

      The growth of adult and paediatric brain tumours depends on a microenvironmental signalling pathway involving the activity-regulated secretion of neuroligin-3 (NLGN3) from normal neurons and oligodendrocyte precursor cells, highlighting the potential of NLGN3 as a therapeutic target.

      See also
    • Comparative glycoproteomics of stem cells identifies new players in ricin toxicity

      • Johannes Stadlmann
      • Jasmin Taubenschmid
      • Daniel Wenzel
      • Anna Gattinger
      • Gerhard Dürnberger
      • Frederico Dusberger
      • Ulrich Elling
      • Lukas Mach
      • Karl Mechtler
      • Josef M. Penninger

      A novel quantitative approach to identify intact glycopeptides from comparative proteomic data sets, allowing inference of complex glycan structures and direct mapping of them to sites within the associated proteins at the proteome scale.

    • Epigenetic restriction of extraembryonic lineages mirrors the somatic transition to cancer

      • Zachary D. Smith
      • Jiantao Shi
      • Hongcang Gu
      • Julie Donaghey
      • Kendell Clement
      • Davide Cacchiarelli
      • Andreas Gnirke
      • Franziska Michor
      • Alexander Meissner

      Analysis of global remethylation in mouse embryos at several developmental stages identifies an epigenetic landscape that partitions extraembryonic tissues within the embryo and resembles a frequent, global departure in genome regulation in human cancers.