Volume 501 Number 7466



Under threat p.135

The grey wolf is at risk of losing its endangered status under US law.

doi: 10.1038/501135b


Sequenced from the start p.135

Four US studies are set to explore how genomic data can best help healthy and ill newborns. They must also settle some questions of ethics.

doi: 10.1038/501135a


Reality at risk p.136

Don’t treat a memoir as anything other than one person’s interpretation of events.

doi: 10.1038/501136a



Grey wolves left out in the cold p.143

US plan to remove federal protection elicits howls of protest.

doi: 10.1038/501143a


Physicists net fractal butterfly p.144

Decades-old search closes in on recursive pattern that describes electron behaviour.

doi: 10.1038/501144a


Hackles rise over privatization plan p.145

UK Natural Environment Research Council proposes to cut four institutes loose, but scientists fear for long-term data.

doi: 10.1038/501145a


Secrets of fracking fluids pave way for cleaner recipe p.146

Disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing will empower green chemistry.

doi: 10.1038/501146a


More cuts loom for US science p.147

Stalemate in Congress puts spending plans on hold.

doi: 10.1038/501147a


Ultimate upgrade for US synchrotron p.148

Argonne lab banks on beam-bending magnets in bid for world’s most focused X-ray light source.

doi: 10.1038/501148a

News Features


Taxonomy: The spy who loved frogs p.150

フィリピンで、両生爬虫類学者とスパイという二重生活を送った、Edward Taylorの足跡をたどる。

doi: 10.1038/501150a


Physics: Quantum quest p.154


doi: 10.1038/501154a

News & Views


Social science: The mathematics of murder p.170


doi: 10.1038/501170a


Biological techniques: An embryonic view of tumour development p.171


doi: 10.1038/nature12547


Materials science: Boosting X-ray emission p.172


doi: 10.1038/501172a


Immunology: Lipopolysaccharide sensing on the inside p.173


doi: 10.1038/nature12556


Geochemistry: Sulphur from heaven and hell p.175


doi: 10.1038/nature12554


Astrochemistry: Extracts of meteorite p.177


doi: 10.1038/501177a


Computational biology: A recipe for ligand-binding proteins p.177


doi: 10.1038/nature12463



Social reward requires coordinated activity of nucleus accumbens oxytocin and serotonin p.179

In male mice oxytocin acts as a social reinforcement signal within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core, where it elicits a presynaptically expressed long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory synaptic transmission in medium spiny neurons; deletion of oxytocin receptors from the dorsal raphe nucleus, which provides serotonergic innervation of the NAc, and blockade of NAc serotonin 1B receptors both prevent oxytocin-induced LTD and social reward.

doi: 10.1038/nature12518


RNAi screens in mice identify physiological regulators of oncogenic growth p.185

Here, the first genome-wide in vivo RNA interference screens in a mammalian animal model are reported: genes involved in normal and abnormal epithelial cell growth are studied in developing skin tissue in mouse embryos, and among the findings, β-catenin is shown to act as an antagonist to normal epithelial cell growth as well as promoting oncogene-driven growth.

doi: 10.1038/nature12464



Stimulated X-ray emission for materials science p.191

Resonant inelastic X-ray scattering requires very high photon densities to detect the relatively weak signals of interest, but here it is demonstrated that inducing stimulated X-ray emission from crystalline silicon can increase the signal level by several orders of magnitude and reduces sample damage.

doi: 10.1038/nature12449


Stereoinversion of tertiary alcohols to tertiary-alkyl isonitriles and amines p.195

Tertiary alcohols are displaced with a nitrogen nucleophile with stereoinversion and with high selectivity over less substituted alcohols, providing complementarity to the SN2 reaction and efficient access to nitrogenous marine terpenoids.

doi: 10.1038/nature12472


Changes in North Atlantic nitrogen fixation controlled by ocean circulation p.200

Reconstructed changes in North Atlantic nitrogen fixation over the past 160,000 years have a 23,000-year cycle that is interpreted to result from precession-paced changes in the supply of phosphorus to surface waters by equatorial Atlantic upwelling.

doi: 10.1038/nature12397


Retardation of arsenic transport through a Pleistocene aquifer p.204

Holocene aquifers are the source of much arsenic poisoning in south and southeast Asia, whereas Pleistocene aquifers are mostly safe; here the delayed arsenic contamination of a Pleistocene aquifer is described and modelled.

