False positives p.7

A correlation between error rate and success undermines promise of stem-cell trials.

doi: 10.1038/509007b

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No magic fix for carbon p.7

Carbon capture and storage projects promise to make a dent in global emissions — but only as part of a broader programme of technology deployment and economic incentives.

doi: 10.1038/509007a

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Agency for change p.8

Japan’s proposed reforms to science monitoring are welcome but long overdue.

doi: 10.1038/509008a

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Doubts over heart stem-cell therapy p.15

Study queries early-phase trials of heart-disease treatment.

doi: 10.1038/509015a

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US biodefence facilities ramp up p.16

Government effort to produce vaccines on demand raises questions about cost and strategy.

doi: 10.1038/509016a

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Basic science finds corporate refuge p.18

As many older companies move away from fundamental research, young technology firms are picking up the slack.

doi: 10.1038/509018a

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Two plants to put ‘clean coal’ to test p.20

Large-scale carbon-capture projects set to go live this year.

doi: 10.1038/509020a

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News Features


Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch p.22


doi: 10.1038/509022a

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News & Views


Ecology: Drought in the Congo Basin p.36


doi: 10.1038/nature13330

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Applied physics: Bright electron twisters p.37


doi: 10.1038/509037a

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Neuroscience: Feedback throttled down for smooth moves p.38


doi: 10.1038/509038a

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Geophysics: Making the Earth move p.40


doi: 10.1038/509040a

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Astronomy: A new spin on exoplanets p.41


doi: 10.1038/509041a

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Presynaptic inhibition of spinal sensory feedback ensures smooth movement p.43

A population of spinal interneurons that form axo–axonic connections with the terminals of proprioceptive afferents are shown to mediate presynaptic inhibition; their ablation elicits harmonic oscillations during goal-directed forelimb movements, which can be modelled as the consequence of an increase in sensory feedback gain.

doi: 10.1038/nature13276

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Haematopoietic stem cells require a highly regulated protein synthesis rate p.49

Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have a lower rate of protein synthesis in vivo than most other haematopoietic cells, and both increases and decreases in the rate of protein synthesis impair HSC function, demonstrating that HSC maintenance—and hence, cellular homeostasis—requires the rate of protein synthesis to be highly regulated.

doi: 10.1038/nature13035

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Developmental pathway for potent V1V2-directed HIV-neutralizing antibodies p.55

A longitudinal study of an individual patient developing neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 (targeting the V1V2 region of gp120) reveals how such neutralizing antibodies develop and evolve over time, providing important insights relevant to vaccine development.

doi: 10.1038/nature13036

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Fast spin of the young extrasolar planet β Pictoris b p.63

The spin of a planet arises from the accretion of angular momentum during its formation, but the details of this process are still unclear. In the Solar System, the equatorial rotation velocities and, consequently, spin angular momenta of most of the planets increase with planetary mass; the exceptions to this trend are Mercury and Venus, which, since formation, have significantly spun down because of tidal interactions. Here we report near-infrared spectroscopic observations, at a resolving power of 100,000, of the young extrasolar gas giant planet β Pictoris b (refs 7, 8). The absorption signal from carbon monoxide in the planet’s thermal spectrum is found to be blueshifted with respect to that from the parent star by approximately 15 kilometres per second, consistent with a circular orbit. The combined line profile exhibits a rotational broadening of about 25 kilometres per second, meaning that β Pictoris b spins significantly faster than any planet in the Solar System, in line with the extrapolation of the known trend in spin velocity with planet mass.

doi: 10.1038/nature13253

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Molecular photons interfaced with alkali atoms p.66

Single organic dye molecules have high-flux, narrow-bandwidth single-photon emission and can be spectrally matched to the transitions of atoms acting as a quantum memory, making them promising for use in quantum information and communication schemes.

doi: 10.1038/nature13191

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Spontaneous transfer of chirality in an atropisomerically enriched two-axis system p.71

An enantioselective reaction involving a molecule with two axes of stereochemical consequence produces four stereoisomers, and rather than racemizing as the system approaches equilibrium, one of the diastereomeric pairs drifts spontaneously to a higher enantiomeric ratio.

