Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden is a major outlet glacier in Northeast-Greenland. Although earlier studies showed that the floating part near the grounding line thinned by 30% between 1999 and 2014, the temporal ice loss evolution, its relation to external forcing and the implications for the grounded ice sheet remain largely unclear. By combining observations of surface features, ice thickness and bedrock data, we find that the ice shelf mass balance has been out of equilibrium since 2001, with large variations of the thinning rates on annual/multiannual time scales.

The human gut microbiome has been associated with many health factors but variability between studies limits exploration of effects between them. Gut microbiota profiles are available for >2700 members of the deeply phenotyped TwinsUK cohort, providing a uniform platform for such comparisons. Here, we present gut microbiota association analyses for 38 common diseases and 51 medications within the cohort.

Aerosol-cloud interactions remain a major uncertainty in climate research. Studies have indicated that model estimates of cloud susceptibility to aerosols frequently exceed satellite estimates, motivating model reformulations to increase agreement. Here we show that conventional ways of using satellite information to estimate susceptibility can serve as only a weak constraint on models because the estimation is sensitive to errors in the retrieval procedures.

There is a general need to change hydropower operational regimes to balance the growing contribution of variable renewable energy sources in power systems. Quantifying the burden on generation equipment is increasingly uncertain and difficult. Here, we propose a framework combining technical and economic indicators to analyze primary frequency control (PFC) on a timescale of seconds.

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The genetic causes of cancer include both somatic mutations and inherited germline variants. Large-scale tumor sequencing has revolutionized the identification of somatic driver alterations but has had limited impact on the identification of cancer predisposition genes (CPGs). Here we present a statistical method, ALFRED, that tests Knudson’s two-hit hypothesis to systematically identify CPGs from cancer genome data.

The early part of the last deglaciation is characterised by a ~40 ppm atmospheric CO2 rise occurring in two abrupt phases. The underlying mechanisms driving these increases remain a subject of intense debate. Here, we successfully reproduce changes in CO2, δ13C and Δ14C as recorded by paleo-records during Heinrich stadial 1 (HS1). We show that HS1 CO2 increase can be explained by enhanced Southern Ocean upwelling of carbon-rich Pacific deep and intermediate waters, resulting from intensified Southern Ocean convection and Southern Hemisphere (SH) westerlies.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in infants. Maternal immunization is an option to increase maternal antibody levels and protect infants from infection. Here we assess the efficacy of virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidates containing stabilized pre-fusion (pre-F) or post-fusion (post-F) conformations of the RSV F protein and the attachment RSV G protein in a maternal immunization model using cotton rats. VLP vaccines containing RSV F and G proteins strongly boost pre-existing RSV immunity in dams preventing their perinatal drop in immunity.

Economic globalization and concomitant growth in international trade since the late 1990s have profoundly reorganized global production activities and related CO2 emissions. Here we show trade among developing nations (i.e., South–South trade) has more than doubled between 2004 and 2011, which reflects a new phase of globalization. Some production activities are relocating from China and India to other developing countries, particularly raw materials and intermediate goods production in energy-intensive sectors.

Coral bleaching is the detrimental expulsion of algal symbionts from their cnidarian hosts, and predominantly occurs when corals are exposed to thermal stress. The incidence and severity of bleaching is often spatially heterogeneous within reef-scales (<1 km), and is therefore not predictable using conventional remote sensing products.

Vaccination has successfully reduced the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, but stagnating immunization coverage and lack of effective vaccines for many endemic and newly emerging pathogens pose a threat to sustainable global health. In light of World Immunization Week 2018, which highlights the importance of high vaccination coverage, Nature Communications is taking stock of current advances and barriers in vaccine development and distribution. (Editorial)

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