Volume 506 Number 7488


Not so neutral p.265

Switzerland’s science landscape is under threat after a narrow majority of citizens voted for tighter immigration rules that could restrict the number of foreign scientists who work in the country.

doi: 10.1038/506265a

Intelligent testing p.265

Science has a part to play in ensuring protection for defendants with intellectual disabilities.

doi: 10.1038/506265b

Helium high p.266

Many bemoan the shortage of helium for the lab, but for geologists, its true value is in the ground.

doi: 10.1038/506266a


Fight against smog ramps up p.273

Chinese government to provide incentives for heavy polluters to go green, but analysts question whether its wider air-quality strategy goes far enough.

doi: 10.1038/506273a

Missing galaxy mass found p.274

Gravitational lensing solves puzzle from the Big Bang’s echo.

doi: 10.1038/506274a

China plunges into ocean research p.276

Ambitious initiative targets Pacific currents, regional climate and deep-sea ecology.

doi: 10.1038/506276a

EU–Swiss research on shaky ground p.277

Vote for immigration quotas leads to suspension of talks over Horizon 2020 programme.

doi: 10.1038/506277a

Moon shots stuck on Earth p.278

Some Google Lunar X Prize contenders book launches for 2015 — but many say that is a stretch.

doi: 10.1038/506278a

Lone hunger striker spurs Nepal to action p.279

Country’s system of political patronage in science exposed.

doi: 10.1038/506279a

News Features

Astronomy: Death of a comet p.281

Before it shattered near the Sun, Comet ISON became a scientific celebrity. Now researchers are trying to piece together its lessons.

doi: 10.1038/506281a

Science in court: Smart enough to die? p.284

The US Supreme Court years ago ruled against applying the death penalty to people unable to understand the legal process. Now it must grapple with the science of how intellectual disability is measured.

doi: 10.1038/506284a

News & Views

Astrophysics: Lopsided stellar death p.298

Observations of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A offer an unprecedented look back at the centre of this explosion, and support the hypothesis that spatial asymmetry is key to explaining the event. See Letter p.339

doi: 10.1038/506298a

Regenerative biology: Take the brakes off for liver repair p.299

A protein produced by endothelial cells that line blood vessels has been found to regulate the timing of cell proliferation following liver injury, further demonstrating the role of vascular signals in tissue regeneration.

doi: 10.1038/506299a

Cancer: Persistence of leukaemic ancestors p.300

The early development of acute leukaemias is assumed for the most part to be clinically silent and transient. But it now seems that ancestral precancerous cells are identifiable and persistent. See Article p.328

doi: 10.1038/nature13056

Plasma physics: A promising advance in nuclear fusion p.302

Experiments conducted at the US National Ignition Facility have cleared a hurdle on the road to nuclear fusion in the laboratory, encouraging fusion scientists around the world. See Letter p.343

doi: 10.1038/nature13057

Molecular biology: Protein binding cannot subdue a lively RNA p.303

Ribosomes, the cell's protein-synthesis machines, are assembled from their components in a defined order. It emerges that the first assembly step must overcome dynamic structural rearrangements. See Article p.334

doi: 10.1038/nature13055

Ageing: Genetic rejuvenation of old muscle p.304

In advanced age, the stem cells responsible for muscle regeneration switch from reversible quiescence to irreversible senescence. Targeting a driver of senescence revives muscle stem cells and restores regeneration. See Article p.316

doi: 10.1038/nature13058


The rise of oxygen in Earth’s early ocean and atmosphere p.307

How atmospheric oxygen concentrations evolved from only small amounts for the early Earth to about 21 per cent today remains uncertain; here our latest understanding of the evolution of Earth’s oxygen levels is discussed.

doi: 10.1038/nature13068


Geriatric muscle stem cells switch reversible quiescence into senescence p.316

This study shows that ageing satellite cells undergo an irreversible transition from a quiescent to a pre-senescent state that results in the loss of muscle regeneration in sarcopenia; furthermore, increased expression of p16INK4a is identified as a common feature of senescent satellite cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature13013

In situ identification of bipotent stem cells in the mammary gland p.322

Through the use of a novel three-dimensional imaging technique, used in conjunction with a multicolour reporter that allows lineage tracing and cell tracking of entire mammary ducts in vivo, bipotent stem cells are shown to have a central role in both puberty and long-term maintenance; in addition, long-lived luminal progenitor cells with a prominent role in ductal expansion are identified.

doi: 10.1038/nature12948

Identification of pre-leukaemic haematopoietic stem cells in acute leukaemia p.328

The authors identify pre-leukaemic haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia; these pre-leukaemic HSCs have the capacity of normal multi-lineage haematopoietic differentiation with a competitive growth advantage over wild-type HSCs, and owing to their persistence may serve as a reservoir for therapeutic resistance and relapse.