doi: 10.1038/nature13189

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North Atlantic forcing of tropical Indian Ocean climate p.76

New sea surface temperature and oxygen isotope records, combined with climate modelling experiments, show that slowdowns of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during Heinrich stadials and the Younger Dryas stadial affected the tropical Indian Ocean hydroclimate through changes to the Hadley circulation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13196

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Electrical conductivity during incipient melting in the oceanic low-velocity zone p.81

Determination of the electrical conductivity of carbon-dioxide- and water-rich melts, which are typically produced at the onset of mantle melting, shows that incipient melts can trigger the high electrical conductivities found in oceanic regions of the asthenosphere.

doi: 10.1038/nature13245

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Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade p.86

The long-term drying trend in central African rainforests might help to explain satellite-detected large-scale vegetation browning in the Congolese forests.

doi: 10.1038/nature13265

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Identification of genomic alterations in oesophageal squamous cell cancer p.91

Using whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, this study identifies eight significantly mutated genes in oesophageal squamous cell cancer, including two genes, ADAM29 and FAM135B, not previously associated with this cancer type.

doi: 10.1038/nature13176

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Cystathionine γ-lyase deficiency mediates neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease p.96

Huntington’s disease is an autosomal dominant disease associated with a mutation in the gene encoding huntingtin (Htt) leading to expanded polyglutamine repeats of mutant Htt (mHtt) that elicit oxidative stress, neurotoxicity, and motor and behavioural changes. Huntington’s disease is characterized by highly selective and profound damage to the corpus striatum, which regulates motor function. Striatal selectivity of Huntington’s disease may reflect the striatally selective small G protein Rhes binding to mHtt and enhancing its neurotoxicity. Specific molecular mechanisms by which mHtt elicits neurodegeneration have been hard to determine. Here we show a major depletion of cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), the biosynthetic enzyme for cysteine, in Huntington’s disease tissues, which may mediate Huntington’s disease pathophysiology. The defect occurs at the transcriptional level and seems to reflect influences of mHtt on specificity protein 1, a transcriptional activator for CSE. Consistent with the notion of loss of CSE as a pathogenic mechanism, supplementation with cysteine reverses abnormalities in cultures of Huntington’s disease tissues and in intact mouse models of Huntington’s disease, suggesting therapeutic potential.

doi: 10.1038/nature13136

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Nuclear reprogramming by interphase cytoplasm of two-cell mouse embryos p.101

Reprogramming after somatic cell nuclear transfer had been thought to be dependent on the recipient cytoplasm being arrested at the metaphase stage, but here interphase two-cell mouse embryos are shown to support successful reprogramming and generation of embryonic stem cells or cloned mice.

doi: 10.1038/nature13134

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Quantitative proteomics identifies NCOA4 as the cargo receptor mediating ferritinophagy p.105

Through a quantitative proteomics analysis, a cohort of proteins is identified that associate with autophagosomes, among them a new cargo receptor called NCOA4 that, in response to iron deprivation, targets ferritin to autophagosomes and thereby releases iron.

doi: 10.1038/nature13148

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Structural basis for ubiquitin-mediated antiviral signal activation by RIG-I p.110

RIG-I protein recognizes viral duplex RNA with a 5′-triphosphate group, activating innate immune responses; a crystal structure of its tetrameric CARD signalling domain reveals that non-covalently linked ubiquitin chains stabilize the tetramer in a ‘lock-washer’ structure that serves as a signalling platform for the recruitment and activation of MAVS.

doi: 10.1038/nature13140

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Structure of the human P2Y12 receptor in complex with an antithrombotic drug p.115

The X-ray crystal structure of the human P2Y12 receptor, which regulates platelet activation and thrombus formation, is solved in complex with an antithrombotic drug, providing insights for the development of new drugs.

doi: 10.1038/nature13083

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Agonist-bound structure of the human P2Y12 receptor p.119

An X-ray structure of human P2Y12 receptor, a clinical drug target for platelet aggregation inhibitors, is presented in complex with an agonist, providing insight into the δ-group of class A G-protein-coupled receptors.

doi: 10.1038/nature13288

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