In a hole p.5

It is in Britain’s best interests to keep looking for a site for a deep nuclear-waste repository.

doi: 10.1038/494005b

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Unknown territory p.5

Japan is making an overdue effort to regulate experimental stem-cell treatments. A clearly defined legal framework is needed to protect patients.

doi: 10.1038/494005a

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Body of evidence p.6

The identification of a long-dead king is not simply an academic event.

doi: 10.1038/494006a

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Landsat 8 to the rescue p.13

NASA prepares to launch satellite that will continue historic record of global change.

doi: 10.1038/494013a

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Quake fears rise at Japan’s reactors p.14

Commissioners say that geological faults make some reactors too dangerous to restart.

doi: 10.1038/494014a

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Alert over South Korea toxic leaks p.15

Government moves to tighten oversight after string of hydrogen fluoride accidents.

doi: 10.1038/494015a

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LHC set to halt for upgrades p.16

Maintenance, improvement work and data analysis will keep scientists busy as collider’s planned closure begins.

doi: 10.1038/494016a

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Campus girds for lean times p.19

Plush San Francisco medical hub seeks to safeguard academic research.

doi: 10.1038/494019a

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News Features


Climate adaptation: Survival of the flexible p.22


doi: 10.1038/494022a

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Translational research: Medicine man p.24

NIHのトランスレーショナル研究センターのChristopher Austin所長には、迅速な新薬開発を可能にする戦略が期待されている。

doi: 10.1038/494024a

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News & Views


Microbiology: The life beneath our feet p.40


doi: 10.1038/494040a

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Solid-state physics: A new spin on spintronics p.43


doi: 10.1038/nature11944

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Neuroscience: Salty sensations p.44


doi: 10.1038/nature11946

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Fungal biology: Multiple mating strategies p.45

病原体であるカンジダ菌Candida albicansで、染色体を1組しか持たないという珍しい株が見つかった。このような半数体株の形成は、ヒトの体内で損傷を受けた遺伝子コピーを取り除き、進化を促進する。

doi: 10.1038/nature11945

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Astrophysics: Going supernova p.46


doi: 10.1038/494046a

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Spin–orbit coupling in quantum gases p.49

The current experimental and theoretical status of spin–orbit coupling in ultracold atomic systems is discussed, highlighting unique features that enable otherwise impossible physics.

doi: 10.1038/nature11841

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The ‘obligate diploid’ Candida albicans forms mating-competent haploids p.55

Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen, is considered to be an obligate diploid that carries recessive lethal mutations throughout the genome. Here we demonstrate that C. albicans has a viable haploid state that can be derived from diploid cells under in vitro and in vivo conditions, and that seems to arise through a concerted chromosome loss mechanism. Haploids undergo morphogenetic changes like those of diploids, including the yeast–hyphal transition, chlamydospore formation and a white-opaque switch that facilitates mating. Haploid opaque cells of opposite mating type mate efficiently to regenerate the diploid form, restoring heterozygosity and fitness. Homozygous diploids arise spontaneously by auto-diploidization, and both haploids and auto-diploids show a similar reduction in fitness, in vitro and in vivo, relative to heterozygous diploids, indicating that homozygous cell types are transient in mixed populations. Finally, we constructed stable haploid strains with multiple auxotrophies that will facilitate molecular and genetic analyses of this important pathogen.

doi: 10.1038/nature11865

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Structural basis for viral 5′-PPP-RNA recognition by human IFIT proteins p.60

Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are innate immune effector molecules that are thought to confer antiviral defence through disruption of protein–protein interactions in the host translation-initiation machinery. However, it was recently discovered that IFITs can directly recognize viral RNA bearing a 5′-triphosphate group (PPP-RNA), which is a molecular signature that distinguishes it from host RNA. Here we report crystal structures of human IFIT5, its complex with PPP-RNAs, and an amino-terminal fragment of IFIT1. The structures reveal a new helical domain that houses a positively charged cavity designed to specifically engage only single-stranded PPP-RNA, thus distinguishing it from the canonical cytosolic sensor of double-stranded viral PPP-RNA, retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I, also known as DDX58). Mutational analysis, proteolysis and gel-shift assays reveal that PPP-RNA is bound in a non-sequence-specific manner and requires a 5′-overhang of approximately three nucleotides. Abrogation of PPP-RNA binding in IFIT1 and IFIT5 was found to cause a defect in the antiviral response by human embryonic kidney cells. These results demonstrate the mechanism by which IFIT proteins selectively recognize viral RNA, and lend insight into their downstream effector function.

