Volume 503 Number 7477



Nailing fingerprints in the stars p.437

Laboratory-based experiments are sorely needed to complement the rapidly proliferating spectral data originating from observations by the latest space telescopes.

doi: 10.1038/503437a


The DIY dilemma p.437

Misconceptions about do-it-yourself biology mean that opportunities are being missed.

doi: 10.1038/503437b


Enemy of the good p.438

Universities need to counter pressures that undermine support for younger researchers.

doi: 10.1038/503438a



China aims for the Moon p.445

Planned launch of lunar rover follows a string of triumphs for the country’s space programme.

doi: 10.1038/503445a


LHC plans for open data future p.447

Researchers share results to keep them accessible.

doi: 10.1038/503447a


Project ranks billions of drug interactions p.449

Drugable.com predicts mechanisms through computation.

doi: 10.1038/503449a


China battles army of invaders p.450

Raft of control measures slows the march of alien species.

doi: 10.1038/503450a


Nations fight back on ivory p.452

Politicians take action on poaching in Africa as tusk seizures approach record numbers.

doi: 10.1038/503452a

News Features


Research ethics: 3 ways to blow the whistle p.454


doi: 10.1038/503454a


Immunology: The pursuit of happiness p.458


doi: 10.1038/503458a

News & Views


Ecology: A leak in the loop p.472


doi: 10.1038/nature12838


Planetary science: A chunk of ancient Mars p.473

北西アフリカで見つかり、NWA 7533という平凡な名前が付けられた隕石について解析が行われ、これが火星のレゴリス、つまり土壌の初めて得られた試料であることが示された。この隕石は、これまで見つかった中で最古の火成岩地殻に由来するものだ。

doi: 10.1038/nature12836


Drug discovery: Pocket of opportunity p.475


doi: 10.1038/nature12835


Systems biology: How bacteria choose a lifestyle p.476


doi: 10.1038/nature12837


Astrophysics: Exception tests the rules p.477


doi: 10.1038/503477a


Molecular biology: Antibiotic re-frames decoding p.478


doi: 10.1038/503478a



Memory and modularity in cell-fate decision making p.481

This study shows that Bacillus subtilis switches from a solitary, motile lifestyle to a multicellular, sessile state in a random, memoryless fashion, but that the underlying gene network is buffered against its own stochastic variation to tightly time the reverse transition; thus bacteria keep track of time to force their progeny to cooperate during the earliest stage of multicellular growth.

doi: 10.1038/nature12804


Effect of natural genetic variation on enhancer selection and function p.487

Naturally occurring genetic variation between inbred mouse strains is used as a mutagenesis strategy to investigate mechanisms responsible for the selection and function of cis-regulatory elements in macrophages; lineage-determining transcription factors are proposed to select enhancer-like regions in the genome in a collaborative fashion and facilitate the binding of signal-dependent factors.

doi: 10.1038/nature12615


A small-molecule AdipoR agonist for type 2 diabetes and short life in obesity p.493

An orally active small molecule, AdipRon, that binds to and activates both adiponectin receptors (AdipoR1 and AdipoR2) is identified; it ameliorates diabetes in mice on a high-fat diet and in genetically obese db/db mice, and if this can be extrapolated to humans, orally active agonists such as AdipoRon are a promising new approach to treat obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

doi: 10.1038/nature12656


宇宙:超高輝度X線源M 101 ULX-1におけるブラックホールへの不可解な降着

Puzzling accretion onto a black hole in the ultraluminous X-ray source M 101 ULX-1 p.500

The ultraluminous X-ray source M 101 ULX-1 consists of a black hole orbiting a Wolf-Rayet star; optical spectroscopy now shows that the orbital period is 8.2 days, suggesting that the black hole has a mass in the range 5 to 30 solar masses, though the X-ray spectra are unlike what is expected from accretion onto a stellar-mass black hole—accretion must occur from captured stellar wind, which has hitherto been thought to be so inefficient that it could not power an ultraluminous source.

doi: 10.1038/nature12762


Potential for spin-based information processing in a thin-film molecular semiconductor p.504

The characteristic relaxation and dephasing times of the electronic spins in thin-film copper phthalocyanine are long enough that this common, low-cost organic semiconductor has potential for both quantum and classical information processing.

