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Current Issue of Nature


Volume 563 Issue 7730, 8 November 2018

Volume 563 Issue 7730, 8 November 2018

Volume 563 Issue 7730

Bottom-up biology

In trying to unpick the mysteries of how cells work, the standard approach has been to work from the top down, dissecting the way various cellular components interact in their natural environment. But technical advances now allow researchers to use engineering principles to reconstruct biological processes from the bottom up. This special issue explores the potential and possible limits of bottom-up cell biology. From developing membranes and metabolic pathways to designing cell-like systems for medical applications, and creating cell layers that stretch and deform, researchers are piecing together the complex world of the cell.

Cover image: Nik Spencer/Nature

This Week

News in Focus

Comment

Careers

Futures

  • Futures |

    Saving time.

    • Melanie Rees

Research

    News & Views

  • News & Views Forum |

    Engineering approaches allow biological structures and behaviours to be reconstituted in vitro. A biologist and a physicist discuss the potential and limitations of this bottom-up philosophy in providing insights into complex biological processes.

    • Matthew Good
    •  & Xavier Trepat
  • News & Views |

    Efforts to find early traces of life on Earth often focus on structures in ancient rocks, called stromatolites, that formed by microbial activity. One of the oldest proposed stromatolite discoveries has now been questioned.

    • Mark A. van Zuilen
  • News & Views |

    Understanding the dynamics of quantum systems far from equilibrium is one of the most pressing issues in physics. Three experiments based on ultracold atomic systems provide a major step forward.

    • Michael Kolodrubetz
  • News & Views |

    External forces can make cells undergo large, irreversible deformations. It emerges that stretched mammalian cells grown in vitro can enter a state called superelasticity, in which large, reversible deformations occur.

    • Manuel Théry
    •  & Atef Asnacios
  • News & Views |

    Interactions between the B and T cells of the human immune system are implicated in the brain disease multiple sclerosis. It emerges that B cells make a protein that is also made in the brain, and that T cells recognize this protein.

    • Richard M. Ransohoff
  • Articles

  • Article |

    Comparison of transcriptomic data from immune-stimulated cells across different species sheds light on the architecture of the innate immune response.

    • Tzachi Hagai
    • , Xi Chen
    • , Ricardo J. Miragaia
    • , Raghd Rostom
    • , Tomás Gomes
    • , Natalia Kunowska
    • , Johan Henriksson
    • , Jong-Eun Park
    • , Valentina Proserpio
    • , Giacomo Donati
    • , Lara Bossini-Castillo
    • , Felipe A. Vieira Braga
    • , Guy Naamati
    • , James Fletcher
    • , Emily Stephenson
    • , Peter Vegh
    • , Gosia Trynka
    • , Ivanela Kondova
    • , Mike Dennis
    • , Muzlifah Haniffa
    • , Armita Nourmohammad
    • , Michael Lässig
    •  & Sarah A. Teichmann
  • Article |

    Theoretical modelling in combination with measurements of tension and shape in epithelial domes of controlled geometry reveals a plateau of tension in tissue that is maintained by heterogeneous strain across cells.

    • Ernest Latorre
    • , Sohan Kale
    • , Laura Casares
    • , Manuel Gómez-González
    • , Marina Uroz
    • , Léo Valon
    • , Roshna V. Nair
    • , Elena Garreta
    • , Nuria Montserrat
    • , Aránzazu del Campo
    • , Benoit Ladoux
    • , Marino Arroyo
    •  & Xavier Trepat
  • Article |

    A high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of a complete Tc holotoxin complex reveals the precise mechanism of Tc toxin assembly, gate opening and release of the cytotoxic enzyme into the translocation channel.

    • Christos Gatsogiannis
    • , Felipe Merino
    • , Daniel Roderer
    • , David Balchin
    • , Evelyn Schubert
    • , Anne Kuhlee
    • , Manajit Hayer-Hartl
    •  & Stefan Raunser
  • Letters

  • Letter |

    High-resolution infrared observations of hard-X-ray-selected black holes show an excess of late-stage mergers in obscured luminous black holes compared with inactive galaxies of similar stellar masses and star formation rates.

    • Michael J. Koss
    • , Laura Blecha
    • , Phillip Bernhard
    • , Chao-Ling Hung
    • , Jessica R. Lu
    • , Benny Trakthenbrot
    • , Ezequiel Treister
    • , Anna Weigel
    • , Lia F. Sartori
    • , Richard Mushotzky
    • , Kevin Schawinski
    • , Claudio Ricci
    • , Sylvain Veilleux
    •  & David B. Sanders
  • Letter |

    The emergence of universal dynamics far from equilibrium is observed by evaluating spatially resolved spin correlations in a quasi-one-dimensional spinor Bose–Einstein condensate.

    • Maximilian Prüfer
    • , Philipp Kunkel
    • , Helmut Strobel
    • , Stefan Lannig
    • , Daniel Linnemann
    • , Christian-Marcel Schmied
    • , Jürgen Berges
    • , Thomas Gasenzer
    •  & Markus K. Oberthaler
  • Letter |

    Degenerate and thermal Bose gases, quenched so that the interparticle interactions are as strong as allowed by quantum mechanics, exhibit dynamics that can be expressed in terms of universal functions.

    • Christoph Eigen
    • , Jake A. P. Glidden
    • , Raphael Lopes
    • , Eric A. Cornell
    • , Robert P. Smith
    •  & Zoran Hadzibabic
  • Letter |

    A network of four spin-torque nano-oscillators can be trained in real time to recognize spoken vowels, in a simple and scalable approach that could be exploited for large-scale neural networks.

