Volume 497 Number 7449


Science in schools p.287

The US National Center for Science Education teaches researchers how to fight for their cause.

doi: 10.1038/497287b

Privacy in the digital age p.287

The proposed European Data Protection Regulation will rightly preserve people’s privacy — but, without exceptions for scientific research, it could hinder or prevent medical discoveries.

doi: 10.1038/497287a

Together we stand p.288

To reach a sustainable future, we must merge economic and environmental agendas.

doi: 10.1038/497288a


Human stem cells created by cloning p.295

Breakthrough sets up showdown with induced adult lines.

doi: 10.1038/497295a

Magnetar found at giant black hole p.296

Magnetized neutron star could test Einstein’s theory.

doi: 10.1038/497296a

Chinese project probes the genetics of genius p.297

Bid to unravel the secrets of brainpower faces scepticism.

doi: 10.1038/497297a

Hawking decision fuels Israel debate p.299

Physicist’s stance a ‘turning point’, claim supporters.

doi: 10.1038/497299a

Meeting targets lab lapses p.300

Attendees search for ways to tackle misconduct and sloppy science.

doi: 10.1038/497300a

News Features

Neanderthal culture: Old masters p.302

The earliest known cave paintings fuel arguments about whether Neanderthals were the mental equals of modern humans.

doi: 10.1038/497302a

Invasive species: The 18-km2 rat trap p.306

Ecuador has successfully eradicated invasive pigs and goats from most of the Galapagos archipelago. Now it is taking on the rats.

doi: 10.1038/497306a

News & Views

Fisheries: Climate change at the dinner table p.320

An innovative use of catch statistics shows that climate change has already influenced the composition of species in fisheries around the world, and thereby the fish that we eat. See Letter p.365

doi: 10.1038/497320a

Microbiology: Bacterial communities as capitalist economies p.321

Tracking the behaviour of bacteria as they group together on a surface reveals a 'rich-get-richer' mechanism in which polysaccharide deposition and cellular location amplify in a positive feedback loop. See Letter p.388

doi: 10.1038/nature12103

Planetary science: Plumbing the depths of Uranus and Neptune p.323

An analysis of data collected by the Voyager 2 spacecraft and by ground-based telescopes limits the depths to which winds penetrate into Uranus and Neptune, informing the debate about these planets' internal structures. See Letter p.344

doi: 10.1038/497323a

Metallurgy: Iron production electrified p.324

Scientists have long dreamt of converting molten iron oxide to iron and oxygen using electricity. An anode material that withstands the high temperatures and corrosive chemicals involved brings the dream closer to reality. See Letter p.353

doi: 10.1038/nature12102

Evolution: Stuck between the teeth p.325

A computer model of tooth evolution designed to assess the impact of developmental dynamics on natural selection reveals that complexity reduces the likelihood of maximum fitness being attained. See Letter p.361

doi: 10.1038/nature12099


Inferring ancient divergences requires genes with strong phylogenetic signals p.327

Determining major branches in the tree of life generally relies on concatenating as much genetic information as possible, but, as shown here, phylogenomic analysis often produces results that are incongruent with the results of concatenation; a method that gives credence to genes or internodes with high average internode support reduces the incongruence.

doi: 10.1038/nature12130

Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems p.332

High-resolution imaging has traditionally required thin sectioning, a process that disrupts long-range connectivity in the case of brains: here, intact mouse brains and human brain samples have been made fully transparent and macromolecule permeable using a new method termed CLARITY, which allows for intact-tissue imaging as well as repeated antibody labelling and in situ hybridization of non-sectioned tissue.

doi: 10.1038/nature12107

Structure of the human smoothened receptor bound to an antitumour agent p.338

The crystal structure of the human smoothened (SMO) receptor is presented in complex with a small-molecule antitumour agent; this represents the first example of a non-class-A, 7-transmembrane (7TM) receptor structure, revealing different conserved motifs common within class frizzled 7TM receptors and an unusually complex arrangement of long extracellular loops stabilized by disulphide bonds.

