Volume 502 Number 7469



Science without borders p.5

The idea of standardizing science and removing barriers to research mobility across Europe is simple, but putting it into practice has proved more challenging.

doi: 10.1038/502005a


Dangerous work p.5

Behavioural geneticists must tread carefully to prevent their research being misinterpreted.

doi: 10.1038/502005b


Cross the road p.6

Research on chickens is legitimate — but scientists and funders must learn to justify it.

doi: 10.1038/502006a



US government shuts down p.13

Research disrupted as lawmakers spar over funding.

doi: 10.1038/502013a


Geologists take drill to Triassic park p.14

Arizona rock core to yield coherent picture of turbulent period.

doi: 10.1038/502014a


Overhauls set scientists on edge p.15

Australian government axes carbon tax and designated science minister, but says it will not cut research funding.

doi: 10.1038/502015a


Uncertainty on trial p.17

Former US drug-company chief appeals conviction for fraud over interpretation of results.

doi: 10.1038/502017a


Rethinking particle dynamics p.19

Theoretical physicists are pursuing competing ways to calculate how particles interact.

doi: 10.1038/502019a


Pharma scrambles to fast-track drugs p.20

‘Breakthrough therapy’ status is much sought after, but there is confusion about its definition and impact.

doi: 10.1038/502020a



Astrometry: Europe's star power p.22

The Gaia spacecraft will soon launch on a mission to chart the heavens in unprecedented detail.

doi: 10.1038/502022a


Ethics: Taboo genetics p.26

Probing the biological basis of certain traits ignites controversy. But some scientists choose to cross the red line anyway.

doi: 10.1038/502026a

News & Views


Condensed-matter physics: Quantum togetherness p.40


doi: 10.1038/nature12689


Stem cells: Close encounters with full potential p.41


doi: 10.1038/nature12561


Materials science: Alloys with long memories p.42


doi: 10.1038/502042a


Enzymology: Modular biosynthesis branches out p.44


doi: 10.1038/nature12562


Biological techniques: Chromosomes captured one by one p.45


doi: 10.1038/nature12691



Supervolcanoes within an ancient volcanic province in Arabia Terra, Mars p.47

Several irregularly shaped craters located within Arabia Terra, Mars, are interpreted as a new type of highland volcanic construct, similar to supervolcanoes on Earth, fundamentally changing the picture of ancient volcanism and climate evolution on Mars.

doi: 10.1038/nature12482


Genomic organization of human transcription initiation complexes p.53

The ChIP-exo technique is used to map the organization of transcription initiation complexes across the human genome at near-base-pair resolution; most of the transcription initiation complexes give rise to non-coding, non-polyadenylated RNA, indicating that pervasive non-coding transcription arise from specific promoters and is regulated.

doi: 10.1038/nature12535


Single-cell Hi-C reveals cell-to-cell variability in chromosome structure p.59

A novel genomic technique, single-cell Hi-C, detects thousands of simultaneous chromatin contacts in a single cell; this is used to show that individual chromosomes maintain domain organization at the megabase scale, but that chromosome structures vary from cell to cell at larger scales.

doi: 10.1038/nature12593


Deterministic direct reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotency p.65

This study shows that the combination of naive pluripotency growth conditions, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and Myc (OSKM) overexpression, and depleting the Mbd3/NuRD co-repressor results in deterministic and synchronized reprogramming to pluripotency.

doi: 10.1038/nature12587



Attractive photons in a quantum nonlinear medium p.71

By coupling light to strongly interacting atomic Rydberg states in a dispersive regime, it is possible to induce individual photons to travel as massive particles with strong mutual attraction, such that the propagation of photon pairs is dominated by a two-photon bound state.

doi: 10.1038/nature12512


Microscopic observation of magnon bound states and their dynamics p.76

Bound states of elementary spin waves (magnons) have been predicted to occur in one-dimensional quantum magnets; the observation of two-magnon bound states in a system of ultracold bosonic atoms in an optical lattice is now reported.

doi: 10.1038/nature12541


Three-dimensional imaging of localized surface plasmon resonances of metal nanoparticles p.80