    • Miguel Romera
    • , Philippe Talatchian
    • , Sumito Tsunegi
    • , Flavio Abreu Araujo
    • , Vincent Cros
    • , Paolo Bortolotti
    • , Juan Trastoy
    • , Kay Yakushiji
    • , Akio Fukushima
    • , Hitoshi Kubota
    • , Shinji Yuasa
    • , Maxence Ernoult
    • , Damir Vodenicarevic
    • , Tifenn Hirtzlin
    • , Nicolas Locatelli
    • , Damien Querlioz
    •  & Julie Grollier
  • Letter |

    The mechanism of glycogenesis, initiated by glycogenin, involves three distinct kinetic phases, with the final phase involving a refining process where only glucose is tolerated as a substrate.

    • Matthew K. Bilyard
    • , Henry J. Bailey
    • , Lluís Raich
    • , Maria A. Gafitescu
    • , Takuya Machida
    • , Javier Iglésias-Fernández
    • , Seung Seo Lee
    • , Christopher D. Spicer
    • , Carme Rovira
    • , Wyatt W. Yue
    •  & Benjamin G. Davis
  • Letter |

    In contrast to a previous study of 3,700-million-year-old rocks of the Isua supracrustal belt in Greenland, which presented fossil evidence of stromatolites (macroscopic remains of layered microbial communities), this study shows that these ‘stromatolites’ are features of deformation unconnected to the processes of organic life.

    • Abigail C. Allwood
    • , Minik T. Rosing
    • , David T. Flannery
    • , Joel A. Hurowitz
    •  & Christopher M. Heirwegh
  • Letter |

    A field study and three experiments demonstrate that people who engage in rare (non-normative) prosocial behaviours will be more effective advocates for those behaviours than people who merely praise the virtues of these prosocial behaviours.

    • Gordon T. Kraft-Todd
    • , Bryan Bollinger
    • , Kenneth Gillingham
    • , Stefan Lamp
    •  & David G. Rand
  • Letter |

    Neuronal stimulation induces protein translation of m6A-methylated neuronal mRNAs facilitated by YTHDF1, and this process contributes to learning and memory.

    • Hailing Shi
    • , Xuliang Zhang
    • , Yi-Lan Weng
    • , Zongyang Lu
    • , Yajing Liu
    • , Zhike Lu
    • , Jianan Li
    • , Piliang Hao
    • , Yu Zhang
    • , Feng Zhang
    • , You Wu
    • , Jary Y. Delgado
    • , Yijing Su
    • , Meera J. Patel
    • , Xiaohua Cao
    • , Bin Shen
    • , Xingxu Huang
    • , Guo-li Ming
    • , Xiaoxi Zhuang
    • , Hongjun Song
    • , Chuan He
    •  & Tao Zhou
  • Letter |

    In a mouse model, PTHrP-positive chondrocytes in the resting zone of the growth plate constitute a unique stem-cell population, which is initially unipotent and makes columnar chondrocytes that later exhibit multipotency.

    • Koji Mizuhashi
    • , Wanida Ono
    • , Yuki Matsushita
    • , Naoko Sakagami
    • , Akira Takahashi
    • , Thomas L. Saunders
    • , Takashi Nagasawa
    • , Henry M. Kronenberg
    •  & Noriaki Ono
  • Letter |

    The yeast one-hybrid network for nitrogen-associated metabolism in Arabidopsis reveals the transcription factors that regulate the architecture of root and shoot systems under conditions of changing nitrogen availability.

    • Allison Gaudinier
    • , Joel Rodriguez-Medina
    • , Lifang Zhang
    • , Andrew Olson
    • , Christophe Liseron-Monfils
    • , Anne-Maarit Bågman
    • , Jessica Foret
    • , Shane Abbitt
    • , Michelle Tang
    • , Baohua Li
    • , Daniel E. Runcie
    • , Daniel J. Kliebenstein
    • , Bo Shen
    • , Mary J. Frank
    • , Doreen Ware
    •  & Siobhan M. Brady
  • Letter |

    The ARID1A-containing SWI/SNF complex operates as an inhibitor of the pro-oncogenic transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ; this interaction is regulated by cellular mechanotransduction.

    • Lei Chang
    • , Luca Azzolin
    • , Daniele Di Biagio
    • , Francesca Zanconato
    • , Giusy Battilana
    • , Romy Lucon Xiccato
    • , Mariaceleste Aragona
    • , Stefano Giulitti
    • , Tito Panciera
    • , Alessandro Gandin
    • , Gianluca Sigismondo
    • , Jeroen Krijgsveld
    • , Matteo Fassan
    • , Giovanna Brusatin
    • , Michelangelo Cordenonsi
    •  & Stefano Piccolo
  • Letter |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the serotonin-bound 5-HT3A serotonin receptor show the receptor populating two distinct states, characterized by twisting in the extracellular and transmembrane domains relative to the apo state, which creates pathways for ion permeation.

    • Sandip Basak
    • , Yvonne Gicheru
    • , Shanlin Rao
    • , Mark S. P. Sansom
    •  & Sudha Chakrapani
  • Letter |

    Cryo-electron microscopy of the serotonin 5-HT3 receptor in complex with various ligands yields four distinct structures, capturing serotonin binding in detail and increasing understanding of the gating mechanism of the receptor.

    • Lucie Polovinkin
    • , Ghérici Hassaine
    • , Jonathan Perot
    • , Emmanuelle Neumann
    • , Anders A. Jensen
    • , Solène N. Lefebvre
    • , Pierre-Jean Corringer
    • , Jacques Neyton
    • , Christophe Chipot
    • , Francois Dehez
    • , Guy Schoehn
    •  & Hugues Nury

Amendments & Corrections

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