doi: 10.1038/nature13038

Protein-guided RNA dynamics during early ribosome assembly p.334

Three-colour fluorescence resonance energy transfer and molecular dynamics simulations are used to study the events occurring early in assembly of the 30S ribosome; within a non-native intermediate S4 ribosomal protein–16S RNA structure, S4 is capable of altering the RNA helix dynamics to facilitate conformation changes that enable subsequent protein binding.

doi: 10.1038/nature13039


Asymmetries in core-collapse supernovae from maps of radioactive 44Ti in Cassiopeia A p.339

The observation of non-uniformly distributed titanium emission in the interior of Cassiopeia A, a core-collapse supernova, is an indicator of asymmetries in the stellar explosion and provides strong evidence for the development of low-mode convective instabilities in such supernovae.

doi: 10.1038/nature12997

Fuel gain exceeding unity in an inertially confined fusion implosion p.343

Fusion fuel gains greater than unity — which are crucial to the generation of fusion energy — are achieved on the US National Ignition Facility using the ‘high-foot’ implosion method, which reduces instability in the implosion of the fuel.

doi: 10.1038/nature13008

Exceptional ballistic transport in epitaxial graphene nanoribbons p.349

Nanoribbons of graphene grown on electronics-grade silicon carbide conduct electrons much better than expected; at room temperature, the charge carriers travel through the nanoribbons without scattering for a surprisingly long distance, more than ten micrometres.

doi: 10.1038/nature12952

Prodigious degassing of a billion years of accumulated radiogenic helium at Yellowstone p.355

The study of gas emission rates, chemistry and isotopic analyses show that the rate of helium-4 emission from the crust at Yellowstone is orders of magnitude greater than any conceivable rate of generation within the crust; this implies that helium has accumulated for hundreds of millions of years in deeper Archaean cratonic rocks, only to be liberated over the past two million years by crustal metamorphism induced by the Yellowstone hotspot.

doi: 10.1038/nature12992

Species coexistence and the dynamics of phenotypic evolution in adaptive radiation p.359

Increased trait differences among sympatric lineages of ovenbirds are explained by their greater evolutionary age compared with allopatric lineages.

doi: 10.1038/nature12874

Disease associations between honeybees and bumblebees as a threat to wild pollinators p.364

Laboratory infection experiments and field data show that emerging infectious diseases of honeybees are widespread infectious agents within the pollinator assemblage; the prevalence of deformed wing virus (DWV) and the parasite Nosema ceranae in honeybees and bumblebees is linked, and sympatric bumblebees and honeybees are infected by the same DWV strains, indicating ongoing disease transmission.

doi: 10.1038/nature12977

Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard p.367

Unlike the tidal (in and out) breathing of mammals, bird lungs have unidirectional airflow patterns; here the savannah monitor lizard is shown to have unidirectional airflow too, with profound implications for the evolution of unidirectional airflow in reptiles, predating the origin of birds.

doi: 10.1038/nature12871

Landscape of genomic alterations in cervical carcinomas p.371

Whole-exome sequencing and analysis of 115 cervical carcinoma–normal paired samples, in addition to transcriptome and whole-genome sequencing for a subset of these tumours, reveal novel genes mutated at significant levels within this cohort and provide evidence that HPV integration is a common mechanism for target gene overexpression; results also compare mutational landscapes between squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas.

doi: 10.1038/nature12881

Genetics of rheumatoid arthritis contributes to biology and drug discovery p.376

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of more than 100,000 subjects of European and Asian ancestries reveals 42 new risk loci for rheumatoid arthritis, with follow-up studies identifying 98 biological candidate genes that are either already being targeted by drugs or could be in the future.

doi: 10.1038/nature12873

Selection and evaluation of clinically relevant AAV variants in a xenograft liver model p.382

Chimaeric human–murine adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids are described that transduce human primary hepatocytes more efficiently than currently used AAV vectors; the novel vectors may be good clinical candidates.

doi: 10.1038/nature12875

Convergent evolution of a fused sexual cycle promotes the haploid lifestyle p.387

In the predominantly diploid yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, regulatory control of mating is separate from meiosis; here the related hemiascomycete yeast Candida lusitaniae is shown to have coordinated regulatory control of mating and meiosis, favouring the formation of haploids.

doi: 10.1038/nature12891

Structure of a Naegleria Tet-like dioxygenase in complex with 5-methylcytosine DNA p.391

The Tet family of dioxygenase enzymes convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine and 5-carboxylcytosine, which has an effect on gene expression; here the structure of NgTet1, a Tet-like protein with the same activity as mammalian Tet1, is determined, showing that NgTet1 uses a base-flipping mechanism to access 5-methylcytosine.

doi: 10.1038/nature12905

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