Localized surface plasmon resonances of an individual silver nanocube are reconstructed in three dimensions using electron energy-loss spectrum imaging, resulting in a better understanding of the optical response of noble-metal nanoparticles.

doi: 10.1038/nature12469


Enhanced reversibility and unusual microstructure of a phase-transforming material p.85

The enhanced reversibility (stable transition temperature even at high strain under a solid-to-solid phase transition), low hysteresis and unusual riverine microstructure (ranging through thermal cycles) of the martensitic material Zn45Au30Cu25 makes it attractive for applications from eco-friendly fridges to medical sensors.

doi: 10.1038/nature12532


Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves p.89

An estimate of the mass balance components for all ice shelves in Antarctica indicates that about half of the ice-sheet surface mass gain is lost through oceanic erosion before reaching the ice front, and that the loss due to iceberg calving is about 34 per cent less than previously thought.

doi: 10.1038/nature12567


Life history trade-offs at a single locus maintain sexually selected genetic variation p.93

Wild Soay sheep rams with large horns have more offspring, yet there is considerable genetic variation at RXFP2, a locus strongly implicated in horn size (with different alleles conferring either large or small horns); this study finds that although the larger horn allele leads to more offspring, the smaller horn allele leads to increased survival, meaning heterozygous rams (which develop medium-sized horns) have high reproductive success and survival, providing a rare example of heterozygote advantage.

doi: 10.1038/nature12489


Microbiota-liberated host sugars facilitate post-antibiotic expansion of enteric pathogens p.96

Antibiotic treatment disturbs the commensal microbiota and is often followed by infection with enteric pathogens such as Salmonella typhimurium and Clostridium difficile; pathogen expansion is fuelled by antibiotic-driven accumulation of commensal-liberated host mucosal carbohydrates.

doi: 10.1038/nature12503


Immune clearance of highly pathogenic SIV infection p.100

Cellular immune responses in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) vaccinated with cytomegalovirus vectors expressing SIV proteins are able to stringently control highly pathogenic SIV infection, regardless of the route of challenge, after systemic spread; immunological and virological analyses of protected macaques followed for up to 3 years suggest that persistent immune surveillance by vaccine-elicited immune responses may have cleared the infection.

doi: 10.1038/nature12519


Podoplanin maintains high endothelial venule integrity by interacting with platelet CLEC-2 p.105

A transmembrane O-glycoprotein podoplanin (PDPN) expressed on fibroblastic reticular cells is the activating ligand for platelet receptor CLEC-2; this interaction leads to perivenular release of sphingosine-1-phosphate and expression of VE-cadherin on high endothelial venules, a key process for the maintenance of vascular integrity in lymph nodes.

doi: 10.1038/nature12501


Cyclin A regulates kinetochore microtubules to promote faithful chromosome segregation p.110

Cyclin A is shown to maintain unstable kinetochore–microtubule (k–MT) attachments in prometaphase in order to allow for error correction; at the prometaphase–metaphase switch, k-MT attachments are stabilized when cyclin A drops below threshold levels.

doi: 10.1038/nature12507


Transport dynamics in a glutamate transporter homologue p.114

Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging of a bacterial glutamate transporter reveals how the transport domains move.

doi: 10.1038/nature12265


Unsynchronised subunit motion in single trimeric sodium-coupled aspartate transporters p.119

Glutamate transporters are integral membrane proteins that facilitate neurotransmitter uptake from the synaptic cleft into the cytoplasm of glial cells and neurons, the mechanism of transport involves transitions between extracellular- and intracellular-facing conformations; here the authors used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging to directly observe conformational dynamics in trimers of a bacterial homologue of glutamate transporters that was embedded in the membrane.

doi: 10.1038/nature12538


Vinylogous chain branching catalysed by a dedicated polyketide synthase module p.124

This study shows the structural and biochemical characterization of a new type of polyketide synthase module that catalyses the vinylogous addition of a malonyl unit to an unsaturated thioester, generating a branch in the growing polyketide chain; this characterization provides a mechanism by which the structural diversity of polyketide natural products can be increased.

doi: 10.1038/nature12588

「Journal home」に戻る