doi: 10.1038/nature12167


Atmospheric confinement of jet streams on Uranus and Neptune p.344

On Uranus and Neptune, the measured fourth-order gravity harmonic, J4, constrains the atmospheric dynamics to the outermost 0.15 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively, of the planetary mass, indicating that these dynamics are confined to a thin weather layer no more than 1,000 kilometres deep on both planets.

doi: 10.1038/nature12131

An electrically pumped polariton laser p.348

An electrically pumped polariton laser is constructed using a quantum well microcavity, and its polaritonic nature is demonstrated unambiguously by using a magnetic field to probe the part-light, part-matter character of the system.

doi: 10.1038/nature12036

A new anode material for oxygen evolution in molten oxide electrolysis p.353

Molten oxide electrolysis is considered a promising route for extractive metallurgy with much reduced carbon dioxide emissions relative to traditional routes; now a new chromium-based alloy has been developed for use as an oxygen evolving anode that remains stable in the high-temperature corrosive conditions found during iron production via electrolysis.

doi: 10.1038/nature12134

Deep fracture fluids isolated in the crust since the Precambrian era p.357

Xenon isotopic analysis shows that ancient pockets of water found in a mine in Timmins, Canada, have survived in the Earth’s crust for at least 1.5 billion years.

doi: 10.1038/nature12127

Adaptive dynamics under development-based genotype–phenotype maps p.361

Tooth development is used as a model to examine which aspects of phenotype can be optimized by natural selection; this reveals that the complexity of the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic variation can affect adaptation

doi: 10.1038/nature12142

Signature of ocean warming in global fisheries catch p.365

The mean temperature of the catch, an index designed to characterize the effect of climate change on global fisheries catch, increased at a rate of 0.19 degrees Celsius per decade between 1970 and 2006, showing that ocean warming has already affected global fisheries.

doi: 10.1038/nature12156

Protective astrogenesis from the SVZ niche after injury is controlled by Notch modulator Thbs4 p.369

This paper identifies a specific population of subventricular-zone-generated astrocytes that increases in population density after cortical injury; these activated astrocytes migrate to the site of injury, unlike described properties for their counterparts residing in the cortex.

doi: 10.1038/nature12069

X-ray phase-contrast in vivo microtomography probes new aspects of Xenopus gastrulation p.374

Opaque tissues provide a challenge for live imaging of Xenopus laevis development; a problem solved by in vivo time-lapse X-ray microtomography that is shown to provide a high-resolution three-dimensional view of structural changes and dynamics of gastrulation, and that is applied to identify and analyse new aspects of gastrulation in frog embryos.

doi: 10.1038/nature12116

The shaping and functional consequences of the microRNA landscape in breast cancer p.378

MicroRNA profiling of 1,302 human breast tumour samples provides an overview of the miRNA landscape and its regulation, revealing context-dependent interactions, broad prognostic value of miRNA signatures and an important modulatory role for miRNAs in the biology of breast tumours devoid of copy-number aberrations.

doi: 10.1038/nature12108

EGFR modulates microRNA maturation in response to hypoxia through phosphorylation of AGO2 p.383

Epidermal growth factor receptor, the product of a human oncogene, suppresses the maturation of specific tumour-suppressor-like microRNAs in response to hypoxic stress through phosphorylation of argonaute 2.

doi: 10.1038/nature12080

Psl trails guide exploration and microcolony formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms p.388

Cell-tracking experiments and simulations show that the Psl exopolysaccharide deposited by Pseudomonas aeruginosa guides the surface motility of subsequent cells that encounter the Psl trails, generating a ‘rich-get-richer’ effect that leads to microcolony formation.

doi: 10.1038/nature12155

Receptor binding by a ferret-transmissible H5 avian influenza virus p.392

Building on previous work that identified a mutant avian H5 virus that is transmissible between ferrets, the authors present an algorithm to predict virus avidity from the affinity of single haemagglutinin (HA)–receptor interactions; these studies predict that the mutant has a 200-fold preference for the human over the avian receptor, and crystal structures of the mutant HA in complex with human and avian receptors shed light on the molecular basis for these altered binding properties.

doi: 10.1038/nature12144

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