doi: 10.1038/nature12444


Non-chondritic sulphur isotope composition of the terrestrial mantle p.208

Earth’s mantle is shown to display heterogeneous sulphur isotope ratios, with a depleted end-member that is not chondritic as has been thought; the mantle’s inferred composition can be accounted for by fractionation during core–mantle differentiation.

doi: 10.1038/nature12490


Computational design of ligand-binding proteins with high affinity and selectivity p.212

Computational protein design is used to create a protein that binds the steroid digoxigenin (DIG) with high affinity and selectivity; the computational design methods described here should help to enable the development of a new generation of small molecule receptors for synthetic biology, diagnostics and therapeutics.

doi: 10.1038/nature12443

遺伝:てんかん性脳症に見られるde novo変異

De novo mutations in epileptic encephalopathies p.217

Exome sequencing has found an excess of de novo mutations in the ~4,000 most intolerant genes in patients with two classical epileptic encephalopathies (infantile spasms and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome); among them are multiple de novo mutations in GABRB3 and ALG13.

doi: 10.1038/nature12439

細胞:転写因子によるin vitroでのマウス生殖細胞系譜の誘導

Induction of mouse germ-cell fate by transcription factors in vitro p.222

Expression of the three transcription factors BLIMP1, PRDM14 and TFAP2C, or of PRDM14 alone, converts epiblast-like cells into primordial germ cell (PGC)-like cells; the transcription-factor-induced PGC-like cells acquire key transcriptome and epigenetic reprogramming in PGCs, and contribute to spermatogenesis and fertile offspring.

doi: 10.1038/nature12417


The pluripotent genome in three dimensions is shaped around pluripotency factors p.227

Using 4C technology, higher-order topological features of the pluripotent genome are identified; in pluripotent stem cells, Nanog clusters specifically with other pluripotency genes and this clustering is centred around Nanog-binding sites, suggesting that Nanog helps to shape the three-dimensional structure of the pluripotent genome and thereby contributes to the robustness of the pluripotent state.

doi: 10.1038/nature12420


Mechanism of MEK inhibition determines efficacy in mutant KRAS- versus BRAF-driven cancers p.232

The mechanism of action of three different allosteric MEK inhibitors that target the MAP kinase pathway is investigated, and their efficacy is shown to be explained by the distinct mechanisms regulating MEK activation in KRAS- versus BRAF-driven tumours; this work provides a rationale for designing more effective cancer therapies for these common genetic subtypes of cancer.

doi: 10.1038/nature12441


Completion of the entire hepatitis C virus life cycle in genetically humanized mice p.237

The entire hepatitis C virus life cycle can be recapitulated in an inbred mouse model, allowing preclinical assessment of antiviral therapeutics and vaccines.

doi: 10.1038/nature12427


Pathogen blocks host death receptor signalling by arginine GlcNAcylation of death domains p.242

Several death-domain-containing proteins are directly inactivated by the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli type III secretion system effector NleB; NleB functions as an N-acetylglucosamine transferase that modifies a conserved death domain arginine residue, blocking the receptor–adapter interaction.

doi: 10.1038/nature12436


A type III effector antagonizes death receptor signalling during bacterial gut infection p.247

Colonizing enteric bacteria are shown to inhibit the antimicrobial process of host cell apoptosis through the action of NleB1, a type III secretion system effector with N-acetylglucosamine transferase activity, which can bind and modify eukaryotic death-domain-containing proteins.

doi: 10.1038/nature12524


Stability and function of regulatory T cells is maintained by a neuropilin-1–semaphorin-4a axis p.252

Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) on regulatory T (Treg) cells is shown to interact with semaphorin-4a (Sema4a) to promote a program of Treg-cell stability and survival, in part through PTEN-mediated modulation of Akt signalling; Nrp1-deficient Treg cells can maintain immune homeostasis but fail to suppress in inflammatory sites, such as tumours, providing an attractive immunotherapeutic target for the treatment of cancers.

doi: 10.1038/nature12428


Interactome map uncovers phosphatidylserine transport by oxysterol-binding proteins p.257

The lipid-binding profiles of all lipid-transfer proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are determined and a new subfamily of oxysterol-binding proteins that function in phosphatidylserine homeostasis and transport is identified.

doi: 10.1038/nature12430

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