Leaders have finally thrashed out the European Union budget for the next seven years. But how much money will go to research is yet to be confirmed.
Stem-cell trials must be made easier, so that treatments can be based on real data.
Planning for extreme events must incorporate not just infrastructure but societal preparedness.
US outbreak foxes a leading web-based method for tracking seasonal flu.
Tools for data-sharing promise to improve chances of connecting mutations with symptoms of rare diseases.
Scientists already feeling the bite of US budget sequester.
Leaders propose 13% cut to commission's proposals.
Synthetic biology delivers combination therapies into an uncertain market.
Author-pays service cuts down on redundant reviews.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, scientists and officials are trying to protect the largest US city from future floods.
By offering unproven therapies, a Texas biotechnology firm has sparked a bitter debate about how stem cells should be regulated.
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A study shows that, rather than sequentially starting and stopping a movement, two parallel pathways involving neurons in the brain's basal ganglia seem to work in tandem to accomplish the complex task of motion. See Letter p.238
A boron complex catalyses the addition of allyl groups — hydrocarbon motifs — to 'activated imines' in a relay-like process, generating synthetically useful compounds as single mirror-image isomers. See Letter p.216
To thwart the antimicrobial responses of their hosts, pathogens have evolved diverse mechanisms, including autophagy. Knowledge of such mechanisms has now led to a pro-autophagy peptide that may be of therapeutic value. See Article p.201
A detailed geological analysis of a ridge in the Indian Ocean suggests that compositional variations in Earth's mantle have a surprisingly crucial role in the uplift of a bathymetric bulge along the ridge. See Article p.195
A systematic investigation of high-resolution G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structures uncovers a conserved inter-helical network of non-covalent contacts that defines the GPCR fold, and provides insights into the molecular determinants of different GPCR conformations.
The global ridge system is dominated by oceanic rises reflecting large variations in axial depth associated with mantle hotspots. The little-studied Marion Rise is as large as the Icelandic Rise, considering both length and depth, but has an axial rift (rather than a high) nearly its entire length. Uniquely along the Southwest Indian Ridge systematic sampling allows direct examination of crustal architecture over its full length. Here we show that, unlike the Icelandic Rise, peridotites are extensively exposed high on the rise, revealing that the crust is generally thin, and often missing, over a rifted rise. Therefore the Marion Rise must be largely an isostatic response to ancient melting events that created low-density depleted mantle beneath the Southwest Indian Ridge rather than thickened crust or a large thermal anomaly. The origin of this depleted mantle is probably the mantle emplaced into the African asthenosphere during the Karoo and Madagascar flood basalt events.
The lysosomal degradation pathway of autophagy has a crucial role in defence against infection, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer and ageing. Accordingly, agents that induce autophagy may have broad therapeutic applications. One approach to developing such agents is to exploit autophagy manipulation strategies used by microbial virulence factors. Here we show that a peptide, Tat–beclin 1—derived from a region of the autophagy protein, beclin 1, which binds human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 Nef—is a potent inducer of autophagy, and interacts with a newly identified negative regulator of autophagy, GAPR-1 (also called GLIPR2). Tat–beclin 1 decreases the accumulation of polyglutamine expansion protein aggregates and the replication of several pathogens (including HIV-1) in vitro, and reduces mortality in mice infected with chikungunya or West Nile virus. Thus, through the characterization of a domain of beclin 1 that interacts with HIV-1 Nef, we have developed an autophagy-inducing peptide that has potential efficacy in the treatment of human diseases.
Three-dimensional simulations of the global evolution of asteroid 4 Vesta under two overlapping planet-scale collisions closely reproduce its observed shape; but expected large areas of olivine-rich rocks and pure diogenites are not observed on the surface, possibly implying that the outer ~100 km is composed mainly of a basaltic crust (eucrites) with ultramafic intrusions (diogenites).
The properties of a quantum bit coupled to both a microwave cavity and a phonon mode in a micromechanical resonator suggest that such systems may allow for storage of quantum information in long-lived phonon states and read-out via microwave photons, with applications in quantum information control.
A set of small organic molecules catalyse reactions of unsaturated organoboron reagents with imines and carbonyls to produce amines and alcohols in high enantiomeric purity efficiently, speedily and at low cost through sustainable protocols.
Model simulations show that in response to insolation changes only, southern westerlies and feedbacks between sea ice, temperature, evaporation and salinity caused vigorous Southern Ocean ventilation and cooler deep ocean during the interglacials before the mid-Brunhes transition, suggesting that this transition may in fact have resulted from a series of individual interglacial responses to various combinations of insolation conditions.
X-ray synchrotron microtomography has revealed the three-dimensional vertebral architecture of Ichthyostega, and other crucial and celebrated early tetrapods; a surprising feature is the relationship between the vertebral elements, with the pleurocentra unexpectedly attached to the succeeding intercentrum, suggesting a ‘reverse’ rhachitomous design.
A combination of extensive field surveys and realistic experiments involving an amphibian disease system reveals that biodiversity reduces pathogen transmission due to a predictable link between species richness and the ability of communities to support infection.
In a cross between two yeast strains, detected loci are found to explain nearly the entire additive contribution to heritable variation for a number of quantitative traits.
In mice performing an operant task, increases in neural activity in direct- and indirect-pathway spiny projection neurons (SPNs) are associated with action initiation but not with inactivity, and concurrent activation of SPNs from both pathways in one hemisphere precedes the initiation of contraversive movements.
During retinal vascular development there is simultaneous regression of the hyaloid vasculature and formation of the retinal vasculature; here it is demonstrated that regression of developing vasculature is light dependent and acts via the photoreceptor melanopsin.
A mouse model of liver damage has identified a population of Lrg5+ liver stem cells that can generate hepatoctyes and bile ducts in vivo.
BRAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib have shown promising effects in patients with BRAF-mutant melanomas, but the tumours generally develop resistance; vemurafenib-resistant melanomas are now shown to be drug dependent, and an intermittent dosing schedule can help prevent drug resistance.
Biguanides such as metformin, which is the most widely prescribed drug for type-2 diabetes, are shown to antagonize the actions of glucagon by decreasing the levels of cyclic AMP.
The graded expression of the transcription factor T-bet in CCR6−RORγt+ innate lymphoid cells is found to be involved in the control of interferon-γ expression, a cytokine that is required to protect the epithelial barrier against Salmonella infections.
High-throughput peptide synthesis and mass spectrometry are used to generate a near-complete reference map of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteome; two versions of the map (supporting discovery- and hypothesis-driven proteomics) are then applied to a protein-based quantitative trait locus analysis.