Research articles

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  • A ‘triangulation’ approach combining linguistics, archaeology and genetics suggests that the origin and spread of Transeurasian family of languages can be traced back to early millet farmers in Neolithic North East Asia.

    • Martine Robbeets
    • Remco Bouckaert
    • Chao Ning
    Article Open Access
  • Whole-genome sequencing of 3,171 cultivated and 195 wild chickpea accessions is used to construct a chickpea pan-genome, providing insight into chickpea evolution and enabling breeding strategies that could improve crop productivity.

    • Rajeev K. Varshney
    • Manish Roorkiwal
    • Xin Liu
    Article Open Access
  • An optical lattice for trapping a Bose–Einstein condensate reported here includes photon-mediated atom–atom interactions that replicate acoustic modes in real crystals.

    • Yudan Guo
    • Ronen M. Kroeze
    • Benjamin L. Lev
  • In the post-mitotic nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans, the promotion of a mature neuronal transcription program is controlled by the developmental-stage-specific upregulation of the microRNA LIN-4 and the subsequent repression of its target, the transcription factor lin-14.

    • HaoSheng Sun
    • Oliver Hobert
  • Amorphous–amorphous phase transitions in silicon dioxide are shown to proceed through a sequence of percolation transitions, a process that has relevance to a range of important liquid and glassy systems.

    • A. Hasmy
    • S. Ispas
    • B. Hehlen
  • A zero-knowledge proof, which can be used to verify secret information, is reported here with security that is enforced by the laws of special relativity.

    • Pouriya Alikhani
    • Nicolas Brunner
    • Hugo Zbinden
  • In Arabidopsis thaliana, downregulation of the floral repressor FLC in response to cold occurs through a mechanism in which the FLC activator FRIGIDA is sequestered into biomolecular condensates away from the FLC promoter.

    • Pan Zhu
    • Clare Lister
    • Caroline Dean
    Article Open Access
  • Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) has provided significant understanding of time-resolved processes of various systems in biology, for example, rhodopsin, which underlies our vision. The approach involves femtosecond-length X-ray pulses directed at protein crystals and has been used to study various photoactive proteins. However, the function of proteins such as rhodopsin requires transcis isomerization of a chromophore, which involves crossing of a conical intersection—a funnel separating potential energy surfaces—at timescales faster than what can be achieved experimentally. Here, Ourmazd and colleagues report a machine learning analysis of SFX data of photoactive yellow protein, which resolves the protein passing through a conical intersection, providing information about the potential energy surfaces involved and achieving time resolution of less than 10 fs. This approach offers an opportunity to understand some of the fastest processes in biology by extracting even more information from SFX datasets.

    • A. Hosseinizadeh
    • N. Breckwoldt
    • A. Ourmazd
  • The N2-fixing symbiont ‘Candidatus Celerinatantimonas neptuna’ lives inside the root tissue of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, providing ammonia and amino acids to its host in exchange for sugars and enabling highly productive seagrass meadows to thrive in the nitrogen-limited Mediterranean Sea.

    • Wiebke Mohr
    • Nadine Lehnen
    • Marcel M. M. Kuypers
    Article Open Access