The scientific regeneration of central Europe is gathering pace, but needs further help to thrive.
Consensus on reporting principles aims to improve biomedical research.
Balancing the needs of development and conservation is difficult — but urgent.
Virgin Galactic accident should not be allowed to stifle innovation, warn analysts.
Marine-park management comes under scrutiny as conservationists descend on Australia.
Politicians renew commitment to research and education progammes with €25 billion over six years.
Rate of infection in Liberia seems to plateau, raising questions over the usefulness of models in an outbreak.
Pressure on lawmakers from patient-advocacy groups has shaped agency spending on rare-disease research.
Microscopist’s wrongful-dismissal case faces long odds.
In the 25 years since the collapse of communism, the countries of central and Eastern Europe have each carved their own identity in science.
News & Views
A 'plasma afterburner' just 30 centimetres long accelerates electrons hundreds of times faster than giant conventional accelerators. The result may ultimately open up a low-cost technology for particle colliders. See Letter p.92
Gradients of fibroblast growth factors often induce cells to adopt different fates. A study in zebrafish embryos reveals another, unexpected role when the factors are trapped in small spaces by a special arrangement of cells. See Letter p.120
Massive stars are rare, but they are sources of some of the most energetic phenomena seen in the Universe today. A high-mass candidate has now been found in a star-forming region that has been observed for more than 50 years.
Evolutionary and ecosystem processes have long been treated as distinct. The finding that interactions among plant species cause rapid evolutionary changes that affect ecosystem function suggests that it is time for unification. See Letter p.108
The report of a light-activated catalyst that dictates the three-dimensional shape — the stereochemistry — of molecules formed in an organic reaction suggests a new strategy for controlling such reactions using visible light. See Letter p.100
Blocking the activity of macrophages may delay the spread of cancer. But new findings show that these immune cells can rapidly rebound to tumours after therapy withdrawal, accelerating lethal metastasis in mice. See Letter p.130
Simple cooperating groups of bacteria reproduced either by embracing or purging cheating types; those that embraced cheats adopted a life cycle of alternating phenotypic states, underpinned by a developmental switch that allowed the fitness of collectives to decouple from the fitness of constituent cells.
Complex I is the first enzyme of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and it is essential for oxidative phosphorylation in mammalian mitochondria; here the electron cryo-microscopy structure of complex I from bovine heart mitochondria is reported, advancing knowledge of its structure in mammals.
Analysis of X-ray data of galaxy clusters shows that turbulent heating of the intracluster medium is sufficient to counteract the radiative energy losses from the medium.
Cool white dwarf stars often have mysteriously strong magnetic fields (because their coolness suggests that they are old, and magnetic fields should decline in strength with age) and unexplained brightness variations; here the magnetic field is shown to suppress atmospheric convection, inhibiting cooling evolution and causing dark spots.
To develop plasma wakefield acceleration into a compact and affordable replacement for conventional accelerators, beams of charged particles must be accelerated at high efficiency in a high electric field; here this is demonstrated for a bunch of charged electrons ‘surfing’ on a previously excited plasma wave.
The insertion of an insulating layer into a multilayer light-emitting diode (LED) based on quantum dots and produced by depositing the layers from solution increases the performance of the LEDs to levels comparable to those of state-of-the-art organic LEDs produced by vacuum deposition, while retaining the advantages of solution processing.
A chiral iridium complex serves as a sensitizer for photoredox catalysis and at the same time provides very effective asymmetric induction for the enantioselective alkylation of 2-acyl imidazoles; the metal centre simultaneously serves as the exclusive source of chirality, the catalytically active Lewis acid centre, and the photoredox centre.
Policies have been in place since 1987 to reduce the release of chlorine atoms in the stratosphere, where they deplete ozone; here observations show that since 2007 hydrogen chloride has been increasing in the lower stratosphere of the Northern Hemisphere, an increase that is attributed to a slowdown in atmospheric circulation.
Here, new ecological communities are established using plants from mixed-species communities or monocultures; ecosystem functioning and morphological trait diversity are shown to be greater in plants from mixed-species communities, suggesting that biodiversity effects in natural communities strengthen over time.
A Nodal-related gene is uncovered in Hydra and is involved in setting up the body axis, and a β-Catenin–Nodal–Pitx signalling cassette is shown to have existed before the divergence of cnidarians, including Hydra, and bilaterians.
Whole-cell recordings in mouse somatosensory cortex in vivo show that rhythmic sensory-whisker stimulation induces long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) in layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells, in the absence of somatic spikes, through long-lasting NMDAR-mediated depolarizations that are generated by synaptic networks originating from the posteromedial complex of the thalamus.
Groups of cells within a migrating collective assemble shared luminal cavities that trap and concentrate the signalling molecule fibroblast growth factor, providing a self-organising mechanism to focus and coordinate cell communication within tissues.
Through a combination of experimental and computational approaches, the interplay between the plant hormone auxin and the auxin-induced PLETHORA transcription factors is shown to control zonation and gravity-prompted growth movements in plants.
In mouse models of breast cancer, anti-CCL2 therapy—thought to be potentially useful in treating cancer—is shown to accelerate the growth of lung metastases on discontinuation due to a surge of recruitment of bone marrow monocytes and increased interleukin-6-dependent vascularization of the lung metastatic environment.
Aberrant activation of oncogenes or loss of tumour suppressor genes opposes malignant transformation by triggering a stable arrest in cell growth, which is termed cellular senescence. This process is finely tuned by both cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms that regulate the entry of tumour cells to senescence. Whether tumour-infiltrating immune cells can oppose senescence is unknown. Here we show that at the onset of senescence, PTEN null prostate tumours in mice are massively infiltrated by a population of CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid cells that protect a fraction of proliferating tumour cells from senescence, thus sustaining tumour growth. Mechanistically, we found that Gr-1+ cells antagonize senescence in a paracrine manner by interfering with the senescence-associated secretory phenotype of the tumour through the secretion of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA). Strikingly, Pten-loss-induced cellular senescence was enhanced in vivo when Il1ra knockout myeloid cells were adoptively transferred to PTEN null mice. Therapeutically, docetaxel-induced senescence and efficacy were higher in PTEN null tumours when the percentage of tumour-infiltrating CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid cells was reduced using an antagonist of CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2). Taken together, our findings identify a novel non-cell-autonomous network, established by innate immunity, that controls senescence evasion and chemoresistance. Targeting this network provides novel opportunities for cancer therapy.
Molecular and structural characterization is reported for a new broad and potent monoclonal antibody against HIV that binds to an epitope bridging the gp41 and gp120 subunits — the antibody affects a step in virus entry after binding to CD4 and before engagement of CCR5.
The modification of uridine to pseudouridine is widespread in transfer and ribosomal RNAs but not observed so far in a coding RNA; here a new technique is used to detect this modification on a genome-wide scale, leading to the identification of pseudouridylation in messenger RNAs as well as almost 100 new sites in non-coding RNAs.
The CRISPR/Cas system is an RNA-guided bacterial protection system against foreign nucleic acids of bacterial and archaeal origin; here a high-resolution crystal structure of the CRIPSR RNA–Cas complex shows that the CRIPSR RNA plays an essential role not only in target recognition but also in complex assembly.