Volume 489 Number 7416



Extreme weather

doi: 10.1038/489335b


Through the gaps

doi: 10.1038/489335a


Return to sender

doi: 10.1038/489336a



UK technology-boost plan disappoints

doi: 10.1038/489347a


Nano-safety studies urged in China

doi: 10.1038/489350a


Studies slow the human DNA clock

doi: 10.1038/489343a


Retraction record rocks community

doi: 10.1038/489346a


The hidden threat of West Nile virus

doi: 10.1038/489349a


Laser centre lights up eastern Europe

doi: 10.1038/489351a


Lab-animal flights squeezed

doi: 10.1038/489344a

News Features


Neuroscience: Idle minds


doi: 10.1038/489356a


Forest fires: Burn out


doi: 10.1038/489352a

News & Views


Astronomy: Searching for the cosmic dawn p.370


doi: 10.1038/489370a


Neuroscience: Attention is more than meets the eye p.371


doi: 10.1038/489371a

50 & 100 years ago p.372

doi: 10.1038/489372a


Materials chemistry: Liposomes derived from molecular vases p.372


doi: 10.1038/489372b


Human behaviour: A cooperative instinct p.374


doi: 10.1038/489374a


Materials science: The matryoshka effect p.375


doi: 10.1038/489375a


Evolutionary biology: Insects converge on resistance p.376


doi: 10.1038/489376a



Bose glass and Mott glass of quasiparticles in a doped quantum magnet p.379

The low-temperature states of bosonic fluids exhibit fundamental quantum effects at the macroscopic scale: the best-known examples are Bose–Einstein condensation and superfluidity, which have been tested experimentally in a variety of different systems. When bosons interact, disorder can destroy condensation, leading to a ‘Bose glass’. This phase has been very elusive in experiments owing to the absence of any broken symmetry and to the simultaneous absence of a finite energy gap in the spectrum. Here we report the observation of a Bose glass of field-induced magnetic quasiparticles in a doped quantum magnet (bromine-doped dichloro-tetrakis-thiourea-nickel, DTN). The physics of DTN in a magnetic field is equivalent to that of a lattice gas of bosons in the grand canonical ensemble; bromine doping introduces disorder into the hopping and interaction strength of the bosons, leading to their localization into a Bose glass down to zero field, where it becomes an incompressible Mott glass. The transition from the Bose glass (corresponding to a gapless spin liquid) to the Bose–Einstein condensate (corresponding to a magnetically ordered phase) is marked by a universal exponent that governs the scaling of the critical temperature with the applied field, in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions. Our study represents a quantitative experimental account of the universal features of disordered bosons in the grand canonical ensemble.

doi: 10.1038/nature11406


Autistic-like behaviour in Scn1a+/− mice and rescue by enhanced GABA-mediated neurotransmission p.385

Haploinsufficiency of the SCN1A gene encoding voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.1 causes Dravet’s syndrome, a childhood neuropsychiatric disorder including recurrent intractable seizures, cognitive deficit and autism-spectrum behaviours. The neural mechanisms responsible for cognitive deficit and autism-spectrum behaviours in Dravet’s syndrome are poorly understood. Here we report that mice with Scn1a haploinsufficiency exhibit hyperactivity, stereotyped behaviours, social interaction deficits and impaired context-dependent spatial memory. Olfactory sensitivity is retained, but novel food odours and social odours are aversive to Scn1a+/− mice. GABAergic neurotransmission is specifically impaired by this mutation, and selective deletion of NaV1.1 channels in forebrain interneurons is sufficient to cause these behavioural and cognitive impairments. Remarkably, treatment with low-dose clonazepam, a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors, completely rescued the abnormal social behaviours and deficits in fear memory in the mouse model of Dravet’s syndrome, demonstrating that they are caused by impaired GABAergic neurotransmission and not by neuronal damage from recurrent seizures. These results demonstrate a critical role for NaV1.1 channels in neuropsychiatric functions and provide a potential therapeutic strategy for cognitive deficit and autism-spectrum behaviours in Dravet’s syndrome.

