Volume 494 Number 7437


Eyes and ears p.281

Two explosions last week demonstrated the importance of global monitoring.

doi: 10.1038/494281b

Vital statistics p.281

That robust data are not collected on births, deaths and causes of death is a scandal. A new drive and greater investment are needed to grow the field of health metrics.

doi: 10.1038/494281a

Net gains p.282

Estimating the scale of the problem may allow us to arrest dangerous levels of overfishing.

doi: 10.1038/494282a


Seed-patent case in Supreme Court p.289

Loss of patent control could rekindle ‘terminator’ technology.

doi: 10.1038/494289a

Gene sequencing leaves the laboratory p.290

Maturing technology speeds medical diagnoses.

doi: 10.1038/494290a

Dark-matter hunt gets deep p.291

China launches world’s deepest particle-physics experiment — but it joins a crowded field.

doi: 10.1038/494291a

Reforms at stake in Italian election p.293

Italy’s researchers want change they can believe in.

doi: 10.1038/494293a

China slow to tap shale-gas bonanza p.294

Geology and infrastructure could impede development.

doi: 10.1038/494294a

Oil money takes US academy into uncharted waters p.295

Venerable government adviser will fund grants with half-billion-dollar windfall.

doi: 10.1038/494295a

News Features

Neuroscience: As the worm turns p.296

With the help of a tiny worm, Cornelia Bargmann is unpicking the neural circuits that drive eating, socializing and sex.

doi: 10.1038/494296a

Green cement: Concrete Solutions p.300

Cement manufacturing is a major source of greenhouse gases. But cutting emissions means mastering one of the most complex materials known.

doi: 10.1038/494300a

News & Views

Palaeoanthropology: Of humans, dogs and tiny tools p.316

Genomic data hint at the possibility of human migration from India to Australia 4,230 years ago. However, the inference that these humans took along their dogs and tools is difficult to reconcile with previous reports.

doi: 10.1038/494316a

Ageing: Stem cells on a stress-busting diet p.317

Knowing how an organism's tissues handle stress throughout life is key to understanding ageing and disease. Stems cells of the blood system seem to tackle metabolic stress by means of a process called autophagy. See Article p.323

doi: 10.1038/nature11948

Climate science: Global warming and tropical carbon p.319

An innovative use of measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide constrains the possible range of carbon–cycle responses to climate change during the twenty-first century, lowering expectations of tropical-forest dieback. See Letter p.341

doi: 10.1038/nature11949

Microbial oceanography: Killers of the winners p.320

Viruses that infect the SAR11 group of oceanic bacteria have finally been found and sequenced. Because SAR11 is ubiquitous, these viruses may be the most abundant in the oceans — and perhaps in the entire biosphere. See Letter p.357

doi: 10.1038/nature11951

Infection biology: Cheats never prosper p.321

Fast-growing 'defector mutants' can threaten the success of a bacterial infection. But one bacterial species prevails over these cheats by forming a subpopulation that has shut down expression of virulence genes. See Letter p.353

doi: 10.1038/494321a


FOXO3A directs a protective autophagy program in haematopoietic stem cells p.323

Autophagy is shown to be an essential mechanism that protects haematopoietic stem cells from metabolic stress; the transcription factor FOXO3A maintains a pro-autophagy gene expression program that poises haematopoietic stem cells to rapidly mount a protective autophagic response upon metabolic stress.

doi: 10.1038/nature11895


A black-hole mass measurement from molecular gas kinematics in NGC4526 p.328

In this study a supermassive black-hole mass is measured by tracing the motions of molecular gas clouds swirling around it, a technique that promises to allow measurements of black-hole mass in many more galaxies of all types than previously possible.

doi: 10.1038/nature11819

Generation of electron Airy beams p.331

The diffraction of electrons through a nanoscale hologram that imprints a certain phase modulation on the electrons’ wavefunction produces a non-spreading electron Airy beam that follows a parabolic trajectory and can reconstruct its original shape after passing an obstacle.

doi: 10.1038/nature11840

Dicalcium nitride as a two-dimensional electride with an anionic electron layer p.336

The ionic crystal Ca2N is shown to be an electride in terms of [Ca2N]+·e, with diffusive two-dimensional transport in dense electron layers.

doi: 10.1038/nature11812

Sensitivity of tropical carbon to climate change constrained by carbon dioxide variability p.341

A linear relationship between the sensitivity of tropical land carbon storage to warming and the sensitivity of the annual growth rate of atmospheric CO2 to tropical temperature anomalies provides a tight constraint on the sensitivity of tropical land carbon to climate change.

doi: 10.1038/nature11882

Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones p.345

A genetic and behavioural study in related species of Nasonia wasps reveals how pheromone changes relevant to speciation could evolve through genes creating a new pheromone component by changing the stereochemistry of an existing pheromone molecule.

doi: 10.1038/nature11838

Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions p.349

The resilience of a global sample of ecosystems to an increase in drought conditions is assessed, comparing data from the early twenty-first with the late twentieth century; results indicate a cross-ecosystem capacity for tolerating low precipitation and responding to high precipitation during recent warm drought and yet suggest a threshold to resilience with prolonged warm drought.

doi: 10.1038/nature11836

Stabilization of cooperative virulence by the expression of an avirulent phenotype p.353

A phenotypically avirulent subpopulation of the intestinal pathogen Salmonella typhimurium promotes evolutionary stability of virulence.

doi: 10.1038/nature11913

Abundant SAR11 viruses in the ocean p.357

Viruses are isolated from the SAR11 bacterial clade, the most abundant group of bacteria in the ocean, that were thought to be resistant to viral infection; because of the essential role of SAR11 in carbon cycling these viruses are also an important factor in biogeochemical cycling.

doi: 10.1038/nature11921

T-helper-1-cell cytokines drive cancer into senescence p.361

T-helper-1-cell cytokines tumour necrosis factor and interferon-γ are shown to drive tumour cells into senescence in a mouse model of β-cell carcinoma and human carcinoma cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature11824

APOBEC3B is an enzymatic source of mutation in breast cancer p.366

The DNA cytosine deaminase APOBEC3B is shown to be overexpressed and highly active in most breast cancers; deamination by APOBEC3B could serve as an endogenous, continual source of DNA damage leading to mutations, including C-to-T transitions and other aberrations seen in many breast tumours.

doi: 10.1038/nature11881

OTUD7B controls non-canonical NF-κB activation through deubiquitination of TRAF3 p.371

The deubiquitinase OTUD7B is shown to regulate the non-canonical NF-κB pathway by inhibiting TRAF3 proteolysis.

doi: 10.1038/nature11831

Central role of E3 ubiquitin ligase MG53 in insulin resistance and metabolic disorders p.375

MG53 acts as an E3 ligase that targets the insulin receptor and IRS1 for ubiquitin-dependent degradation; when MG53 is upregulated, metabolic syndrome ensues.

doi: 10.1038/nature11834

Control of substrate access to the active site in methane monooxygenase p.380

The crystal structure of the complex between the hydroxylase and regulatory component of soluble methane monooxygenase is presented, revealing how the latter component controls substrate access to the hydroxylase active site.

doi: 10.1038/nature11880

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Trypanosoma brucei ribosome p.385

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy shows that the Trypanosoma brucei kinetoplastid ribosome is characterized by the presence of large expansion segments, ribosomal-protein extensions and additional rRNA insertions, which may have implications for the protein-translation regulation process.

doi: 10.1038/nature11872

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