The genetics of loneliness The genetics of loneliness, Published online: 11 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41576-018-0036-8 One in four UK adults over the age of 65 suffers from loneliness. An analysis of UK Biobank data has identified 15 genomic loci associated with loneliness and reports a possible causal link between obesity and loneliness and depression.
Diagnosis and management of Cornelia de Lange syndrome: first international consensus statement Diagnosis and management of Cornelia de Lange syndrome: first international consensus statement, Published online: 11 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41576-018-0031-0 Cornelia de Lange syndrome is a genetic disorder affecting multiple organ systems that exhibits great phenotypic heterogeneity. This Consensus Statement summarizes recommendations for the diagnosis
Converging inputs Converging inputs, Published online: 10 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0040-1 A study in flies shows that projections from some groups of glomerular neurons converge on certain types of lateral horn neurons to process combinations of odours that are salient for certain behaviours.
Tumour decides immune cell ins and outs Tumour decides immune cell ins and outs, Published online: 09 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41577-018-0038-y Tumour cell-intrinsic factors determine the infiltration of T cells into tumours and their response to immunotherapy.
STAT3 on the brain STAT3 on the brain, Published online: 09 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41568-018-0042-3 Priego et al. show that a subpopulation of reactive astrocytes expressing signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is crucial for the development of brain metastases and report positive initial clinical data that inhibiting STAT3 can reduce metastasis.
RFX7 keeps killers quiescent RFX7 keeps killers quiescent, Published online: 06 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41577-018-0039-x The metabolism and maintenance of natural killer (NK) cells is regulated by a previously uncharacterized transcription factor called regulatory factor X7 (RFX7).
Ewing sarcoma Ewing sarcoma, Published online: 05 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41572-018-0003-x Ewing sarcoma is a malignant bone or soft-tissue tumour that mainly affects children, adolescents and young adults. This Primer describes the key characteristic molecular features of and the remaining unanswered research questions in Ewing sarcoma.
Modelling microglial function with induced pluripotent stem cells: an update Modelling microglial function with induced pluripotent stem cells: an update, Published online: 05 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0030-3 In recent years, several studies have reported the production of microglia-like cells from induced pluripotent stem cells. Pocock and Piers describe the methods used to produce and analyse these
Population genomics of bacterial host adaptation Population genomics of bacterial host adaptation, Published online: 04 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41576-018-0032-z High-throughput sequencing technologies have enabled comparative analysis of large numbers of diverse bacterial genomes. Such studies are providing insights into the genomic changes that accompany changes in host specificity, with possible implications for controlling transmission of pathogenic
Neuroendocrine cells amplify asthma Neuroendocrine cells amplify asthma, Published online: 03 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41577-018-0036-0 Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells communicate with type 2 innate lymphoid cells and goblet cells to promote allergic asthma.
The role of engram cells in the systems consolidation of memory The role of engram cells in the systems consolidation of memory, Published online: 03 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0031-2 Long-term episodic memory storage has been proposed to require a reorganization of neural circuits and networks in a process known as systems consolidation. Tonegawa and colleagues discuss
Tissue-specific functions of invariant natural killer T cells Tissue-specific functions of invariant natural killer T cells, Published online: 02 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41577-018-0034-2 Here, the authors examine the functions of different subsets of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. They explain how iNKT cells contribute to tissue homeostasis and protection against infection, with a focus on
Breakdancing on actin Breakdancing on actin, Published online: 02 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41580-018-0036-8 Two independent studies now show that polymerization of branched actin at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) mediates chromatin dynamics associated with homology-directed repair and is required for a robust and error-free DSB repair process.
From rock ‘n’ roll to heavy metal From rock ‘n’ roll to heavy metal, Published online: 28 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41568-018-0041-4 Three studies published in Developmental Cell, Nature and Nature Medicine shed new light on mechanisms of cancer-associated cachexia in early and advanced disease.
Influenza Influenza, Published online: 28 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41572-018-0002-y Influenza is an infectious respiratory disease that, in humans, is caused by influenza A and influenza B viruses. This Primer discusses the biological features of influenza viruses, their effects on human and animal health and the mitigation strategies to reduce the burden of this disease.
Sleep it off Sleep it off, Published online: 26 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0037-9 A set of 80 (mostly synaptic) proteins show hyperphosphorylation in sleep-deprived mice and genetically ‘sleepy’ mice, suggesting that increased phosphorylation of such proteins may be associated with sleep need.
Prospecting for pluripotency Prospecting for pluripotency, Published online: 22 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41576-018-0030-1 Unlike most organisms, planaria maintain pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) beyond embryogenesis. A new study reports the prospective identification and isolation of a neoblast subpopulation containing adult PSCs, characterization of which should help uncover the mechanisms underlying pluripotency and tissue regeneration.
Success stories Success stories, Published online: 22 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41568-018-0039-y Analyses of clinical trial patients with exceptional responses show that adoptive T cell therapy can be optimised to improve effectiveness in patients of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and breast cancer.
Tumours trigger systemic disruption Tumours trigger systemic disruption, Published online: 21 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41568-018-0040-5 Breast tumours in mice promote metabolic changes in the liver and sleep disruption through increasing activity of hypocretin (also known as orexin) neurons (HO neurons).