Volume 496 Number 7443



A record made to be broken p.5

Japan’s major science-funding agency has a clean record when it comes to research fraud. Now is the time for it to step up and resolve a long-running case of alleged scientific misconduct.

doi: 10.1038/496005a


Against the law p.5

Behaviours proposed for black holes conflict with the laws of physics.

doi: 10.1038/496005b



Crick’s medal goes under the hammer p.13

Pending auction raises eyebrows but few objections.

doi: 10.1038/496013a


Sizing up a slow assault on cancer p.14

Rise of immunotherapies spurs search for markers of response.

doi: 10.1038/496014a


Detectors zero in on Earth’s heat p.17

Geoneutrinos paint picture of deep-mantle processes.

doi: 10.1038/496017a


Detective work uncovers under-reported overfishing p.18

Excessive catches by Chinese vessels threaten livelihoods and ecosystems in West Africa.

doi: 10.1038/496018a

News Features


Astrophysics: Fire in the hole! p.20


doi: 10.1038/496020a

News & Views


Biochemistry: Positive and radical p.34


doi: 10.1038/496034a


Earth science: Western North America's jigsaw p.35


doi: 10.1038/496035a


Techniques: 3D imaging of crystal defects p.37


doi: 10.1038/nature12089


Cancer: A metabolic metamorphosis p.38


doi: 10.1038/496038a


Materials science: The same, but better p.40


doi: 10.1038/496040a


Biochemistry: Sirtuin on a high-fat diet p.41


doi: 10.1038/496041a



Patterns and mechanisms of early Pliocene warmth p.43

A synthesis of geochemical proxy records of sea surface temperature shows that the early Pliocene climate was little different from today in terms of maximum ocean temperatures but had substantially lower meridional and zonal temperature gradients.

doi: 10.1038/nature12003


Intra-oceanic subduction shaped the assembly of Cordilleran North America p.50

A new explanation for the origin of the accreted terranes that form the mountainous Cordillera of western North America is proposed and tested: stationary, intra-oceanic subduction deposited massive slab walls in the mantle and grew volcanic archipelagos at the surface, which were overridden by and accreted to North America during Cretaceous times.

doi: 10.1038/nature12019


The genomes of four tapeworm species reveal adaptations to parasitism p.57

Genome sequences of human-infective tapeworm species reveal extreme losses of genes and pathways that are ubiquitous in other animals, species-specific expansions of non-canonical heat shock proteins and families of known antigens, specialized detoxification pathways, and metabolism that relies on host nutrients; this information is used to identify new potential drug targets.

doi: 10.1038/nature12031


SCFFBXL3 ubiquitin ligase targets cryptochromes at their cofactor pocket p.64

Crystal structures of mammalian CRY2, one of the cryptochrome flavoproteins that have light-independent functions at the core of the circadian clock, show that it binds FAD dynamically and that the F-box protein FBXL3 captures CRY2 by occupying its FAD-binding pocket and burying its PER-binding interface.

doi: 10.1038/nature11964



Femtosecond switching of magnetism via strongly correlated spin–charge quantum excitations p.69

Magnetic order in a manganite can be switched during femtosecond photo-excitation via coherent superpositions of quantum states; this is analogous to processes in femtosecond chemistry where photoproducts of chemical and biochemical reactions can be influenced by creating suitable superpositions of molecular states.

doi: 10.1038/nature11934


Three-dimensional imaging of dislocations in a nanoparticle at atomic resolution p.74

A new combination of established techniques is used to produce three-dimensional (3D) images and a video of almost all the atoms in a platinum nanoparticle, revealing the 3D core structure of edge and screw dislocations and 3D twin boundaries in the nanoparticle at atomic resolution.

doi: 10.1038/nature12009


Colossal injection of catalyst atoms into silicon nanowires p.78

Aluminium catalyst is trapped during growth of a silicon nanowire from vapour phase at concentrations vastly beyond equilibrium solid solubility, but is homogeneously distributed as atoms and not found as clusters or precipitates; this is a potential route to tailoring the composition and properties of nanowires.

doi: 10.1038/nature11999


July 2012 Greenland melt extent enhanced by low-level liquid clouds p.83

In July 2012, a heat wave swept across Greenland, resulting in extensive melting of surface ice and flooding; this is shown to have been enhanced by liquid clouds forming in such a way that sufficient incoming shortwave radiation could penetrate to the surface while downwelling longwave radiation increased.

doi: 10.1038/nature12002


Draft genome of the wheat A-genome progenitor Triticum urartu p.87

The genome sequence and its analysis of the diploid wild wheat Triticum urartu (progenitor of the wheat A genome) represent a tool for studying the complex, polyploid wheat genomes and should be a valuable resource for the genetic improvement of wheat.

doi: 10.1038/nature11997


Aegilops tauschii draft genome sequence reveals a gene repertoire for wheat adaptation p.91

Sequencing and analysing the diploid genome and transcriptome of Aegilops tauschii provide new insights into the role of this genome in enabling the adaptation of bread wheat and are a step towards understanding the very large and complicated hexaploid genomes of wheat species.

doi: 10.1038/nature12028


The emergence of functional microcircuits in visual cortex p.96

A study of mouse visual cortex relating patterns of excitatory synaptic connectivity to visual response properties of neighbouring neurons shows that, after eye opening, local connectivity reorganizes extensively: more connections form selectively between neurons with similar visual responses and connections are eliminated between visually unresponsive neurons, but the overall connectivity rate does not change.

doi: 10.1038/nature12015


Glutamine supports pancreatic cancer growth through a KRAS-regulated metabolic pathway p.101

Pancreatic cancers use a novel glutamine metabolism pathway, regulated by oncogenic KRAS, to maintain redox balance; these findings add to the understanding of the mechanisms by which oncogenic alterations reprogram cellular metabolism to promote tumour growth.

doi: 10.1038/nature12040


Proteolytic elimination of N-myristoyl modifications by the Shigella virulence factor IpaJ p.106

An irreversible mechanism of protein demyristoylation catalysed by invasion plasmid antigen J (IpaJ), a Shigella flexneri type III effector protein with cysteine protease activity, is described.

doi: 10.1038/nature12004


SIRT6 regulates TNF-α secretion through hydrolysis of long-chain fatty acyl lysine p.110

The sirtuin family of enzymes are known as NAD-dependent deacetylases, although some of them have very weak deacetylase activity; here human SIRT6, an enzyme important for DNA repair and transcription, is shown to remove long-chain fatty acyl groups from protein lysine residues, and to have a function in promoting tumour necrosis factor alpha secretion.

doi: 10.1038/nature12038


Mechanistic studies of an unprecedented enzyme-catalysed 1,2-phosphono-migration reaction p.114

The non-haem-iron-dependent enzyme HppE catalyses the final step in the biosynthesis of fosfomycin, a broad-spectrum, clinically useful antibiotic; here it is shown that HppE can also catalyse a 1,2-phosphono-migration reaction, previously undocumented for any enzyme.

doi: 10.1038/nature11998


A solution to release twisted DNA during chromosome replication by coupled DNA polymerases p.119

During chromosome replication, coupled polymerases introduce topological changes that cause lower processivity and transient lagging-strand polymerase dissociation from DNA.

doi: 10.1038/nature11988


Structures of protein–protein complexes involved in electron transfer p.123

Structures of a newly characterized three-domain haem-c-Cu nitrite reductase are reported at 1.01 Å resolution, indicating how electron transfer may occur in protein–protein complexes.

doi: 10.1038/nature11996

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