doi: 10.1038/nature11356


An anatomically comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain transcriptome p.391

Neuroanatomically precise, genome-wide maps of transcript distributions are critical resources to complement genomic sequence data and to correlate functional and genetic brain architecture. Here we describe the generation and analysis of a transcriptional atlas of the adult human brain, comprising extensive histological analysis and comprehensive microarray profiling of ∼900 neuroanatomically precise subdivisions in two individuals. Transcriptional regulation varies enormously by anatomical location, with different regions and their constituent cell types displaying robust molecular signatures that are highly conserved between individuals. Analysis of differential gene expression and gene co-expression relationships demonstrates that brain-wide variation strongly reflects the distributions of major cell classes such as neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. Local neighbourhood relationships between fine anatomical subdivisions are associated with discrete neuronal subtypes and genes involved with synaptic transmission. The neocortex displays a relatively homogeneous transcriptional pattern, but with distinct features associated selectively with primary sensorimotor cortices and with enriched frontal lobe expression. Notably, the spatial topography of the neocortex is strongly reflected in its molecular topography—the closer two cortical regions, the more similar their transcriptomes. This freely accessible online data resource forms a high-resolution transcriptional baseline for neurogenetic studies of normal and abnormal human brain function.

doi: 10.1038/nature11405


Structural plasticity and dynamic selectivity of acid-sensing ion channel–spider toxin complexes p.400

Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are voltage-independent, amiloride-sensitive channels involved in diverse physiological processes ranging from nociception to taste. Despite the importance of ASICs in physiology, we know little about the mechanism of channel activation. Here we show that psalmotoxin activates non-selective and Na+-selective currents in chicken ASIC1a at pH 7.25 and 5.5, respectively. Crystal structures of ASIC1a–psalmotoxin complexes map the toxin binding site to the extracellular domain and show how toxin binding triggers an expansion of the extracellular vestibule and stabilization of the open channel pore. At pH 7.25 the pore is approximately 10 Å in diameter, whereas at pH 5.5 the pore is largely hydrophobic and elliptical in cross-section with dimensions of approximately 5 by 7 Å, consistent with a barrier mechanism for ion selectivity. These studies define mechanisms for activation of ASICs, illuminate the basis for dynamic ion selectivity and provide the blueprints for new therapeutic agents.

doi: 10.1038/nature11375



A magnified young galaxy from about 500 million years after the Big Bang p.406

doi: 10.1038/nature11446


Pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy powered by a free-electron laser p.409

doi: 10.1038/nature11437


High-performance bulk thermoelectrics with all-scale hierarchical architectures p.414

doi: 10.1038/nature11439


Oceanic nitrogen reservoir regulated by plankton diversity and ocean circulation p.419

doi: 10.1038/nature11357


Afternoon rain more likely over drier soils p.423

doi: 10.1038/nature11377


Spontaneous giving and calculated greed p.427

doi: 10.1038/nature11467


Sex-specific volatile compounds influence microarthropod-mediated fertilization of moss p.431

doi: 10.1038/nature11330


Attention deficits without cortical neuronal deficits p.434

doi: 10.1038/nature11497


Lrp4 is a retrograde signal for presynaptic differentiation at neuromuscular synapses p.438

doi: 10.1038/nature11348


Genome-wide association study indicates two novel resistance loci for severe malaria p.443

doi: 10.1038/nature11334


A nuclear Argonaute promotes multigenerational epigenetic inheritance and germline immortality p.447

doi: 10.1038/nature11352


Set2 methylation of histone H3 lysine 36 suppresses histone exchange on transcribed genes p.452

doi: 10.1038/nature11326


Structure of the haptoglobin–haemoglobin complex p.456

doi: 10.1038/nature11369

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