Science-based evidence and enlightened diplomacy have brought within reach a historic opportunity for nuclear détente with Iran. It must be seized.
Researchers need help in making the statistical power of animal experiments clear.
Move addresses concerns that some experiments are not using enough animals.
Biomedical-funding revamp threatens to marginalize under-represented researchers.
From kidneys to hands, 3D printers are churning out made-to-order bones and rudimentary organs.
ranian physicists excited at prospects for a new physics lab and greater collaboration with the rest of the world.
US science and engineering professors preferred female job candidates by two to one.
Nature Biotechnology asks peer reviewers to check accessibility of code used in computational studies.
Thirty years of pursuit have failed to yield a drug to take on one of the deadliest families of cancer-causing proteins. Now some researchers are taking another shot.
As the venerable space telescope turns 25 this month, key scientists and engineers recount the highs and lows of its stellar career.
News & Views
Analyses of prostate-cancer metastases reveal a complex cellular architecture, and show that secondary sites can be seeded by multiple cell populations derived from both the primary tumour and other metastases. See Letter p.353
Experimental results suggest that if Earth initially grew by the accumulation of highly chemically reduced material, its core could contain enough uranium to drive the planet's magnetic field throughout Earth's history. See Letter p.337
Molecular tracing of populations of breast-cancer cells in a primary tumour in mice reveals that two proteins, Serpine2 and Slpi, enable tumour cells to form vascular-like networks, facilitating perfusion and metastasis. See Letter p.358
Drug manufacture can benefit from flow synthesis, in which raw materials are fed into a sequence of reactors, producing the drug as a continuous output. A flow strategy that capitalizes on solid catalysts has now been realized. See Letter p.329
The neutron–proton mass difference, one of the most consequential parameters of physics, has now been calculated from fundamental theories. This landmark calculation portends revolutionary progress in nuclear physics.
An analysis of fish declines in coral reefs shows that simple fishing limits and implementation of marine protected areas can be enough to support recovery of coral ecosystem resilience. See Letter p.341
Competing financial interests. The majority of authors are employees of Genentech Inc. and/or hold stock in Roche.
The crystal structures of the human adiponectin receptors AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 are solved at 2.9 and 2.4 Å resolution, respectively; the structural and functional information may aid the development and optimization of adiponectin receptor agonists for the treatment of obesity-related diseases.
Two X-ray crystal structures are presented of the human P2Y1 G-protein-coupled receptor, which is an important target for anti-thrombotic drugs; the structures unexpectedly reveal two ligand-binding sites.
Observations of CK Vulpeculae reveal that it is surrounded by molecular gas and dust whose large mass and chemical composition cannot have come from a nova; the best explanation is that this object is the remnant of the merger of two stars.
An aluminium-ion battery is reported that can charge within one minute, and offers improved cycle life compared to previous devices; it operates through the electrochemical deposition and dissolution of aluminium at the anode, and the intercalation/de-intercalation of chloroaluminate anions into a novel graphitic-foam cathode.
The continuous-flow synthesis of both enantiomers of a complex molecule, the anti-inflammatory drug rolipram, is described, using only columns packed with achiral and chiral heterogeneous catalysts, thus enabling batch processing to be avoided.
A delay between surface cooling and the arrival of ice-rafted debris at a site southwest of Iceland over the past four glacial cycles implies that icebergs typically arrived too late to have triggered cooling, although the freshwater derived from melting icebergs may provide a positive feedback for cold stadial conditions.
Recent 142Nd isotope data indicate that the silicate Earth (its crust plus the mantle) has a samarium to neodymium elemental ratio (Sm/Nd) that is greater than that of the supposed chondritic building blocks of the planet. This elevated Sm/Nd has been ascribed either to a ‘hidden’ reservoir in the Earth or to loss of an early-formed terrestrial crust by impact ablation. Since removal of crust by ablation would also remove the heat-producing elements—potassium, uranium and thorium—such removal would make it extremely difficult to balance terrestrial heat production with the observed heat flow. In the ‘hidden’ reservoir alternative, a complementary low-Sm/Nd layer is usually considered to reside unobserved in the silicate lower mantle. We have previously shown, however, that the core is a likely reservoir for some lithophile elements such as niobium. We therefore address the question of whether core formation could have fractionated Nd from Sm and also acted as a sink for heat-producing elements. We show here that addition of a reduced Mercury-like body (or, alternatively, an enstatite-chondrite-like body) rich in sulfur to the early Earth would generate a superchondritic Sm/Nd in the mantle and an 142Nd/144Nd anomaly of approximately +14 parts per million relative to chondrite. In addition, the sulfur-rich core would partition uranium strongly and thorium slightly, supplying a substantial part of the ‘missing’ heat source for the geodynamo.
