Volume 491 Number 7422



Bad press

doi: 10.1038/491007b


Nature metrics

doi: 10.1038/491008b


Murky manoeuvres

doi: 10.1038/491007a


Fight the power

doi: 10.1038/491008a



Bid to curb fried-food chemical goes cold

doi: 10.1038/491022a


L’Aquila verdict row grows

doi: 10.1038/491015a


NIH faces chimp housing quandary

doi: 10.1038/491018a


Hepatitis E vaccine debuts

doi: 10.1038/491021a


Sahara solar plan loses its shine

doi: 10.1038/491016a


Theorists bridge space-time rips

doi: 10.1038/491019a

News Features


The single life


doi: 10.1038/491027a


Eritrea's shattered science


doi: 10.1038/491024a

News & Views


Materials science: Self-assembly gets new direction p.42


doi: 10.1038/491042a


Ecology: Bumblebees and pesticides p.43


doi: 10.1038/nature11637


Asteroids: Dark and stormy weather p.45


doi: 10.1038/491045a


Neuroscience: Sleep to oblivion p.46


doi: 10.1038/491046a


Optics: Nanotube holograms p.47


doi: 10.1038/491047a


Origins of life: The cooperative gene p.48


doi: 10.1038/nature11635



Colloids with valence and specific directional bonding p.51

The ability to design and assemble three-dimensional structures from colloidal particles is limited by the absence of specific directional bonds. As a result, complex or low-coordination structures, common in atomic and molecular systems, are rare in the colloidal domain. Here we demonstrate a general method for creating the colloidal analogues of atoms with valence: colloidal particles with chemically distinct surface patches that imitate hybridized atomic orbitals, including sp, sp2, sp3, sp3d, sp3d2 and sp3d3. Functionalized with DNA with single-stranded sticky ends, patches on different particles can form highly directional bonds through programmable, specific and reversible DNA hybridization. These features allow the particles to self-assemble into ‘colloidal molecules’ with triangular, tetrahedral and other bonding symmetries, and should also give access to a rich variety of new microstructured colloidal materials.

doi: 10.1038/nature11564


An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes p.56

By characterizing the geographic and functional spectrum of human genetic variation, the 1000 Genomes Project aims to build a resource to help to understand the genetic contribution to disease. Here we describe the genomes of 1,092 individuals from 14 populations, constructed using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome and exome sequencing. By developing methods to integrate information across several algorithms and diverse data sources, we provide a validated haplotype map of 38 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, 1.4 million short insertions and deletions, and more than 14,000 larger deletions. We show that individuals from different populations carry different profiles of rare and common variants, and that low-frequency variants show substantial geographic differentiation, which is further increased by the action of purifying selection. We show that evolutionary conservation and coding consequence are key determinants of the strength of purifying selection, that rare-variant load varies substantially across biological pathways, and that each individual contains hundreds of rare non-coding variants at conserved sites, such as motif-disrupting changes in transcription-factor-binding sites. This resource, which captures up to 98% of accessible single nucleotide polymorphisms at a frequency of 1% in related populations, enables analysis of common and low-frequency variants in individuals from diverse, including admixed, populations.

doi: 10.1038/nature11632


Generation of functional thyroid from embryonic stem cells p.66

The primary function of the thyroid gland is to metabolize iodide by synthesizing thyroid hormones, which are critical regulators of growth, development and metabolism in almost all tissues. So far, research on thyroid morphogenesis has been missing an efficient stem-cell model system that allows for the in vitro recapitulation of the molecular and morphogenic events regulating thyroid follicular-cell differentiation and subsequent assembly into functional thyroid follicles. Here we report that a transient overexpression of the transcription factors NKX2-1 and PAX8 is sufficient to direct mouse embryonic stem-cell differentiation into thyroid follicular cells that organize into three-dimensional follicular structures when treated with thyrotropin. These in vitro-derived follicles showed appreciable iodide organification activity. Importantly, when grafted in vivo into athyroid mice, these follicles rescued thyroid hormone plasma levels and promoted subsequent symptomatic recovery. Thus, mouse embryonic stem cells can be induced to differentiate into thyroid follicular cells in vitro and generate functional thyroid tissue.

doi: 10.1038/nature11525


Spontaneous network formation among cooperative RNA replicators p.72

The origins of life on Earth required the establishment of self-replicating chemical systems capable of maintaining and evolving biological information. In an RNA world, single self-replicating RNAs would have faced the extreme challenge of possessing a mutation rate low enough both to sustain their own information and to compete successfully against molecular parasites with limited evolvability. Thus theoretical analyses suggest that networks of interacting molecules were more likely to develop and sustain life-like behaviour. Here we show that mixtures of RNA fragments that self-assemble into self-replicating ribozymes spontaneously form cooperative catalytic cycles and networks. We find that a specific three-membered network has highly cooperative growth dynamics. When such cooperative networks are competed directly against selfish autocatalytic cycles, the former grow faster, indicating an intrinsic ability of RNA populations to evolve greater complexity through cooperation. We can observe the evolvability of networks through in vitro selection. Our experiments highlight the advantages of cooperative behaviour even at the molecular stages of nascent life.

doi: 10.1038/nature11549



Distinctive space weathering on Vesta from regolith mixing processes p.79

doi: 10.1038/nature11534


Dark material on Vesta from the infall of carbonaceous volatile-rich material p.83

doi: 10.1038/nature11561


Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas p.87

doi: 10.1038/nature11596


Fluvial response to abrupt global warming at the Palaeocene/Eocene boundary p.92

doi: 10.1038/nature11513


The elusive Hadean enriched reservoir revealed by 142Nd deficits in Isua Archaean rocks p.96

doi: 10.1038/nature11565


Fault healing promotes high-frequency earthquakes in laboratory experiments and on natural faults p.101

doi: 10.1038/nature11512


Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual- and colony-level traits in bees p.105

doi: 10.1038/nature11585


Intrinsically determined cell death of developing cortical interneurons p.109

doi: 10.1038/nature11523

細胞:高効率のTALEN系を用いるin vivoゲノム編集

In vivo genome editing using a high-efficiency TALEN system p.114

doi: 10.1038/nature11537


Host–microbe interactions have shaped the genetic architecture of inflammatory bowel disease p.119

doi: 10.1038/nature11582

免疫:ヒトschlafen11は コドン使用頻度に基づいてHIVのタンパク質合成を阻害する

Codon-usage-based inhibition of HIV protein synthesis by human schlafen 11 p.125

doi: 10.1038/nature11433

医学:ワクチンで誘導されたCD8+ T細胞はエイズウイルス複製を抑制する

Vaccine-induced CD8+ T cells control AIDS virus replication p.129

doi: 10.1038/nature11443


The molecular basis of phosphate discrimination in arsenate-rich environments p.134

doi: 10.1038/nature11517


The spatial architecture of protein function and adaptation p.138

doi: 10.1038/nature11500

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