doi: 10.1038/nature11783

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An outburst from a massive star 40 days before a supernova explosion p.65

A mass-loss event 40 days before the explosion of the type IIn supernova SN 2010mc has been detected; the outburst indicates that there is a causal relation between explosive mass-loss events seen in some massive stars before their explosion and the onset of the supernova explosion.

doi: 10.1038/nature11877

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Reconstructing state mixtures from diffraction measurements p.68

An imaging technique has been developed to characterize state mixtures caused by partial coherence and fluctuations in dynamical systems.

doi: 10.1038/nature11806

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Magnetic-field-controlled reconfigurable semiconductor logic p.72

A microchannel made from InSb, which has current–voltage characteristics that are strongly dependent on the sign and magnitude of an applied magnetic field, is used to demonstrate that circuits made from such structures can be programmed — and reprogrammed — to perform elementary logic functions, such as AND, OR, NAND and NOR.

doi: 10.1038/nature11817

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Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA p.77

An efficient and scalable strategy with robust error correction is reported for encoding a record amount of information (including images, text and audio files) in DNA strands; a ‘DNA archive’ has been synthesized, shipped from the USA to Germany, sequenced and the information read.

doi: 10.1038/nature11875

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Northern Hemisphere forcing of Southern Hemisphere climate during the last deglaciation p.81

Changes in ocean circulation are the most plausible explanation for the early Southern Hemisphere deglacial warming and its lead over Northern Hemisphere temperature.

doi: 10.1038/nature11822

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Diversity loss with persistent human disturbance increases vulnerability to ecosystem collapse p.86

Persistent anthropogenic disturbance is shown simultaneously to drive plant species loss and stabilize some attributes of ecosystem function, analogous to a high-yield, low-diversity agricultural system, but increase the likelihood of irreversible collapse after sudden environmental change.

doi: 10.1038/nature11869

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Suppression of neuroinflammation by astrocytic dopamine D2 receptors via αB-crystallin p.90

Chronic inflammation is a feature of the ageing brain and some neurodegenerative diseases; the authors show that astrocytes normally suppress neuroinflammation through activation of their DRD2 receptor by CRYAB, potentially opening new avenues for treatments.

doi: 10.1038/nature11748

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tmc-1 encodes a sodium-sensitive channel required for salt chemosensation in C. elegans p.95

The membrane protein TMC-1 is required for salt avoidance behaviour in C. elegans, functions as an ion channel directly activated by NaCl in vitro and is a candidate salt chemosensor; the human homologue of TMC-1 is linked to deafness and may be the cochlear hair-cell mechanotransduction channel.

doi: 10.1038/nature11845

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Negligible immunogenicity of terminally differentiated cells derived from induced pluripotent or embryonic stem cells p.100

Immune rejection may limit the therapeutic use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); here, terminally differentiated mouse iPSCs are shown to generate negligible immune rejection in their host.

doi: 10.1038/nature11807

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Studying arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia with patient-specific iPSCs p.105

This study demonstrates that an inheritable adult onset heart disease can be modelled in vitro within months with the help of metabolic maturation induction.

doi: 10.1038/nature11799

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Obesity-induced overexpression of miR-802 impairs glucose metabolism through silencing of Hnf1b p.111

The livers of obese mice and humans show increased levels of miR-802 resulting in impaired glucose tolerance and decreased insulin sensitivity through silencing of Hnf1b, revealing a novel pathway with potential relevance for type 2 diabetes.

doi: 10.1038/nature11793

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Microbiota restricts trafficking of bacteria to mesenteric lymph nodes by CX3CR1hi cells p.116

In mice, commensal bacteria are shown to provide critical signals that limit bacterial trafficking to the mesenteric lymph nodes by immune cells, thus preventing the induction of mucosal immune responses.

doi: 10.1038/nature11809

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ATP-directed capture of bioactive herbal-based medicine on human tRNA synthetase p.121

The crystal structure of prolyl tRNA synthetase simultaneously bound to its substrate ATP and its inhibitor halofuginone, a derivative of a compound used to treat malaria, indicates that (through interactions with ATP) halofuginone occupies both the amino acid and tRNA binding sites on the synthetase, revealing a new model for developing synthetase inhibitors.

doi: 10.1038/nature11774

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Mitotic cell rounding accelerates epithelial invagination p.125

Drosophila epithelial tracheal placode invagination is shown to be driven by mitotic cell rounding along with epithelial growth factor receptor signalling and myosin contractility in neighbouring cells, revealing a new cell-division-independent role for mitotic events in morphogenesis.

doi: 10.1038/nature11792

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