doi: 10.1038/nature12597


Perovskite oxides for visible-light-absorbing ferroelectric and photovoltaic materials p.509

Most known ferroelectric photovoltaic materials have very wide electronic bandgaps (that is, they absorb only high-energy photons) but here a family of perovskite oxides is described that have tunable bandgaps, allowing their use across the whole visible-light spectrum.

doi: 10.1038/nature12622

宇宙:NWA 7533隕石から得られた最初期の火星地殻の起源と年代

Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533 p.513

Chemical analysis of the meteorite NWA 7533 indicates that it may be a Martian regolith breccia and, if so, that the crust of Mars may have formed in the first 100 million years of the planet’s history.

doi: 10.1038/nature12764


Self-reinforcing impacts of plant invasions change over time p.517

Plant invasions are thought to alter the ecosystem in a way that disadvantages the native species, making re-establishment after eradication difficult; here, on returning to a site at which an invasive plant altered nitrogen-mineralization levels several decades ago, mineralization is found to have returned to pre-invasion levels, although these new conditions favour new invaders over the natives.

doi: 10.1038/nature12798


Cortical interneurons that specialize in disinhibitory control p.521

Cortical inhibitory interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) are shown to specialize in suppressing the activity of other inhibitory interneurons and are activated by reinforcement signals, thus increasing the activity of excitatory neurons by releasing them from inhibition; these results reveal a cell-type-specific microcircuit that tunes cortical activity under certain behavioural conditions.

doi: 10.1038/nature12676


Differential L1 regulation in pluripotent stem cells of humans and apes p.525

Induced pluripotent stem-cell characterization reveals phenotypical differences between humans and non-human primates (NHPs): gene expression analysis shows differences in the regulation of long interspersed element-1 (L1) transposons, and in the expression of L1-restricting genes APOBEC3B and PIWIL2, correlating with higher L1 mobility in NHPs; this indicates that L1 mobility differences may have differentially shaped the human and NHP genomes.

doi: 10.1038/nature12686


Cell intrinsic immunity spreads to bystander cells via the intercellular transfer of cGAMP p.530

The cytoplasmic DNA receptor cGAS catalyses the synthesis of the second messenger cGAMP, which in turn activates type I interferon via STING; this study shows that cGAMP is transmitted to neighbouring cells via gap junction channels and activates STING, thus inducing an antiviral state in these bystander cells independent of paracrine interferon signalling.

doi: 10.1038/nature12640


Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor p.535

Whole-genome sequences of two novel SARS-CoV-related bat coronaviruses, in addition to a live isolate of a bat SARS-like coronavirus, are reported; the live isolate can infect human cells using ACE2, providing the strongest evidence to date that Chinese horseshoe bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-CoV.

doi: 10.1038/nature12711


Hepatitis-C-virus-like internal ribosome entry sites displace eIF3 to gain access to the 40S subunit p.539

A sub-nanometre reconstruction of a 40S complex containing eIF3 and a hepatitis C virus (HCV)-like internal ribosome entry site (IRES) shows that the IRES displaces eIF3 from the 40S and sequesters it to gain access to the 40S subunit.

doi: 10.1038/nature12658


Accelerated growth in the absence of DNA replication origins p.544

When all origins of replication are deleted from the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, homologous recombination is used to initiate DNA replication and the growth rate is accelerated.

doi: 10.1038/nature12650

創薬:K-Ras (G12C)阻害剤はGTP親和性とエフェクター相互作用をアロステリックに制御する

K-Ras(G12C) inhibitors allosterically control GTP affinity and effector interactions p.548

Small molecules are developed that irreversibly bind to the common G12C mutant of K-Ras but not the wild-type protein; crystallographic studies reveal the formation of an allosteric pocket that is not apparent in previous Ras studies, and the small molecules shift the affinity of K-Ras to favour GDP over GTP.

doi: 10.1038/nature12796


Flavin-mediated dual oxidation controls an enzymatic Favorskii-type rearrangement p.552

Structural and functional studies reveal how the bacterial flavoenzyme EncM catalyses the oxygenation–dehydrogenation dual oxidation of a highly reactive substrate, and show that EncM maintains a stable flavin oxygenating species that promotes substrate oxidation and triggers a rarely seen Favorskii-type rearrangement.

doi: 10.1038/nature12643

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