Continuing degradation of coral reef ecosystems has generated substantial interest in how management can support reef resilience. Fishing is the primary source of diminished reef function globally, leading to widespread calls for additional marine reserves to recover fish biomass and restore key ecosystem functions. Yet there are no established baselines for determining when these conservation objectives have been met or whether alternative management strategies provide similar ecosystem benefits. Here we establish empirical conservation benchmarks and fish biomass recovery timelines against which coral reefs can be assessed and managed by studying the recovery potential of more than 800 coral reefs along an exploitation gradient. We show that resident reef fish biomass in the absence of fishing (B0) averages ∼1,000 kg ha−1, and that the vast majority (83%) of fished reefs are missing more than half their expected biomass, with severe consequences for key ecosystem functions such as predation. Given protection from fishing, reef fish biomass has the potential to recover within 35 years on average and less than 60 years when heavily depleted. Notably, alternative fisheries restrictions are largely (64%) successful at maintaining biomass above 50% of B0, sustaining key functions such as herbivory. Our results demonstrate that crucial ecosystem functions can be maintained through a range of fisheries restrictions, allowing coral reef managers to develop recovery plans that meet conservation and livelihood objectives in areas where marine reserves are not socially or politically feasible solutions.
Initially weak episodic memories in humans can be selectively enhanced and consolidated following later emotional learning involving conceptually related information, suggesting a mechanism for how we can remember initially inconsequential information after a relevant later experience.
Two genetically distinct populations of neurons in the subfornical organ of mice can either induce thirst and water-seeking behaviour or suppress thirst, regardless of the hydration status of the animal.
The subclonal composition of human prostate tumours and their metastases has been mapped by whole-genome sequencing, thus establishing the evolutionary trees behind the development and spread of these cancers; an important observation was that metastases could be re-seeded multiple times, and spread from one tumour to another was frequently seen.
Different clones of a mammary tumour cell line possess differential abilities to contribute to the formation of metastasis; the expression of Serpine2 and Slp1 proteins drives vascular mimicry and metastasis to the lung, with similar associations observed in human data sets, and these proteins also function as anticoagulants, thus further promoting extravasation of tumour cells.
Tumours are a low-oxygen environment, in this study glioblastoma cells are found to overexpress the serine hydroxymethyltransferase SHMT2; SHMT acts to reduce oxygen consumption, which confers the tumour cells with a survival advantage.
Tumour cells respond to an effective, targeted drug treatment with BRAF, ALK or EGFR kinase inhibitors by inducing a complex network of secreted signals that promote tumour growth, dissemination and metastasis of drug-resistant cancer cell clones, and increase the survival of drug-sensitive tumour cells, potentially contributing to incomplete tumour regression.
In this study, involving melanoma patients and a mouse model for melanoma, an optimal anti-tumour response was induced by using a combination of radiation with anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD-L1 antibody therapies, each attacking the tumour from a different angle.
Parasites of the Theileria genus infect cattle and transform their host cells, a transformation that can be reversed by treatment with the drug buparvaquone; here, a Theileria homologue of the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase PIN1 is shown to be secreted into the host cell, where it promotes transformation and can be directly inhibited by buparvaquone.
Non-ribosomal peptide synthetases are giant enzymes composed of modules that house repeated sets of functional domains, which select, activate and couple amino acids drawn from a pool of nearly 500 potential building blocks. The structurally and stereochemically diverse peptides generated in this manner underlie the biosynthesis of a large sector of natural products. Many of their derived metabolites are bioactive such as the antibiotics vancomycin, bacitracin, daptomycin and the β-lactam-containing penicillins, cephalosporins and nocardicins. Penicillins and cephalosporins are synthesized from a classically derived non-ribosomal peptide synthetase tripeptide (from δ-(l-α-aminoadipyl)–l-cysteinyl–d-valine synthetase). Here we report an unprecedented non-ribosomal peptide synthetase activity that both assembles a serine-containing peptide and mediates its cyclization to the critical β-lactam ring of the nocardicin family of antibiotics. A histidine-rich condensation domain, which typically performs peptide bond formation during product assembly, also synthesizes the embedded four-membered ring. We propose a mechanism, and describe supporting experiments, that is distinct from the pathways that have evolved to the three other β-lactam antibiotic families: penicillin/cephalosporins, clavams and carbapenems. These findings raise the possibility that β-lactam rings can be regio- and stereospecifically integrated into engineered peptides for application as, for example, targeted protease inactivators.