Nature Magazine, Issue 583 (23 July 2020)
Nature is the world’s foremost international weekly scientificjournal and is the flagship journal for Nature Research. Itpublishes the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields ofscience and technology on the basis of its originality, importance,interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance andsurprising conclusions. Nature’s landmark papers, award winningnews, leading comment and expert opinion on important, topicalscientific news and events enable readers to share the latestdiscoveries in science and evolve the discussion amongst the globalscientific community.Secrets of the bat cladeBats have evolved some extraordinary adaptations includingecholocation, exceptional longevity and a unique immune system. Inthis week’s issue, Emma Teeling, Sonja Vernes and their colleaguespresent reference-quality genomes for six species of bat sequencedby the Bat1K consortium. Together, these sequences help provideinsights into the evolutionary origins and molecular basis of batadaptations. The researchers identified the phylogenetic positionof bats in mammals, show that genes involved in hearing wereselected for in the ancestral branch of bats, and they provideevidence for the molecular mechanisms that may have contributed tobats’ exceptional immune system. The genomes should also aidstudies of how bats tolerate coronavirus infections, which may, inthe future, yield approaches to increase the human survivability ofdiseases such as COVID-19.