Volume 508 Number 7494



Brace for impacts p.7

The latest instalment of the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lays out the state of the world — and the challenges ahead.

doi: 10.1038/508007a


Natural decline p.7

Few biology degrees still feature natural history. Is the naturalist a species in crisis?

doi: 10.1038/508007b


Brain waves p.8

Above the ‘big neuroscience’ commotion, literature plays its part.

doi: 10.1038/508008a



Ukraine’s science in turmoil p.15

Crimean institutions put their future in Russia’s hands as Ukraine attempts research reforms.

doi: 10.1038/508015a


Regulators adopt more orphan drugs p.16

Agencies face rising applications for rare-disease therapies resulting from increasingly precise disease definitions.

doi: 10.1038/508016a


ExoMars scientists narrow down landing sites p.19

Facing engineering constraints, researchers propose four destinations for European rover.

doi: 10.1038/508019a


El Niño tests forecasters p.20

As hints emerge of a major weather event this year, poor data could thwart attempts to improve predictions.

doi: 10.1038/508020a


Epigenomics starts to make its mark p.22

Analysis of chemical patterns on DNA shows promise for explaining disease, but few results have yet been replicated.

doi: 10.1038/508022a

News Features


Cancer treatment: The killer within p.24


doi: 10.1038/508024a


Cosmology: Polar star p.28


doi: 10.1038/508028a

News & Views


Cancer: Disabling defences in the brain p.46


doi: 10.1038/508046a


Immunology: A is for immunity p.47


doi: 10.1038/nature13216


Solar System: Ring in the new p.48


doi: 10.1038/nature13218


Vascular biology: Brain vessels squeezed to death p.50


doi: 10.1038/nature13217


Planetary science: A chronometer for Earth's age p.51


doi: 10.1038/508051a


Cancer: Clonal cooperation p.52


doi: 10.1038/508052a



Capillary pericytes regulate cerebral blood flow in health and disease p.55

Neuronal activity relaxes pericytes, leading to capillary dilation and increased blood flow, before arterioles dilate, suggesting that pericytes initiate blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional imaging signals; pericytes constrict and die in rigor in ischaemia, which will cause a long-lasting blood flow decrease after stroke, and damage the blood–brain barrier.

doi: 10.1038/nature13165


Mechanism of Tc toxin action revealed in molecular detail p.61

High-resolution structures of the Photorhabdus luminescent TcA toxin subunit and the entire Tc toxin complex reveal important new insights into Tc complex structure and function.

doi: 10.1038/nature13015


Poly(A)-tail profiling reveals an embryonic switch in translational control p.66

A new high-throughput sequencing method to determine mRNA poly(A)-tail length enabled studies of individual RNAs across species and developmental stages to investigate the role of poly(A) length in translational regulation; the relationship between poly(A) length and translational efficiency shown in early embryo systems does not occur later in development, a finding that explains different regulatory consequences of microRNAs acting at different developmental times.

doi: 10.1038/nature13007


宇宙:ケンタウルス族の小惑星カリクロ(小惑星番号 10199)の周囲に発見された環系

A ring system detected around the Centaur (10199) Chariklo p.72

Observations of a stellar occultation by (10199) Chariklo, a minor body that orbits the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune, reveal that it has a ring system, a property previously observed only for the four giant planets of the Solar System.

doi: 10.1038/nature13155


Efficient rotational cooling of Coulomb-crystallized molecular ions by a helium buffer gas p.76

In combination with sympathetic cooling of translational degrees of freedom (leading to Coulomb crystallization), cooling of the rotational degrees of freedom of magnesium hydride ions using a helium buffer gas leads to temperatures in a tunable range from 60 kelvin down to about 7 kelvin for a single ion, the lowest such temperature so far recorded.

doi: 10.1038/nature12996


Coherent control of the waveforms of recoilless γ-ray photons p.80

The resonant interaction between γ-ray photons and an ensemble of nuclei with a periodically modulated resonant transition frequency can be used to control the waveforms of the photons coherently; for example, individual γ-ray photons can be converted into a coherent, ultrashort pulse train or into a double pulse.

doi: 10.1038/nature13018


Highly siderophile elements in Earth’s mantle as a clock for the Moon-forming impact p.84

A large number of N-body simulations of the giant-impact phase of planet formation, combined with the measured concentrations of highly siderophile elements in Earth’s mantle, reveal that the Moon must have formed at least 40 million years after the condensation of the first solids of the Solar System.

doi: 10.1038/nature13172


The hippocampal CA2 region is essential for social memory p.88

CA2 neuron inactivation leads to a severe deficit in social memory, while having little effect on other well-known hippocampal functions such as contextual or spatial memory.

doi: 10.1038/nature13028


Mouse liver repopulation with hepatocytes generated from human fibroblasts p.93

Human fibroblasts can be converted into hepatocytes capable of repopulating mouse livers by shortcutting reprogramming to pluripotency with factors promoting endoderm and hepatocyte differentiation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13020


Constitutional and somatic rearrangement of chromosome 21 in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia p.98

A rare constitutional translocation between chromosomes 15 and 21 predisposes to catastrophic chromosomal damage followed by amplification of megabase regions, causing a specific subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

doi: 10.1038/nature13115


XBP1 promotes triple-negative breast cancer by controlling the HIF1α pathway p.103

This study finds that triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) show an increased basal level of endoplasmic reticulum stress and activation of the XBP1 branch of the unfolded protein response; furthermore, XBP1 promotes tumour formation of TNBC cell lines by interacting with and regulating HIF1α.

doi: 10.1038/nature13119


Metabolic determinants of cancer cell sensitivity to glucose limitation and biguanides p.108

New apparatus is used to maintain proliferating cancer cells in low-glucose conditions, demonstrating that mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is essential for optimal proliferation in these conditions; the most sensitive cell lines are defective in OXPHOS upregulation and may therefore be sensitive to current antidiabetic drugs that inhibit OXPHOS.

doi: 10.1038/nature13110


Tumour cell heterogeneity maintained by cooperating subclones in Wnt-driven mammary cancers p.113

In a mouse model of tumours initiated by Wnt signalling in which a proportion of tumours are biclonal, that is, composed of basal and luminal clones with distinct genetic alterations, these clones are shown to cooperate to maintain tumour growth in a Wnt-dependent manner.

doi: 10.1038/nature13187


Reversible and adaptive resistance to BRAF(V600E) inhibition in melanoma p.118

Patients with melanomas carrying an activating BRAF mutation respond to treatment with BRAF inhibitors although resistance to the inhibitor usually emerges; this resistance is shown to arise through increased expression of receptor tyrosine kinases such as EGFR; however, these changes decrease cell fitness and during a break from inhibitor treatment these cells are selected against, revealing that some patients who acquire EGFR expression may benefit from inhibitor re-treatment after a drug holiday.

doi: 10.1038/nature13121


Maternal retinoids control type 3 innate lymphoid cells and set the offspring immunity p.123

Dietary vitamin A during pregnancy is required for the formation of secondary lymphoid organs of the developing embryo and affects the offspring’s immune competence in adulthood.

doi: 10.1038/nature13158


Mitoflash frequency in early adulthood predicts lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans p.128

In Caenorhabditis elegant, mitochondrial activity as measured by the frequency of the mitochondrial flash in young adult animals is a powerful predictor of lifespan across genetic, environmental and stochastic factors.

doi: 10.1038/nature13012

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